Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The last time we will ever leave Nastya

Today was our final visit before GOTCHA DAY!!! Today was the last time we will ever leave Nastya, which is a huge praise in and of itself!!! We were able to visit Nastya's room today and see all of her little friends, her bed, her eating table and her shower/toilet room. When we walked into her room we were swarmed with little children. They loved Curt, mainly because they rarely see men and so they all wanted his attention. There was a precious little girl who followed Nastya around, I am not sure if they are good friends or not, but she was just darling....someone please adopt this child!!! There were over 20 kids in that one room and there are tons more like this one. Rooms, bursting with children who may be institutionalized for the rest of their lives, heartbreaking! Curt and I went out yesterday and purchased a snowsuit for our snow angel! She adored putting it on and she wore it the entire time we were allowed to visit. We are so ready to bring her home and show her lots of love!

Little sinks for Nastya and her friends

This is where Nastya bathes and the little portable potties behind her are the ones they use..her's is number 10

These are all the beds. There were more behind me.

This face right here is how we know she's going to fit right in.......she loves to aggravate her daddy!

Her number is 10

Her favorite baby that she sleeps with

Her play area

Her eating table

Her closet

Her name until Monday is Nastya Perminova, soon to be Anastasia Hanna

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Passport Photo Day!

Today was great!!!! Everyday with Nastya keeps getting better. She is more outgoing and free spirited every single time we see her! We began with her snack in the upstairs playroom and I was able to try her hat, mittens and scarf on her, which she loved! She enjoyed admiring herself in the mirror. We then loaded her up in the car and headed to the photo place. She did so great in the car, she wasn't scared at all. After her photos, which we beautiful by the way, we went to play at the local playground. It was COLD!!!!! Curt and I decided that we need to buy Nastya a big coat versus the one we brought. We were afraid we would get fussed at by the Russian women for not having Nastya bundled up properly. Tomorrow is a rest day for us, so we will venture out and look at coats, buy a few groceries and take in some sights. Thursday we will visit Nastya's room. Enjoy the photos!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

orphanage visit

To recap the last few days, not much has been going on around here. The weekends are pretty much a time to do NOTHING! We have been blessed though, we flew into Kras with another adoption couple from Minnesota and have spoken with them numerous times on the phone since arriving. Saturday, we met them at the was actually very good, I was surprised since I was coming off the virus/food poisoning. We ate, talked, then went to the toy store and roamed around for quite a while. Sunday consisted of watching my tigers lose....AGAIN! Still a Tiger fan, always will be! Curt and I stayed in on Sunday, it was VERY cold, we watched a few movies and read books most of the day. Today was great, we were back to the regular schedule which makes the time pass quicker. Nastya was her cheerful self again today and that is something we have prayed for! We were fearful that us being gone over the weekend would make her upset, but she came right in and let us hug and kiss all over her, she's a sweet girl. At the end of our visit we played puppets, she is quite the drama queen and loved entertaining everyone in the room. We were able to watch her eat her lunch, very interesting and smelly I might add:) After we left the orphanage we had our drivers drop us off at this huge mall to meet our adoption friends for lunch. We ate, bowled and talked for hours and then went to their apartment for dinner. We took the bus was not scary at all! We are so ready to get this week behind us...tomorrow is passport pictures for Nastya and then on Thursday we will get to go to her room and see where she sleeps and bathes and basically lives. Nastya is #10 in the orphanage, everything she wears, even the napkin she uses at mealtime has a #10 on it! I hope you enjoy the photos and the video!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Orphanage visit

Nastya had an incredible day with us yesterday! She is becoming more comfortable with us and is showing more affection, as much as she can at this point! The sad thing is that after we have made all this progress with her, we will not see her over the weekend. "2 steps forward, 1 step back" I guess! I wonder if she has any idea that next week is her final week as an orphan? My heart leaps everytime I think about it.....her last week to wonder if anyone cares, if anyone hears her! Sweet Nastya, you will never have to be alone again!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

orphanage visit

These pictures are from Wednesday's visit. Don't you love this hairdo? Sweet Nastya!

Orphanage visit

Here are some pictures of Nastya over the past couple days. I was sick yesterday, so Curt took a few shots of Nastya! Enjoy!

