As many of you know or have seen post about the happenings in Ukraine. There is so much being said.So many families praying for this beautiful country where alot of us have children waiting.Our sons and daughters that we are trusting to be in God's care right now,under his protection, and in his timing put in our families. We have friends there who we have grown to love like family. This country really does need our prayers.
However, one of my biggest struggles is worry...I have to work on this ALOT. I worry and stress alot. Seeing and reading everything placed me into a panic mode. My greatest fear at this point in my life would be something going wrong and Yura not coming home. I pray for this child DAILY, several times,along with Tyler and Anna. I can honestly say God is teaching me so much through this journey and I have said it before..how much I am NOT in control. I can't control what is being done in Ukraine right now, I can pray,ask for prayer, share post,etc but at the end of the day GOD is in control and eithier I have to trust that or not. The current events were beginning to get the best of me,the devil was wiggling his way in my thoughts and causing so much doubt and fear ,I could not hardly function . I caught myself just constantly thinking and reading about everything that is going on...crying continously...I finally ,with a pep talk from Scott, had to just STOP. Stop reading, and refocus on who my trust lies in! I say it all the time and will continue to say it. God will win the battle, claim the victory,our children are coming home! We dont know when or the trials through the process but God will prevail and to God be all the glory!
In order to keep focused I have to stay in the word, pray,and I even have little reminders wrote on things in my house ,like "Whom Shall I Fear?" If God is for us, who can be against us? I just wanted to share what I read today that I needed...no one else..ME but just in case you are having the same struggles I wanted to share! This is a section from Francis Chan book Crazy Love:
WORRY implies that we don't quite trust God is big enough,powerful enough,or loving enough to take care of what's happeningin our lives.
STRESS says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience ,our lack of grace toward others,or our tight grip of control.
Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional.Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.They declare our tendency to forget that we've been forgiven,that our lives here are brief,that we are headed to a place where we won't be lonely ,afriad,or hurt ever again,and that in the context of God's strength ,our problems are small,indeed...Francis Chan
So to my friends and family ,please continue to pray for Ukraine and trusting God is going to do great things and work this out.Pray as we wait for May to go and bring Yura home.Protection over our adoption process.
To my adopting families ,that are like a diffrent set of family :) . Don't even give the devil any credit! Keep praying, Keep looking up and keep trusting our children will be home soon!!
God's Plan...God's Will...God's PERFECT timing
6 months today , is how long it has been since I have seen, touched, hugged,spent time with my oldest son who is waiting on his family in Ukraine. Life has been crazy,hard,busy,but we have been counting the days because we knew it was getting so close. Adoption Fee money is raised, PRAISE the Lord, He always provides, never let money be an excuse for opening your heart and home to a child that needs a loving home, Yura's room is ready, and we were told mid-late January we would be coming to get Yura. I have been spending so much time in prayer ,preparing my heart to leave my kids for 6-8 weeks ,and for the ones that know me, know it's only a call from God that would keep me from them this long. We were ready...ready and waiting for the date to GO!
BUT GOD had a diffrent plan...Friday we received a e-mail at 5:45 am , that caused my world to stop ...My facilitator informed me "I'm sorry to inform you ,but Yura will not be available for adoption until May" WHAT!?!?!?!? WHY!?!?! and the tears started flowing...and flowing and flowing..I could literally feel my heart breaking into. Holidays have been hard but I held on to the Hope I would see him soon,but now 5 more months of waiting....5 MONTHS...I first met Yura in May ,now it will be a year before we go to bring him back.
After all the breakdowns, and even during them I clinged to God I put this in your hands from the begining , you know best. You can see what I can not and you have paved the way. I can honestly say, during it all ,I have had a peace within. So I will trust and wait ,and focus on the positives! See it will be late May when we go, soooo blessing #1 my kids can travel with us! Maybe God knew my heart could not take a 6-8 week seperation. YES we will be back to the fundraising road to raise their ticket money. Tickets are about 1500.00 per person. We will give you all time to recover from the holidays BUT if you are our friend,our family ,we need your help. We have 5 months to raise the extra money we need help.
