“First comes marriage, then the baby carriage.”
As the playground rhyme declares, even children recognize how marriage and newborn life are tightly intertwined. In the pro-life movement, marriage can magnify the importance of life.
Organizations of all kinds in the pro-life movement stand against the injustice of abortion and illuminate the sanctity of life. Oftentimes God uses marriage as the foundation to bring that message of hope and life. This can be through biological children, adoption, foster parenting, or a couple’s life work in bringing hope and meaning to others.
Unified in love, these five couples have committed their lives to each other – and to stand for life.
Isaac and Telma Weisman
Photo: Steven Michael Photography
The love story of Isaac and Telma Weisman is a beautiful example of what can happen when someone loves a child through adoption.
Telma never imagined that she would ever find love and get married. Her life began with hardship. Born with severe scoliosis in the Marshall Islands, she was given away by her birth mother at three months old. While growing up, Telma was passed around to several caretakers before she found herself orphaned and fending for herself.
But God had a better plan for Telma’s life and it all started when she met a missionary couple named Derek and Reneé Loux. The Loux family had biological children of their own but were adopting twin daughters from the Islands. Telma was invited to stay with Derek and Reneé and immediately felt loved by them. But when the Loux family had to leave to go back to the states, Telma was heartbroken.
“When they had to leave, I was devastated,” Telma shared in her Bound4LIFE adoption story. “Reneé held my face and wiped my tears, promising to find me the help I needed. I didn’t really think it would happen, but Reneé kept her promise. Six months later, I was part of Reneé and Derek’s family.”
After adopting Telma, Derek and Reneé started a ministry called the Orphan Justice Center and adopted other children around the world. God provided Telma the love of a family through adoption. “God allowed me to experience His amazing love as a daughter and to experience the joy of being loved,” Telma testified.
Tragically, Derek Loux, Telma’s adopted father for 7 years, died in a car accident. Telma lost the man in her life that showed her unconditional love; yet God once again brought redemption into Telma’s life. On August 25, 2012, on what would have been her dad’s 40th birthday, Telma married the new love in her life: Isaac Weisman.
It’s amazing how God can use the love of adoption to bring joy and hope for someone’s future. Telma is a miraculous example of how adoption can change a life story. Adoption was the answer for Telma and she believes it’s the answer for abortion.
In 2014, the Weismans welcomed another miracle into their lives through the birth of a baby girl. The joy of life multiplies in so many ways through the love of adoption.
Ryan and Bethany Bomberger
Photo Courtesy of Ryan Bomberger
Ryan and Bethany Bomberger, co-founders of The Radiance Foundation, actually fell in love over the Life issue.
It was 1999 and little did they know that the cause that would be their life’s focus would also bring them together. Ryan was the lead singer in an R&B Gospel group, sa’real, and was headlining a benefit concert for a local pregnancy care center. They partnered with Regent University (where Ryan had just graduated and Bethany had just begun to attend) to help promote the event. An initial planning meeting was scheduled in one of the Law School conference rooms.
“I saw Ryan come in and thought… who is that???” Bethany exclaims. “And I turned to my roommate, who was also on the planning committee, and said ‘He’s not wearing a ring!’” Bethany continued to explain that the remark just slipped out. She wasn’t the kind of girl to go all ga-ga over a guy at first sight, but the reaction is what it is so to speak.
Ryan describes his “love at first sight” encounter: “My heart just started beating like crazy. Whoa. Who is this girl?” Then, throughout the meeting, he realized she was ridiculously funny, full of great ideas, and had that magical New York accent. Who was she?
Ryan and Bethany worked together coordinating several additional concerts. Through this, they also met and quickly became very close to an amazing adoptive family of eleven, the Bollmanns. From Showtime at the Apollo to Good Morning America to Oprah, the not-yet married couple (although many thought they were) traveled and helped to empower the family’s God-given purpose to, literally, touch millions of people.
Although it took 7 long years after that first encounter until they actually tied the knot, in the 9 years that they have been married, their talents continue to illuminate God-given purpose through The Radiance Foundation.
Ryan’s own life story defies the myth of the “unwanted” child. His biological mother was raped but courageously chose life; Ryan was adopted into a multi-racial Christian family of 15.
Taking the message of life with God-given purpose, Ryan and Bethany have reached millions through their creative ad campaigns, powerful multimedia presentations (they keynote over 50 events across the country and abroad), and compassionate community outreaches including via SallysLambs.org.
As parents of biological and adopted children, they love focusing on the beautiful possibility that is emblazoned in every human life.
