Sunday, April 15, 2007
Billy Graham - the pillar of Christianity for many....has sacrificed his own grandchildDaughter of the Rev. Billy Graham to speak at adoption fundraiser
Dana Clark Felty | Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 12:30 am | (see enhanced version)
Fear and uncertainty can overwhelm any family dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.
The family of legendary evangelist Billy Graham is no exception.
When Graham's daughter, Ruth Graham, learned her 16-year-old daughter had become pregnant out of wedlock, she was hurt and terrified.
"The statistics are not on the side of single parents. They're just not," Graham said in an interview. "The tug of your heart is you want to raise that child. But I also know that when you truly love someone, you want what's best for them, even if that doesn't include you."
Graham's daughter decided to give the child up for adoption.
Now Graham works to encourage other unwed women to consider the same solution as an alternative to abortion.
"I know the heartache of that. But I also know the joy of knowing my daughter did the best possible thing for that child," she said.
On Tuesday, Graham will be in Savannah to talk about her family's experience and to support the mission of Covenant Care Services Fifth Annual Fund Raising Adoptions Banquet.
The dinner takes place at The Armstrong Center, formerly the Publix Shopping Center at Abercorn and Apache streets.
Covenant Care Services Inc. is a Macon-based nonprofit agency that adopts unwanted children to two-parent Christian homes.
The agency employs five caseworkers around the state who counsel pregnant women who are considering adoption. One of those caseworkers works in Savannah and surrounding areas.
"A lot of the money that will be generated at that event will financially support us having a caseworker there," said Loren Rae Easterling, a director at Covenant Care.
Graham said she has worked in support of many programs like Covenant Care that counsel unwed pregnant women interested in adoption and provide unwanted children to prospective parents.
"I really think that's the best option, but it's an option we don't talk about a whole lot. It's really the forgotten piece," she said.
Graham is one of five children of evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham and his wife Ruth. Rev. Graham, 88, and his wife, who is bedridden, live in the mountains of western North Carolina.
Ruth Graham lives in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and tours the country speaking in support of Christian programs. She has also authored a children's Bible storybook and contributed to several articles on faith.
A letter-writing opportunity!
As one Catholic friend said: I used to respect the guy as being more sincere than the current crop of televangelists.
Here is my letter. I hope each of you writes!
I am writing regarding Ruth Graham – and others – who work to encourage “unwed” women to consider adoption “as an alternative to abortion” as if there were no other alternative.
The term “unwed mother” is outdated and pejorative. Single parenthood is very viable option and many single women are parents by choice, even through adoption…which Graham promotes.
More importantly, adoption – the legal abandonment and permanent dissolution of the parent-child relationship, should be a last resort. UNICEF recently said: “Families needing support to care for their children should receive it, and that alternative means of caring for a child [i.e adoption] should only be considered when, despite this assistance, a child’s family is unavailable.”
What a shame Graham could not find it in her heart to support her daughter and her grandchild; to do the loving “Christian” thing and care for them, love them and provide them rather than give her grandchild away to strangers. Jesus taught caring for orphans, not creating and encouraging more!
Graham says that she knows her daughter did the right thing. I wonder if her daughter agrees? I wonder how her daughter will feel as years go by and she pines away the unresolveable, lifelong limbo loss of her child? And, most importantly, I wonder if Graham’s grandchild – the great grandchild of Billy Graham - will agree that it was the “right” or “best” thing...when surely the Grahams have the resources to raise this child and not banish the child for “sins” of the father.
Mothers in crisis pregnancies – and their families - need to reach out for support to prevent tragic separations such as this. Concerned United Birthparents www.CUBirthparents.org and Parents & Professionals for Family Preservation and Protection www.ppffpp.org
PS On the subject of pro-adoption radicals...word is that what the NCFA is claiming that "demonstrators" were removed by the police at Lincoln Center on April 11th. I and Jessica D. were there and saw neither any demonstrators, demonstration, or police!