Blessing #2...We have been given permission to suprise Yura on his birthday with a visit. January 7 is his 12th birthday and Ukraines Chirstmas so we will get to have both of these special occasions with him! We are excited and thrilled!!! Please be in prayer as we travel, we will depart from Atlanta Jan. 4 and head to see our son after 6 months. Please pray we choose the right words to say when we have to explain it will be another 5 months and peace and understanding for Yura! We are so happy for this oppurtunity!
Thanks to all who have shown your love and support through this journey..until you travel it..you have no idea how hard the road is. We keep peace in knowing this is all God's plan! Through the good and the bad ,we give God all the glory and praise and we could not do it without him carrying us through! Praise You In The Storm!!
Habakkuk 2:3 Message Version
And then God answered :" Write This."
Write what you see
Write it out in big block letters
So that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness
pointing to what's coming.
It aches for the coming-it can hardly wait!
And it doesn't lie.
If it seems slow in coming,wait.
It's on its way.It will come right on time!
Gothard Family Adoption is asking for all you prayer warriors to please say a prayer for us. We have received some very unexpected news early this morning and just seeking God's will,peace and understanding. Waiting on further info but please pray continously as we await our next steps! Even among the storms ,GOD is at work! Thanks!
Matthew 19: 14
Jesus said." Let the little children come to me ,and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Cry of a child!
It has been awhile since we have posted and update, and usually all my updates are asking you to pray about what you can give to help. Although we have a way to go and really a short amount of time , all I ask of you today is prayer! For the past 4-5 weeks we have been so blessed to have our good friends the Davison's at the orphanage with Yura. We have been able to know what he does daily, we have got to Skype him , talk to him, see pic and videos. Huge Blessing to this mom ,who likes to know what her kids are doing. It has helped and I have had no worries about "What is he doing today?" "Is he happy or sad" "Is he sick or hurt in anyway?" NONE of that, because we were in touch and he was being loved and cared for by Shannon and Chris. We are blessed.
Yura , I have learned has a very tender heart(like his mom) As this morning ,the Davison's stay at his orphanage came to a close,we all knew this would be a hard day but I didnt expect to see Yura so upset. It took me back to the days before he left in June. Tears were shed, Scott and I hearts broke into a million pieces! All we could keep saying was "We love you!" "We are coming!!" . In repsonse ,as usual, he wanted to know WHEN....I cringe everytime I hear those words because I want to come now! I want to give him a set answer but I can't. I want to be there to hug him and wipe away his tears. I want to be in control BUT I'm not. I'm learning alot through this process . Most of all , how much Im not in control and I have no control over anything ! but someone greater does , GOD, I have complete peace when I stop and remind myself of this. As much as I love my kids and want to make them happy , GOD loves them more and wants them to have a happy life! I know God saw Yura's tears today. I know God heard his cries and God wants Yura to turn to him because in God and God alone is where he can find the peace he needs ,the hope of knowing we will be together soon!
During our talk,as hard as it was to see him so upset. I had to regroup and use those moments to tell him ,Pray,when you lay down at night PRAY to Jesus about what you want. We had told Yura , it would probably be 12 or so weeks before we are there,because today the answer "soon" wasnt enough! He said 'No" you will be here in 8 weeks. OK, then thats what we will pray for, I told him we would pray everyday for 8 weeks! Yura also said he would do the same. Now, looking at timelines , this looks impossible but with GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! I ask you today ,to pray for a quickened process! To pray for the 8 weeks Yura waits for. If its God's will, it will be done. God loves our children way more than we do....I know he hears every childs prayer! Yura is ready to come home, I have complete faith this prayer will be answered soon! Please take time to pray for specifically for a quick process with no bumps in the way, and peace and understanding for Yura as he waits!
Nothing but fundraisers,planning ,paperwork.......and then the moments you get to talk to your child so far away....its all worth it!!!