Matthew and Natalie Brumfield
Photo Courtesy of Natalie Brumfield
Ecclesiastes 4:9 could sum up the love story of Matthew and Natalie Brumfield: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.” In this case, it’s a labor of love as Matthew and Natalie share their life and home with foster children.
Natalie Brumfield has been a strong advocate for the pro-life movement. She has served as the leader of the Bound4LIFE Birmingham Chapter since 2008 and her passion for life has been demonstrated in her pro-life advocacy work and prayer dedication in ending abortion.
But when Natalie met Matt she found a partner who was willing to join her fight in standing against the injustice of abortion. “He was the first guy to ask if he could pray with me outside a clinic,” Natalie remarked to Live Action News. Natalie knew something was different about Matt and in 2012 God joined them as husband and wife to walk out a different calling in their marriage.
Natalie writes about their love story and their journey as foster parents in a recent Bound4LIFE article. She details the joys and trials in the calling that God put on both of their hearts in loving the children placed in their home. “We understand legally we may never have the same last name, but all of them are Brumfield’s to us,” Natalie shares. “There is no secondhand love in our household.”
God’s example of unity in marriage is to walk out His calling as two rather than one. God can use the love between a man and a woman to foster love in others. Matthew and Natalie Brumfield are wonderful examples of how the love of our Father in heaven can be demonstrated through others as earthly mothers and fathers here on earth.
Sam and Sherry Pollinzi
Photo Courtesy of Pollinzi Family
Sam and Sherry Pollinzi are celebrating 25 years of marriage in a love story defined by God’s goodness.
When Sherry met Sam, he was an ex-convict who had served eight years in prison for drug and robbery charges. Sherry had just come out of an abusive marriage and had dealt with alcoholism. But God had a better plan. Love not only united them as husband and wife, but it would direct them to demonstrate that love to women who desperately needed it.
The Pollinzis direct Restored Hope Ministries, a faith-based rehab program in Dallas, Texas that rescues sexually exploited women from prostitution and sex-trafficking – an industry directly linked to the issue of abortion. Many of the women in the program are referred through Dallas County’s prostitution diversion initiative. This initiative treats prostitutes as victims instead of criminals, and helps them get the proper protection and recovery that they need.
“Every woman who comes through this house, their first words when they come and sit down are, ‘I’m trash. I’m no good. I’m used up, worthless – a prostitute, a whore,’” said Sherry in a recent Bound4LIFE interview. “But I respond, ‘That’s what the world may label you, but that’s not what God labels you. He said He created you in His image: He is good, and that means you are good.’”
God’s goodness oftentimes starts with a new plan. Sam and Sherry Pollinzi were united from their dark past to prepare a place of hope for others. Women are being set free from the bondage of sexual exploitation and drug abuse. Babies are being saved from abortion; born into a life of freedom because of Restored Hope Ministries.
God’s plan for marriage is often good in how it can manifest that love outwardly to help others. Sam and Sherry’s love story directly demonstrates the goodness of God’s plan. “We’re the last people who should be teaching people how to get set free,” remarked Sherry. “But God reminds me that He prepared us for this place.”
Joshua and Terri Shepherd
Photo Courtesy of Terri Shepherd
Some couples find each other through the power of prayer. For Josh and Terri Shepherd, prayer was literally their first meeting place and a theme for their love story.
It was a Friday night in Washington D.C. at a prayer meeting where Josh and Terri’s love story began. Both had been called to work in D.C. – Terri at Family Research Council and Josh as a marketing associate for The Heritage Foundation. On this particular Friday night in 2011, Josh and Terri gathered with a group of 20-somethings at the Justice House of Prayer DC to pray for justice, life, and the nation’s leaders.
From that prayer meeting, Josh and Terri became friends and realized that they shared not only an interest in working within the sphere of government – they both had a passion for the unborn and the ending of abortion. Terri’s passion for the unborn led her to pray for the ending of abortion at Bound4LIFE Silent Sieges in front of abortion centers, and prayer has now led Josh in his work in communications at Bound4LIFE.
It was at another prayer event, the 2012 National Day of Prayer gala in Washington D.C, where Josh proposed to Terri among a crowd of more than 300 attendees. Josh and Terri were united in holy matrimony on November 10, 2012.
Martin Luther once said, “Prayer is a strong wall and a fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian weapon.” Josh and Terri Shepherd’s love story was built on prayer and by faith. Together they are committed to engaging with God’s heart through prayer for the ending of abortion and revival in America.