Champion of Choosing Life is Celebrated
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LEGACY OF LIFE
Ryan’s story is featured in an inspiring new book which highlights 50 of America’s most respected national influencers of the pro-life movement from the past five decades. This table top book is a commemorative limited edition hardcover created to inspire the next great leaders for the unborn. “Ryan is a walking testament to the power of a mother’s love and of adoption’s life saving, life changing impact. His story encapsulataes the beauty of embracing life, no matter the circumstances.” (Alison H. Centofante, The Legacy Book). The honorees in the book were not revealed before the book’s launch in June. “I’m so unbelieveably honored to be included in this book,” shares Ryan. Some of the other honorees featured in the book are Al Mohler, Robert George, Michael Farris, Tony Perkins, and Star Parker.
John Stemberger, attorney and pro-life advocate for 38 years, is the author of the book. He wrote it to honor, educate, and inspire others regarding the issue of pro-life. “Moral and spiritual darkness reigned in America for fifty years after the Roe v. Wade decision. But on June 24, 2022, light pierced the darkness. It did not destroy the darkness completely, but a new light of hope now shines in the great struggle to end the atrocity of abortion in America,” shares John. He chose to put together this book to give people a visual reminder of some of the greatest pro-life leaders of the past half century who helped to change the course of history because they refused to give up.
Ryan’s biological mom was raped in her early twenties, yet she gave him a chance to live. At six weeks old, he was adopted and grew up in a Christian transracial home in Pennsylvania with 12 other siblings – 10 of whom were adopted, including him. With siblings of varying ethnicities, he grew up with a great appreciation for diversity.
At 13, Ryan found out his biological mom was raped. The news devastated him. “Had I not felt the love of my parents, I would have fallen apart,” says Ryan. “The whole narrative of my life, who I thought I was, was destroyed. It was one of those defining moments.” Shortly thereafter, Ryan had to give a persuasive speech in school about abortion. “I told my story and watched everyone’s reactions,” he says. “It was then I understood I had a story to tell, and needed to tell it, but didn’t know how I was going to tell it.” To date, Ryan has never met his biological mom.
IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER
Prayer is so important and necessary in the fight for life. “We believe that our prayers play a part in this vital movement to affirm every life, without regard to age, race, ethnicity, beliefs or any other differences,” shares Ryan and his wife, Bethany. Everyone can play a role in changing the course of our history by taking time to: (1) Pray that human life would be valued by our country, regardless of circumstances; (2) Pray for the end of abortion in all states; (3) Pray for the pregnancy resource centers who are helping women facing an unplanned pregnancy; and (4) Pray for political and church leaders, and that they would be willing to stand up for life.
As Ryan addresses the spiritual, moral, and cultural dynamics of abortion, adoption, fatherlessness, natural marriage, racism, poverty, and LGBTQ activism sometimes his researched remarks upset organizations, such as the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. They sued Ryan and The Radiance Foundation for exercising their First Amendment right to parody the organization’s name. With the incredible help of Alliance Defending Freedom, The Radiance Foundation was victorious after two years in federal court. Prayer was needed every step of the way in this court battle. (This court battle initially took place in Norfolk, VA.)
Ryan and his wife, Bethany, have four children, two of whom are adopted. Prayer was a key component in the adoption of Ryan’s oldest daughter Radiance (Bethany’s biological daughter from a previous relationship). The father did not want the baby. He encouraged Bethany to have an abortion, but she chose life for her daughter. Ryan and Bethany were married when Radiance was one year old. After four years of court battles over parental rights, Ryan was finally able to adopt Radiance. Together they had to trust God that He would protect Radiance and allow her to be raised by loving parents.
Today Ryan and Bethany are the Founders and Executive Directors of The Radiance Foundation, a life-affirming organization that creatively illuminates that life has purpose. Together they educate people on social issues through their organization utilizing billboards, media, events and other means to inspire people to find their God-given purpose.
His creative vision has been a driving force elevating the entire pro-life movement’s approach to sharing the message of life. His first ad campaign exposed abortion’s hugely disproportionate impact on the Black community. The bold billboards and web campaigns of Too Many Aborted, made a huge impact. He says, “They highlighted that the secular world continued to treat Black children as less than worth protecting, as less than worthy of human rights.” The effort received massive media coverage from The New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, CNN, MSNBC, the Associated Press, Washington Times, Fox News, and across social media.
The coverage enabled Ryan to share his story with millions. He has also worked with civil rights leaders such as Dr. Alveda King to defund Planned Parenthood by illuminating its human rights injustices. Ryan has traveled the country to help pregnancy resource centers raise millions of dollars at fundraising events to support women and their born and unborn children.
**He and Bethany co-authored the children’s book, She is She (released in 2022) and He is He which will be released in the fall of 2023.
Visit The Radiance Foundation's website, radiancefoundation.org, to find out more about the amazing work Ryan and Bethany are doing.
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