It has been several weeks since I posted but the days have flown by! I wanted to let you know where we are and whats been going on in the Gothard Adoption world! Since Yura has left on June 23, we have been working as hard and as fast as we could to get him home as soon as we possibly can! We have had several fundraisers and several people to just give . I have been so blown away by the support!! I dont know whyI am so suprised , because I should know by now how AWESOME and AMAZING our GOD is!!!! From day one I have prayed that God would prepare the hearts of his people to give as they have been blessed. I am so thankful to the ones that have answered that calling to give and I know you will be double blessed!!! With 2 Lemonade Stands , The Miss Freedom Pageant, Selling baked goods, Boston Butt Tickets (which is ongoing for one more day if you are intrested) ,and just peoples generosity we are at right over 7,000!!!!! Which is AWESOME! We realize we still have a ways to go to get to the goal of 25K but I have faith (even though I catch myself being doubtful) we will have our money!
I ask that you pray about our adoption and if you are one of the ones that could help us bring Yura home! I am already blessed with two other beautiful children Tyler and Anna ,and people think 25k is alot to adopt a child,but I have to ask is there any amount of money you wouldnt pay to save your child? Although , this road is hard ,very emotional,very stressful I catch myself thinking it doesnt compare to the sacrifice GOD gave for us to have eternal life with him, The sacrifice HE gave for his children!!! So I can do this and with GOD helping me through each day I will have my moment soon of being with Yura again! Oh, what a day that will be! My prayer through this all is that GOD receives all the praise and glory for this amazing journey we are on. I pray that each of you realize ,not only in Ukraine but all over the world,right here in our own community there are "the least of these" we are called to care for ,that need to be shown a Christ like love . Show that Love ,Spread that Love!
Today, my son Yura, wrote to me saying " Im sad and crying ,but I pray every day for you!" Yes, tears started but to know he is praying for us ,as much as we are him its a wonderful feeling...he makes me so proud already to be his mother. Please continue to pray for our journey .
If you would like to help we have several upcoming events :
1) Boston Butt Sales ! Ready in time for labor day ! Sales end tomorrow !!!!!
2) South Hill Designs- I am now selling these unique ,special necklaces that are a great gift ! Please check out my facebook page at South Hill Designs-Tanya Gothard for more info!!
3) We will be selling AL and AU jewelry and other items at Swedish Festival on Oct 12.
4) We will be holding a community wide Fall Festival on Oct 19 at Jemison City Park with inflatables, hayrides,food,music and MUCH more!!
5) Raffling off 2 tickets to an Alabama game.
6) 5K Fun Run sometime in November!!
7) Adoption Tshirts coming soon!!!
We are busy!!!! We appreciate all your support and prayers!! God Bless each of you!!!!
Well today was a very emotional one. I contacted Tanya to see how her day was going, and she told me she could barely speak because she'd been crying all morning. I asked her what was it, she said there is a video from Jennifer Taylor (friend from Bridges of Faith), and that she had saw Yura and recorded a video from him. I immediately logged on and the video loaded. Yura says very clearly in english.."I miss you.....Tanya, Scott, Tyler, Anna..I love you...Bye!". This was awesome!! I can't explain it other than I guess you'd have to be in our shoes. I never fully understood how others who are in this process could love another person like they do their own child so quickly, let alone step out of their comfort zone and throw caution to the wind and I never understood how they felt in their heart, the longing to have the child they were adopting here so much...until now. God is revealing to me through this that He already knows the outcome and that all the days were written for me and my family, before even one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16) I absolutely cannot wait until the day comes where Yura is home with us. I cannot wait to be his daddy. To God be all the Glory!
GET YOUR LEMONADE!!
Our first fundraiser was a success today!! God is amazing and it's him that worked through each and every donation we were given today! To God be all the glory!!! I am amazed at what we received at a lemonade stand today,and so thankful!!!! Yura is blessed already to be loved by each of you so much to give finacially and just to be there to help us thru the journey!!! We spoke to Yura briefly this morning, the kids wanted to talk to their brother! Yura was napping but we did get in our " I love you's" Thank you all again for helping us bring Yura home! We could not do it without you!!!
There may be pain in the night......but JOY comes in the morning!!!
