National Adoption Month ends today. We’ve reported it both through WORLD articles and through a four-part series on our radio program The World and Everything in It (see audio players at the end of this article).
We’re strongly pro-adoption, but we recognize that adopted children frequently have questions about identity and love. Ryan Scott Bomberger, the co-founder and chief creative officer of the Atlanta-based Radiance Foundation, deals with such questions in the letter below, which we reprint with permission.
“Recently, I received an email from a father who told me of his love for his adopted son, Elijah,” Bomberger recounts on the foundation’s website. “He wanted me to share a little of my experience, as an adoptee, with his amazing 8-year-old who was struggling with the same questions I had when I was a kid. So, I thought I’d write him a letter.”
Bomberger was conceived in rape. His mother decided not to abort him, and a loving couple adopted him.
Radiance is best known for erecting large billboards that call attention to the abortion industry’s targeting of black babies. We plan to publish an in-depth interview with Bomberger, one of the most creative persons in the pro-life movement, in our annual Roe v. Wade issue in January. —Marvin Olasky
I know I have not met you or your family yet, but I hope that one day we will have that chance. Your dad and I have become friends over email and he has shared with me how much he loves you and how special you are to your family.
I wanted to write to you because, like you, I am adopted. In fact I grew up in a family with 13 kids … 10 of us were adopted! Talk about different … we were different! Our family was huge and all of the adopted kids were different ethnicities: black, white, mixed, Vietnamese, and Native American. Nobody in our whole town had a family that looked like ours. People would just stare at us.
You are not alone. I know it may seem like it sometimes. What you feel is what so many others felt at one time in their lives. When you’re adopted, you’re going to have questions. It’s as normal as breathing. There are a lot of questions of “why” and sometimes no answers.
You know what I have found though? After all of the wondering, there is one REALLY REALLY REALLY big question that matters the most. Am I loved?
And the answer, if I could blast some speakers with some crazy loud music, is a ridiculous unquestionable “YES! YES! YES! YOU ARE LOVED!” And I just don’t mean by your parents. (Cuz your parents love you. My parents loved the mess out of me too … even when I was a big pain in the butt.) I mean being loved by someone who loved you before anyone else had the chance! God. He created you. Special. Unique. One-of-a-kind. Complete with all of those little quirks that make you, you. Psalm 139 says He “knit you together in your mother’s womb.” Look. God wove together every thread that would become Elijah. And He knew that the mommy that would give you Life loved you enough to know that she wanted a better life for you than she could give. She never even considered abortion, because she knew, deep in her heart, that God had great things in store for you.
So, she gave the most awesome gift to your parents. You! When you truly love someone, you always try to do what’s best for them. And your birth mom made a brave decision. Mine did, too. It was the best thing for us! (We even created a new website to show many others who are just like us at AdoptedandLoved.com!)
Your parents love you beyond your imagination, Elijah. More than chocolate. More than movies. More than Disney World. More than anything your lil’ mind can come up with. They chose you, even though your caramel color is different than their own and your hair may not look like theirs. They chose you because they loved you when you were only an idea in their mind, a possibility in their heart. And when they held you for the first time, forget about it! Just like my mom and dad, BOOM! That was it. Nothing could ever break that bond of love.
There are millions like you who wonder and may need a reminder that their adoption was the best gift ever. Your family will never be the same because you’re in it. Your friends, your school, your church are all different—better—because Elijah is in the mix!
One day, you will understand how adoption made God’s purpose for your life shine through. Just like you, the family and friends God has placed in my life make every day an adventure worth taking. They help create memories that remind me in case I were to ever forget that I … am … special.
And Elijah. So are you. From one adoptee to another, I created the video “One In 7 Billion” [see below] to tell you that there’s no one like you.
Greatness is in your future!