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Adoption: Thriving is better than dying


No one is better off dead. We’re all better off loved.

As someone adopted from the foster care system, I reject the pro-abortion rhetoric that abortion is somehow a better option than adoption.

People invoke the “but-what-about-trauma” defense as if that should shut down any conversation. Killing another innocent human being is traumatic. Violently being deprived of life (whether the unborn child or the mother killed via a botched abortion) is traumatic.

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This ad to vote against Ohio’s radical Issue 1 exposes fake feminism’s willingness to look the other way when women die from abortion brutality. Thankfully, Created Equal and the pro-life movement do. We care about mother, father and child, born and unborn.

I could have been one of those nameless, faceless victims. I was conceived in rape but adopted in love. My birth mom’s courage set off reverberations that will last for generations. The most beautiful reverberations are my family: my amazing wife and four kiddos (two of whom were also adopted).

I wasn’t better off dead. Instead, I’m able to show how the beauty of adoption enables triumph to rise from tragedy. I have nine other siblings (out of the 12) who were also adopted. Their broken narratives met a breakthrough with two parents whose love helped to change the trajectories of our lives. No. It wasn’t easy. Life isn’t easy for biological children, unless, of course, I missed the memo. Adoption is a challenge for many reasons, but I’ve witnessed how it brings wholeness and healing to trauma that needs to become a reference point, not a resting place.

It reminds me of when Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles proclaimed in 2021 on Instagram that she was “very pro-choice.” The most decorated gymnast in history, adopted out of the foster care system by her grandparents, supports the violence of abortion. It’s hard to wrap my mind around that. She is the tangible example of what I call the Beauty of Possibility yet uses her global platform to promote death over life for others. She gave some lame reasons for supporting abortion: “your body, your choice … adoption is expensive … foster care system is broken and it’s TOUGH.” Never mind the irony in that same post where she condemned people who didn’t allow themselves to be forced to wear useless masks to prevent COVID. So much for “your body, your choice”!

Yes, the foster care system is broken. So is our government. So are churches. So is the USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (you know, the ones that allowed the now-incarcerated Dr. Larry Nassar to abuse female gymnasts for years). But guess what? You don’t punish the victims. You punish those who cause the injustice. You revamp broken human systems so that the innocent can flourish. You don’t kill them.

Yes. Life is tough. Life isn’t struggle-free. Quite honestly, adversity makes us better human beings, whether experiencing it ourselves or elevating others above it. It’s why adoption is so precious to me. In both the spiritual and the physical, it helps restore what’s broken. And like anything else in life, it’s not a quick fix. Sometimes it takes a lifetime, but the beautiful part is that person is alive. Adoption is a mercy-filled expression of our humanity. Supporting birthparents before, during and after making an adoption plan is key. We can never forget them in the adoption triad. Adoptive parents need a network of family and friends to help strengthen them in their journey. And adoptees, like my children and me, need to know that we’re loved, safe, and in a forever place.

My friend and colleague Melissa Ohden, a saline abortion survivor and adoptee, explains it beautifully: “Adoption is an option everyone can live with.” 

Yet, mainstream media in its blatant pro-abortion advocacy has been demonizing adoption increasingly since the overturn of Roe (here, here and here). Academia has chimed in too. Anti-racism zealot and NY Times best-selling author, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, refers to white parents who adopt “transracially” as “white colonizers” who use black children as “props.” Clearly, he knows as much about adoption as he knows about running the beleaguered multi-million dollar anti-racism center at Boston University. Since when do you have to be the same color to love another human being? Funny how progressives always seem to move backward in time.

I was adopted by white parents who didn’t have some savior complex; they had a love reflex. This, apparently, is foreign territory for those like Kendi who pontificate academically regarding something they know nothing about personally. My selfless parents are the reason why many in my family, including several of my nieces and nephews, have opened their hearts and their homes to adoption. When my father tragically passed away on January 22, 2021, our organization — The Radiance Foundation — created the Henry & Andrea Bomberger Adopted and Loved Fund to honor my parents’ legacy of love. We want to help Christian families seeking to adopt by awarding grants to help cover what are becoming increasingly exorbitant costs. Yes, Simone. Adoption can, sometimes, be expensive. So are cars, houses, college tuition, and training to be an Olympian. What is the cost of an erased life? Imagine the world without Steve Jobs, Faith Hill, Dave Thomas, Babe Ruth or Simone Biles ever existing.

The National Adoption Council’s most recent stats show there were 95,306 adoptions in 2020 (due in large part to COVID), down from 115,353 in 2019. Sadly, these numbers have been falling due to drastically lower international adoptions for years as abortion numbers keep rising. In 2020, there were 930,160 abortions. For every one child adopted, there were 10 children aborted. Violence doesn’t help the vulnerable thrive.   

That could’ve been me. That could’ve been my children. It’s why I devote my life to fighting the injustice of abortion as I simultaneously help raise millions for pregnancy centers, maternity homes and adoption agencies across the nation. I was adopted and loved. And I want that victory for so many more.

Ryan Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation. He is happily married to his best friend, Bethany, who is the Executive Director of Radiance. They are adoptive parents with four awesome kiddos. Ryan is an Emmy Award-winning creative professional, factivist, international public speaker and author of NOT EQUAL: CIVIL RIGHTS GONE WRONG. He loves illuminating that every human life has purpose.

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