This week has been challenging and I know many more are ahead. Overwhelmed ,tired and stressed. Planning and promoting so many fundraisers is a challange in itself! Trying to keep them all straight and hoping for the best results.Our medicals we had done ,I have to go have the papers re-done because they forgot to notorize one of the papers....everything has to be done just right or they will reject our papers,and we DONT want that to happen and cause a longer delay! I find myself exhausted by bedtime,emotionally and physically! I find myself sometimes wanting to just take a break from it all!!!! BUT a break is another day lost without Yura! Its like I can hear a whisper from God saying ,keep moving,you can do this,I am with you every step! I went to bed last night,probably the most stressed I've ever been in awhile!
I get up this morning , and I got ready as fast as I could because I wanted to talk to Yura before I got started with my day! I woke up missing him more than usual this morning. As the phone rings,Im praying , "Just please let him answer!!!" I hear "Hello" but it wasn't Yura's voice....it was Dima! For the ones of you that were at Bridgestone and met the kids,you know we had ,especially Scott ,a bond with Dima. Dima had me laughing before 7:00 this morning. These kids are awesome! Scott and I talked and laughed with Dima and then Dima in return helped us talk with Yura ,helped us translate some.
Yura's main question today was "When are you coming for me?" "When are you getting on the plane for Ukraine?" .....Hearing that,gives me the strength I need to keep pushing,keep going! Yura's favorite word when he was here in the US was "tomorrow?" He always wanted to make sure I was coming back....not much has changed:) As he kept asking "tomorrow?" , The answer to his question is not tomorrow but soon! And each day that passes is another day closer and soon my answer to his "tomorrow" will be YES ,tomorrow!!!
I can't thank everyone enough for their support and generosity! Please continue to pray for no speed bumps in the process, for Yura as he waits for his tomorrow,and for God to prepare the hearts of those who are meant to give. God Bless you all!!!
Today...Today has been a great day! We heard from Yura! My morning began with hearing a sweet voice miles and miles away telling me " I miss you " I love you" Yura spoke with Anna,I love to here them talk and laugh with each other. Tyler was still sound asleep this morning but Yura said several times "Tyler...I love you" He didnt get to speak to Tyler but had to make sure he knew he loved him also. I love Yura's heart...after all he has been through..he can still love. Talking to Scott...his dad...something he has never had but does now :)He assured me he was ok . If you know me well...you know Im a worry wart when it comes to my kids! Worrying is my greatest sin!! My struggle....but Im learning so much through this process what Faith is all about!! Faith is believing and KNOWING God has his hand on Yura and is taking better care of him than I ever could! At the same time,keeping our family strong through this emotional ride! Believe me the Devil has tried to place doubt in my mind, tell me I will never raise this money,the guilt of leaving my kids for weeks at a time, I know God brought me to this and will bring me and my family through this!! Pictures of Yura,the braclet he placed on my arm, and today hearing his voice makes me push harder!!!
Pushing forward consist of planning SEVERAL fundraisers tonight!! Please be in prayer for each of them and dates will be annouced as they are finalized. For know we will be having the Lemonade Stand Saturday from 8am-11am,this is Tyler and Anna's contribution and effort toward bringing their brother home!!! We will be selling Boston Butt tickets soon for 30.00 each. They will be ready to pick up and have for Labor Day weekend!! Many Many other things are still to come and being finalized. I will keep you updated !! Again please be in prayer for each one and God bless you for your prayers and support in this journey. Lots of Love,Tanya James 1:27
ONE BUSY WEEK!!!
Last week Scott and I took what we called a "vacation" week....except we went NOWHERE. Well, we did but it consist of Dr office for medicals, Post Office for Passports,picking up referrals sitting here filling out countless forms, writing autobiographies , planning fundraisers,etc....but every step we make is one step closer to bringing Yura home!! We have so far been blessed in so many ways! We had someone unknown pay for our home study,HUGE blessing!! We have received $1,695.00 so far towards our goal!!! Thats awesome! Although we have a long way to go , I have complete faith GOD will provide every dollar we need when we need it!! Please continue to pray for our family, for an easy (as easy it can be) road with all the paperwork,for Yura, and to GOD be all the glory!!!
On a side note! I received Yura's phone number today and for the first time since he left I will get to call him tomorrow!!! Pray he answers!!!! Thank you all for supporting us on our journey! Our first fundraiser will be this Saturday, Tyler and Anna will be setting up a lemonade stand at the Jemison Piggly Wiggly from 8am-11am. Come have a cup!!
