Meant To Be: The Triumph of Life Over Rape And Abortion
How do you thank a woman for making you possible? How do you thank someone who, despite the horror of rape, chose the gift of Life and adoption for you?
I am the one percent that is constantly used 100% percent of the time to justify abortion. But I didn’t end up as an aborted statistic. Instead, I was adopted by Henry and Andrea Bomberger. They saw me for who God meant for me to be. I have a story that’s full of redemption that continues to unfold. Part of that journey is honoring my birthmom. Words seem so insufficient, though. The courage of my birthmom’s singular decision will have reverberations for generations. My four children are a beautiful reminder that she chose to be stronger than her circumstances.
I love to write. Most people who hear me speak or visit The Radiance Foundation’s website know of my passion for words. I credit my mom, an avid reader, for instilling in me such a love for reading and writing. As an adoptee, I found poetry to be a powerful way to express my soul—my joys, my anguish, my defeats and my victories. The outlet of poetry naturally led to songwriting. I’ve penned a lot of songs about faith, race, love and loss over the years. With my background in sound design, I enjoyed crafting the melodies and harmonies. I used to pull all-nighters laying down layers of vocal tracks, trying to get what I was feeling to come to life.
Could I, somehow, express my deep gratitude to my birthmom in a song? What would I say? How could I say it? My heart pounded with the thought of the possibility that maybe, one day, she might hear it.
Do you have a creative space? Mine was my car (before I got married to my amazing wife, Bethany, and added four awesome kiddos to the Bomberger mix…now, it’s definitely a different kind of space). I used to write a lot of my songs while driving. I loved the quiet time to think, especially late at night. I’d capture whatever ideas would come to mind on a recorder or my phone, singing the lyrics and figuring out the melodies. On one return trip from DC I put all of those emotions for my birthmom into a song that would become my anthem. There were a lot of tears on that drive. By the end of that three-and-a-half-hour songwriting session, “Meant to Be” was born. I remember meeting with a friend of mine to play piano to my melody and lyrics. A few hours later, “Meant to Be” was recorded and given a purpose that went beyond my expectations.
Every day you faced the questions
Torn by the lot you had received
Every tear was a reminder
Of how I was conceived
Yet in the middle of the confusion
You found the strength to make it through
And now I can love and be loved
All because of you
This is the second verse, and it sums up one powerful decision. Over the years, I’ve sung this song to thousands, bringing audiences to tears. It’s always hard for me to sing it, because I’ll never stop feeling overwhelmed by the miracle that I am even here. Victors over rape have told me how the song has brought them healing. Students have expressed how it has changed their minds about rape and abortion. Even post-abortive women have shared with me how the song breathed new life into them. I’ve received many emails, comments, voicemails and letters from people impacted by a song that I originally meant for one.
None of us can control the circumstances of our conception. None of us can control much of what happens in our lives, for that matter. But God turns tragedy into triumph all the time. How we rise when we’re faced with the seemingly insurmountable shows the true beauty and resilience of our humanity. In a culture that is constantly searching for meaning, this simple truth is sometimes the most evasive–we’re all meant to be.
I love your song Ryan, and your strength your conviction and your factivism. As a person who only has met Jennifer online, the video has meant an incredible experience to me. I’m really touched, thank you.
Bless you and that wonderful heart of yours.
All my love to you and your family.
Amazing!!! Beautiful!!! Praising God for your/His story, song and ministry, and for Jennifer signing your inspired song as well as others singing it! I’m a Christian wife and mother of 6 on earth, 4 in Heaven (early miscarriages) and a voice and piano teacher and singer. Thank you for this article and for so loving your birth mother and family! God bless you, your wife and 4 children!