Down and Out

It's 4:00pm here in Krasnoyarsk and I am here at our apartment while Curt is visiting sweet Nastya. I was up most of the night with either a stomach virus or food poisoning, if Curt gets it then it is a stomach virus:). We decided that missing a day seeing Nastya was NOT an option, so he left me here, well stocked with poweraides of course! I am anxiously awaiting his arrival to see the videos and pictures of Nastya for the day. I am always looking forward to seeing her hairdo....she is always beautiful! So, while I sit here and read my new favorite series "The Hunger Games" and watch chick flicks courtesy of April and Austin, I am missing all of my babies and here and at home. Gosh, aren't these the most adorable kids? Curt and I didn't do too bad!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Silly Nastya and her even more silly Papa!

Court Day=We are a family of 6!

We began our court session at approxiamatley 11:40 am here in Krasnoyarsk. We were nervous but the judge was extremely nice and made us feel comfortable..WHEW! We had been told that the court session could last from 1.5-3 hours depending on the information presented and how thorough the answers we gave were. After 1.5 hours, our session began to wind down, the judge was happy, the MOE was happy, and the orphanage director was happy.....the only person in the room to object was the prosecutor. It sounds bad, but it really wasn't, LET ME EXPLAIN!!!
1. Nastya is 3, which makes her an older child
2. Nastya had been removed from the home and placed in a hospital 3 different times and it took her while to get adjusted
3. A foster family decided to adopt her, took her to their home on a friday and the next monday they returned her because she was crying!

So, the prosecutor wanted Nastya to be evaluated by a psychiatrist to confirm that she would be able to transition properly in home. The judge called a recess until 4:30 pm. Curt and I left, disappointed and worried, we had pictured leaving the courtroom in a different mood. We got lunch and then headed back to the court house to wait. Well, we waited and waited and waited and waited and then FINALLY at 5:30 pm, we were called back to the courtroom. We were informed of the final analysis of Nastya and then the judge read the instructions on how to help her transition. We left the room for all of 2 seconds...literally (oh and Curt accidentally hit the light switch on the way out and the judge laughed at him...she was really nice to us!) and then we returned. The judge told us congrats, you are now parents for a 4th time. YAY, praise the Lord! All of this waiting is finally over and Nastya is ours! We do have a waiting period of 10 days but we will not just be relaxing, we will be spending much needed time connecting with our new daughter, she is ours! Thank you so much for your prayers. I could feel them and I knew you were praying!!

May we present to you Anastasia Elizabeth Hanna
Her first name means resurrection. Since all of our biological children have a family name, we felt it very appropriate to do the same for Nastya. Her middle name is Elizabeth after her aunts Meg and April.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Court Day

We have our court hearing today, we are 2nd at 11:30 am. The friends we met in the airport in Moscow are going at 9:30, this is their 2nd adoption, so it should be a breeze for them. We stayed up late last night jotting down notes and getting all of our answers perfect. Poor Curt has been up since 3 am because he is nervous. I woke up at 5 for the same reason. Please pray for us, that our nerves would be calm, our minds clear, our ears open and our answers to be without stumbling or fault. I get very nervous when I have to speak to anyone over the age of 10, so speaking to a judge is going to be tourture. So, if you are awake at 10:30 pm in the US, please send up a prayer! The hearing normally takes about 2 hours, so I will post the details after midnight! Love you all!

Orphanage visit

Being silly!

Nastya and papa

Nastya and mama

Sweet face

Nastya was a hoot today and she was full of attitude. She seemed tired when she came to us probably because she had just gotten up from her afternoon nap. We played for quite a while and then her caretaker came in to get her to take her to dinner. She had been playing with the chapstick we bought her and the purse Nanny Mott got her, she loves it! Anyway, she goes to leave and I slowely take the purse off of her because I know that if she takes it back to her room, she won't bring it back tomorrow, that's just the way it goes. Well, Nastya laid in the floor and cried. It was funny to us, but then my heart began to hurt. The caretaker proceeded to tell us about Nastya and the doll we brought her on her first trip. It seems that Nastya begs for the doll each night to sleep with and cries when she can't get it. Nothing in that orphanage belongs to those children and Nastya completley understands that, she is a very smart girl! So, while I know as a parent I probably shouldn't have let her pitch a fit and get her way...yadda yadda yadda....she is an orphan, she has I let her take the purse and her chapstick with her. It seems that our parenting skills will be tested and we will have to bend and go with the flow as Nastya transitions. She is a precious gift from God who has learned the hard way how to stand up for herself! I am proud of this angel, she is going to be one amazing young lady!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