I have posted a pic of the braclet and the picture Yura gave me mentioned in my story!
Through a mother's eyes....by Tanya
I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you my story of watching God open doors that lead me to finding Yura, and changed our family forever!!
Few months back I started praying for God to open doors for Scott and I.I felt like we should be doing more, more than what we were doing. Going back a couple of months...I had been going to the doctor and he had determined that I needed a hysterectomy. For some reason, even though I have been blessed with two beautiful children, I felt devastated! I was so upset over hearing this news. Most are aware, Scott and I could not possibly have anymore children, so I didn’t know why this was such a big deal. I remember that day Scott saying to me maybe this means we are meant to adopt someone! I went on and scheduled to have my surgery on June 12. As weeks went on, and I spent alot of time praying about this surgery, I could NOT get a peace about it. Scott blamed it on me being scared, and even though I was nervous...this was different.
In the middle of all this, Tyler, my son made All-Stars, and if you know me I don’t like to miss anything my kids do! So, I took this as my excuse to cancel surgery.
While I’m continually praying daily for those open doors, it was getting close to time for the orphans to arrive! I love this ministry that Bridges of Faith does. We have met so many wonderful children from the Ukraine, and people that sacrifice everything to make this possible for these kids. To teach them about God and to let them experience things, otherwise they would never experience! So, on Memorial Day, we were spending time with family and later that afternoon I couldn’t take it anymore I was ready to go meet those kids!!! We head down to Bridgestone that night. It was kind of crazy, as always at dinner time. Kids running and playing so I didn’t get much one on one time with any of them. I love just watching them play and interact with each other.
On May 28, I was invited by Shannon Davison, a good family friend to come experience the shopping trip with the kids at Kohl’s! I went, and Shannon and I were paired with a little guy, also known as the Brian Jones look alike, Yura! He was precious! I loved every minute of this shopping trip! Yura was so much fun. I remember on my drive home that night, crying all the way home!!! I could not get Yura off my mind. I came home telling Scott to get ready because Bridgestone is where I would be as much as I could be there!! I also, asked him that night” What if God is calling us to adopt from the Ukraine" His reply was “If God is calling us, then that’s what we will do!"
The more I went there, the more I couldn’t stand being away from these 8 precious kids! I loved each of them....Yura and I bonded more and more. I cried daily over him. I prayed several times a day. Is Yura meant to be my child? Then as us humans tend to do, I asked God; you need to send me a clear sign. Is this your will? Or is this me just feeling love for a child? I want to make sure this is what I’m supposed to do. I asked God, give me a direct and clear sign...that I’m meant to be Yura’s mom. Well, when you ask...get ready! That very night, we went to Bridgestone Yura and I was playing at the pool. Yura calls Tonya, the translator for the kids and also someone we LOVE very much and grew close to, over to the pool. Yura says something to her and she smiles. I asked her what did Yura say? She said " Yura said he wants you to be his mama" There is my sign! Being that Bridgestone is not an adoption agency but a cultural exchange program. We do not speak of adoption with the kids, all I could do was smile, and hug him and walk off not believing what I was asked. I knew from that day forward Yura is my son! He belongs with our family! In the meantime, Scott is praying and searching for answers also. He couldn’t understand why at the time he was not feeling what I was feeling but I knew it would happen! On Gods timing! Yura, and obvious "mama's boy" clung to me most of the time, so Scott didn’t get much time with him.
