Simone Biles U.S. Olympic Gymnast
Simone Biles Adoption
In Summer of 2016, when the Rio Olympic Games were in full swing, the USA had been cheering on athletes to bring home gold in various events. A fan favorite and expected to bring home up to 5 gold medals is elite gymnast, Simone Biles. Simone has achieved so much at just 19 years of age by winning gold at worlds more times than any other gymnast, making her the most decorated in history. She even has a signature move named after her dubbed “The Biles”. Many consider her the greatest gymnast ever (Johnson, 2016).
Besides being unstoppable when competing in gymnastics, Simone and her family have been in the news recently, because Simone was adopted by her maternal grandparents. In 1997, Simone was born to parents addicted to drugs. Her birth father never played a role in Simone’s life, since he walked out on them. Simone and her siblings bounced between state and foster cares for several years. In 2001, Ron and Nellie Biles, Simone’s maternal grandparents, adopted Simone and her sister, Adria (Johnston, 2016). However, Ron and Nellie would not stay grandparents to Simone and her sister for very long. This is Simone’s account of the story:
At the time, the sisters called Ron and Nellie “Grandpa” and “Grandma,” but one day Nellie sat Simone and Adria down for a talk. “She said, ‘It’s up to you guys. If you want to, you can call us Mom and Dad,’ ” Simone remembered. “I went upstairs and tried practicing it in the mirror—‘Mom, Dad, Mom, Dad.’ Then I went downstairs, and she was in the kitchen. I looked up at her and I was like, ‘Mom?’ She said, ‘Yes!’ ”
From that moment on, Ron and Nellie were Simone and Adria’s dad and mom. NBC’s Al Trautwig received flak recently for tweeting and later deleting, “They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents” (Brady, 2016, para. 2). To those that have never been apart of adoption, they struggle to understand. They think if you are adopted, your parents are not your “real parents” or your siblings are not your “real siblings.” The list of statements and questions goes on. However, sharing the same biology as someone, does not make you family (Morson, 2016).
Washington Post writer Jenn Morson says it best about family when she states in her (2016) article, “Rather, isn’t it the time your heart was shattered and your father hugged you tightly and let you cry on his shoulder? Isn’t it the moment you let go of the back of the bicycle and your daughter soared away from you, squealing with delight because you gave her the confidence she needed? That is what makes us parents. What makes us sons and daughters. That is what makes us real.”
Here at Saint Mary’s we completely agree that sharing the same biology does not make you a father, mother, child, or sibling. Family is where there is love, care, and a genuine desire to put the needs of another individual above your own. This is why adoption is such a beautiful thing. Also, this is why our mission at Saint Mary’s is to help unite and create forever families. To Simone’s parents, Ron and Nellie, we commend you for stepping out in faith to expand your family and adopt Simone and Adria. To Simone, we are rooting for you!!! USA! USA! USA!
We also want to encourage people that are considering adoption. Adoption does not make a child any less YOUR child. You may not share the same blood or look the same, but that does not mean you are not family. Family is about a bond, connection, and love. For believers, this is like the picture that Christ displays to us. We have been adopted into the family of Christ, and He has shown us the true meaning of love and family.
To read more about Simone Biles, follow the links to the articles below.