We found out an interesting fact yesterday while we were at the orphanage and then had more confirmation later as we listen to Garrett's mom speak at Oasis Church. While we were visiting Nastya we were trying to get her to smile for the camera. We of course had no clue what to say so we asked our facilitator Yelena to tell us the Russian word for smile. She laughed and then said, "there is no Russian word for smile, we don't say that". I was a little bit shocked but then again, that sort of makes sense. How though, can you never tell a child to smile, or sing about smiling? I was wondering if this was a word that is sometimes lost in translation, who knows! Then, while we were facetiming into our church service (amazing by the way) we heard Garrett's mother speaking about her mission trips each year to the Ukraine. She began talking about the history of the country and about how everything had been taken from them by the government. She continued to emphasize over and over how these people had no hope and had nothing to live for. Their perspective on life is so grim and overshadowed that they have no reason to smile. Now as for not having a word for "smile" I am still not convinced, BUT I do know that there are hurting people in this world who have nothing to their name, they are starving, cold, lonely, aching, sad and dying.....they don't want to smile. I am overjoyed to be able to know the truth about a Savior whom I can cast all my cares upon....I have a reason to smile. Nastya now has a reason to smile, she has a hope AND a future in a family, despite all of our imperfections, that will love and adore her and teach her about Jesus and His unfailing love for us. So today, when you are feeling sad, tired and overwhelmed, remember to smile! Curt said yesterday, "you know, maybe we should all be more like Luke. He skips everywhere he goes, he's jubilant despite any circumstances!" And he is right, rejoice today and be thankful for all the amazing things God has done!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Video issues

Ok, so the video thing is not working with blogger! So, if you'd like to view videos of our beautiful Nastya go to

Sign in:
Password: curtisgh1

Feel free to leave some comments! Enjoy!

Orphanage visit

Ok folks, here is our girl! It took her a moment to warm up BUT her personality came back and she was as sweet as ever. Don't be jealous, you know you want the coat she has on!!! Have you ever in your life seen a jacket as fuzzy and colorful as this? She is just precious! She did have a pretty good scratch on her cheek and her leg, but she is quite an amazing young girl! Her hair has gotten longer, she is taller now and she spoke to us, that is HUGE because she still doesn't speak much to the orphanage workers! She calls us mama and papa and she calls herself Nastya!


We arrived in Krasnoyarsk this morning at around 7:30 am. For some reason our seats weren't together on the plane, I didn't like that very much, but it was a smooth flight and we landed safely. It is cold, and snowy here today and it is supposed to be colder tomorrow. Our plan was to stay awake as long as possible, BUT we started watching a movie, got all warm and cozy and well, we woke up about an hour ago! Now we have got to try and sleep some tonight so that we can be refreshed and rested when we visit Anastasia. Our facilitator told us that families don't normally get to visit the orphanage on weekends, but the judge wanted us to go as much as we could before court since Anastasia is considered an "older" child. We will be leaving here around 9 am Kras time, so for you all, that is 8:00 pm in America. I will upload pics and videos as soon as we return! Please pray for Anastasia, prepare her heart and mind for all of the upcoming changes. I cannot imagine when she must be feeling or the emotions she is going to have to deal with. Pray for bonding between us and for lots of eye contact....small things but HUGE when you are adopting a child! On a side note.....I WILL be listening to the Clemson game in a bit.........I know, I am obsessed! From Russia, GOOOOOO TIGERS!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Days 1 & 2 in Russia

Well, we have arrived! I don't know about Curt, but I am fan of british airways. One, neither of our flights was booked solid, so we had room to spread out (sort of) and two, the movie selections were AWESOME!!!! We arrived in Moscow last night around 8:15 pm and then headed to our hotel. We slept through our meal on the plane, so by the time we got in our room (10ish) we were starved. We ordered pizza (hawiian) but it had these peppers on it that literally set your mouth on FIRE but the drinks were so expensive that we had to split a bottle of water......not a very happy evening. We stayed up until after midnight, trying to get used to the time change but we were up this morning at 5 am. We have medicals in a bit and then we are off to the airport once again, this time to head out to Krasnoyarsk. Our flight leaves at 10 pm, so we will be tired yet again tomorrow. We are aching to kiss our children, we love them each so much! We will not be able to be online again until tomorrow!!! Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Leaving Atlanta!

We are getting ready to board the plane for London. Saying goodbye to our children was the most difficult moment of my life, so ready to have them back in my arms! I will check back in when we land in LHR! Love you all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From 5 to 6

Well tomorrow we wake up as a family of 5.......