Then one day I got asked, would you and Scott like to be house parents? We are needing someone June 12 and 13...if you remember this is when I was scheduled to have surgery and cancelled it...I truly believe this is why I could not have peace about the surgery, because I would have missed out on the experience that changed my life forever! This was our family’s time to be with the kids and hopefully find answers! As soon as Yura found out I was going to be houseparent, he asked EVERY DAY, will you be house parent tomorrow? He always had to make sure we were coming back:)
June 12 finally arrived! I could not wait!!!! We did several activities with the kids, too many to mention at the moment but clips will be shown in a video later on! It was the best experience, we were tired, but we felt like we had 8 more kids after leaving and did not want to leave them! We fell in love with each of them...such great kids. I miss them dearly! Some of my highlights with Yura were watching him and Tyler get ready together and him trying to spike his hair up like him!! Yura became protective over Anna and help take care of her alot.That Wed night, June 12, it was late, we were getting everyone settled for bed and the kids were watching a movie to settle down for bed. We were all sitting around and Yura and Tyler came and sat in my lap and Yura wrapped Tyler up in a blanket…they cuddled together, and I felt like the luckiest person on earth! I thought these are MY BOYS!! We went to Tuscaloosa the next day with the kids, and got to shop again. This time Yura wasn’t paired with me but was glued to my buggy and meant I was to be his shopping buddy. I watched him help Anna into the buggy and buckle her in….thinking what a good big brother he already was. We had so much fun shopping! Then the time come to say good bye…and for the ones that have been around Yura, he has this pouty face he likes to give …and it will melt your heart! It was hard to leave but I assured him I would see him again in 2 days! And we did!!
Time was drawing near fast for them to leave. Scott was still praying and searching. The Friday night before they left we had the Ukrainian dinner! Girls were dressed up so beautifully and they prepared our meal that night. With each group that comes, we get to experience this and eat food in which they have in the Ukraine. Great experience in its self! That night Scott and I was sitting by Yura. I noticed his braclet; it had his name and James 1:27 on it. I looked at Scott and asked “What does that verse say?” He wasn’t sure and was busy talking so my question never got answered. Bedtime was drawing near…kids had to make their way back to Centerpoint where they stay. We followed them back and helped unload some food. We had bought Yura a suitcase and had to take it in with him. When we pull up, Yura is waiting on the front porch…with very sad eyes. As I mentioned earlier, we are not allowed to discuss adoption with the kids…Yura was asking “Will you be my family” We danced around this question every way we knew how. Scott telling him “Yura, pray about this” “We love you and care for you” …but not getting the straight “yes” his heart was broken. Yura broke down crying and went to his room. I can not explain how hard it was for me to see this! Wanting to comfort him and make it all better! This was the most heart breaking experience of my life! Scott and I did the only thing we knew to do…we prayed with him and assured him he was very loved by our family and GOD has a perfect plan! We left there and pretty much rode home in silence. We arrived at home. Anna was asleep. Tyler was awake waiting on us in his bed. I was emotionally drained so I went straight to bed. Scott went to tuck Tyler in. When we woke Saturday morning, our last day with Yura, we both woke with such a peace…a calming peace. Scott shared with me, that when he went in to tell Tyler good night, he asked Tyler to pray for our family. Tyler asked if it was about Yura. Scott then asked him, ”Son, what do you think about us adopting Yura? “Tyler then replied “We should! Daddy you know what James 1:27 says!” YEP,that’s right the same verse that was on Yura’s bracelet…Tyler went on to say…”James 1:27 says we are to take care of the orphans, if we adopt Yura, we’d be serving God and we are doing what God has instructed us to do” WOW…talk about God speaking through a child. We both knew at this time I believe…Yura is our son! We had a great day with him Saturday, he drew me a picture. Picture with no words but said so much! It was a broken heart, stiched back together! Yura also gave me his bracelet. That picture is still on my frig and his bracelet is worn on my wrist everyday! Saying goodbye at the airport was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.Yura had tears streaming down his face, saying he didn’t want to go. I have to admit…it was too hard to let him leave wandering what would happen next. I won’t ever forget the moment…Scott hit his knees, telling Yura “Yura you ARE my son” “I will love you like I love Tyler and Anna” “we are coming for you” Yura cried harder and harder…you see Yura has never had a father figure in his life, his mother has passed away. Yura craves love…and we are here to love him and show him what family is about! God is still opening doors…we remain strong in our faith, even on the hard days, and we work on paperwork daily to get him home to us as soon as we can. We know God will somehow provide the money. This is Gods will…his plan…his puzzle he is piecing together! We owe him all the Glory!! Because we know ….Yura will be back with us soon. Until then, please pray for Yura, our family and this process!