The Russian Club bands together to help a couple bring a girl into their family.
Within the next year a new child will be arriving, but this one won’t be coming by stork. She’ll be coming by airplane all the way from Ukraine to the U.S.
This past Tuesday evening, Nov. 1, guests filled the Ragan Theater to support the adoption of 14-year-old Tanya. Tanya’s prospective new family, the Bahrs, organized the event with the help of the UVU Russian club and others.
They recruited a variety of singing and dancing groups to put on a night of international music and dance as a benefit concert to continue raising funds for adopting Tanya.
As guests entered the theater they were met with the Tanya’s smiling face pictured on the theater’s screen. Surrounding Tanya’s face was printed “Thank you for helping us bring Tanya home. This is the story of how we fell in love with our angel.”
The lights and chatter dimmed as the announcer took the stage to introduce the Bahr family. Jeffrey and Vira Bahr, Tanya’s parents-to-be, told the story of how Tanya first came into their lives.
Tanya arrived with a small group of orphans from Ukraine on a visit to the U.S. a few months ago.
The Bahrs were Tanya’s host family and quickly bonded with her. Due to a lack of financial means, the Bahr family had not initially considered adopting any of the visiting orphans. However, as love between the Bahrs and Tanya grew, they decided to do whatever it took to raise the money to adopt her as their daughter.
The Bahrs need to raise between $35,000-$40,000 for the adoption. They have currently raised about $10,000 through various fundraisers, including the international music and dance concert Tuesday night. Tanya is back in Ukraine, but the Bahrs hope to bring her home within the next year.
During the Tuesday benefit concert, each group that took the stage was met with applause. The evening featured American, Celtic and Eastern European-style performing groups ranging from the Shelley Irish Dance group to the BYU Russian Choir. Other performers included the 15-time national champion dance group Rocky Mountain Express Cloggers, violinist Donna Fairbanks with pianist Jayne Galloway, UVU Honors Vocal Jazz Octet, the BYU Celtic Band, vocalist and pianist Bryndon Belnap and the Narodna International Folk Dance group.
The concert’s mix of cultural styles echoed the Bahrs’ hope to unite two cultures within their home.
The Bahrs once again took the stage following the last performance. Translating some of the words of the final song, sung in Russian, Vira Bahr reminded the audience “If you are happy, share your happiness with others.” The Bahrs then invited the performers back to the stage for a final round of applause.
After the concert, guests were invited to sponsor a puzzle piece for $2 to continue raising funds for Tanya’s adoption. The name of each sponsor will be written on the back of the puzzle, which will complete a picture of the Bahr family with Tanya.
For updates from the Bahr family or to donate to their adoption fund, visit BahrFamilyAdoption.blogspot.com.