BUT, in just a few weeks, we will be bringing this little gal home to make us a family of 6!!!!

Tomorrow, we board a flight to London, then from London to Moscow. We will check in on FB a few times throughout the trip. Please pray for us as we travel halfway around the world to FINALLY bring our daughter home. Also pray for our children while we are gone!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2 days to go

We have been blessed with some of the most amazing family and friends in the entire world. I mean, how awesome is it that our entire church gathered around us this morning and laid hands on us and lifted us up in prayer during our worship service!?! I was completely blown away, I love my church family! Then there is our family who has always shown us support! I went up to my parents house tonight to get a few things and discuss our kids care while we are gone. I have been overly worried about each of them and I cannot stand the thought of being away from them for so long. My mom, my brother and my sis in law calmed my fears and just told me that I was worrying too much.....of course I am, that's my nature! Anyway, they assured me that the kids would be ok and we should focus on A. I love my family so much, they are so selfless and giving. They love A so much already and they haven't even met her yet....she is going to be one blessed little girl!!!

Tomorrow consists of hanging out with the kids, going to Columbia to the Sect. of State one last time, changing out cash, buying groceries for here and Russia! It's go time!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oh so close!!

This is a test blog......I hope that if you are reading this, then you were invited to read!!! We leave for Russia in 4 days, so much to do and so little time! We look forward to seeing this sweet girl very soon!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


We took our 8th link down from our chain this evening, 7 more remain. My heart has been fluttering all day long for various reasons. I am so unbelievably pumped about brining our wonderful Russian gal home FOREVER!!! Yet, my heart is also anxious and nervous for my 3 here at home. I fought tears many times today.....thinking about tucking them in and hearing them say I love you to the moon and back and then arguing over who loves the most! What am I going to do while I am away from them? I literally feel the world caving in because part of me is ecstatic and the other is torn! I am in no way worried about the kiddos care while we are brother and sis in law are going to do an awesome job.........Nanny and Mimi will help as well. One of the main things I am going to focus on for the next month is that we have spent 8 years raising and getting to know Brooks, 7 years with Luke and 4 years with Campbell. They KNOW us, they communicate with us and they feel safe with us even when they aren't in our presence. Sweet A has never had that, so this time for us will mean beginning to learn each other, making eye contact, trying to communicate as best we can, hugging and kissing nonstop and building a firm foundation based on love and trust. We owe this time to her and while we will miss the other 3 TERRIBLY, they understand that she needs us. They are so strong, but have all admitted today that they will probably cry.....I will too, everyday, but they are resilient and I know that God will take care of them and give them the strength they need to get through those few weeks without us. I am already envisioning seeing their sweet blonde heads when we finally land on Dec. 14th, I am sure they will RUN to us and rightly so, we will RUN to them. Oh what a sweet homecoming it will much joy, my heart is FULL!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

12 Days

We are on countdown mode around here. Yep, we are officially only 12 days away from Russia, 16 days from seeing our sweet girl and 17 days from our court date. Our official GOTCHA DAY is Dec. 3. Why so far away you may ask?, there is a 10 day waiting period between our court date and the actual day where A comes to stay with us. Some areas waive this, but we have been told that Kras does not. We will still get to visit the orphanage almost every day and this will be a crucial time of bonding for all 3 of us! So, what have we been doing around here this week? My first goal was to get SANTA'S list taken care of and I thought I succeeded, that was until my boys decided to make their Christmas list. Brooks' list was very much what I had in mind, so we are good there. Luke, on the other hand, is a completely different child asking for dirt bikes, a puppy, a bird and another animal, I am unsure whether it was a goat or a pig. Either way, someone is going to be VERY disappointed on Christmas morning!!! We've been slowly packing and buying food to have in the apartment in Kras. I am not looking forward to the food situation in Kras.....I am counting on a very nice American meal before we board the airplane! Tomorrow the school is hosting a sunshine table in honor of our new daughter. I am sure that little A will get lots of cute things from all of my teacher friends! Our link chain is getting shorter, I pass it nearly 30 times a day and each day it doesn't seem to budge.....I am desperate to hold her again! I told Curt the other evening that it was going to take all the strength I have not to run and grab "A" up in a big bear hug when I see her again. I don't want to scare her to death, but my arms, our arms, our hearts, we ache for her.

This Sunday is orphan Sunday and I am so excited about our service. Please visit this site for more info on how to incorporate the topic of adoption and orphan care into your church service!