If you have watched Simone Biles compete in the Olympics as a gymnast, it is evident that she is strong. Not only physically, but also mentally. You have to be mentally tough to be the most decorated American gymnast of all time, and that must mean that you were raised in a perfect home with no issues as a child, right?
It is true that Simone grew up in a stable and loving home, but from age 3 to 6 she lived in foster care. Early in her life, her biological mother struggled with substance abuse and was in and out of jail. After being hungry and afraid as a toddler, the state finally had to make a choice for her and her mother.
For three years she lived in the care of a foster family while regularly getting visits from her grandparents. Simone would look forward to her visits with her grandpa more than anyone else. One day her grandparents came to visit, but this time was different.
“OK, you know how you called us Grandma and Grandpa? You can call us Mom and Dad now, if you want to.” Says Simone during her interview on Dancing With the Stars. "My parents saved me," Biles said. "They’ve set huge examples of how to treat other people, and they’ve been there to support me since day one. There’s nothing I could say to them to thank them enough."
Ron and Nellie Biles adopted both Simone and her younger sister. Biles has said that she considers her grandparents to be her father and mother. Simone’s dad, Ron, remarked in a USA Today article, that “[Adoption] is a wonderful thing. It gives you the opportunity to enrich the life of yourself and the child, and enrich everyone who is involved in your life.”
Simone was able to be a part of an open adoption plan in which she stays in communication with her mother on special events like holidays and her birthday. Simone’s story of foster care was a success story. Children can do well in foster care, but many don’t. Choice Adoptions is working with Oregon DHS to help give expectant parents an option before they lose their ability to raise a child. By giving an expectant parent the chance to make an open adoption plan during her pregnancy, she can be in control of her situation and make her own choice.
Most adoptees don’t become Olympic athletes, they are still so precious and loved.
If you are pregnant and need support, here are pregnancy resources:
The 9 Things to Know About Adoption In Oregon and Washington
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