Simone Biles adoption story illustrates Christian value of unselfishness

Image Credit: Facebook/sbiles
Simone Biles with her adoptive family (Image Credit: Facebook/sbiles)

I don’t follow the Olympics, but I did spot this very interesting story and I wanted to make a point about it.

First, let’s get the facts from this Independent Journal Review article. (H/T Jane)

It says: (links removed)

“The best ever.” “The perfect 10.” “The best gymnast in history.” “Unbeatable.” “Stunning.” “Breathtaking.” “A Legend in the making.”

These are some of the ways Simone Biles has been described by her competition, even before her Olympic debut. Biles, a 19-year-old gymnast for Team U.S.A., is already the most decorated gold medalist in world championship gymnastics history. In Rio, she is on the fast track to becoming the best in the world, again, being an odds-on favorite to bring home as many as five gold medals.

Simone is on her way to bringing the U.S.A. glory on an international stage, becoming a household name for millions, and signing tens of millions of dollars worth of lucrative endorsement deals.

Stunning! But where did this young lady come from?


Biles and her siblings were born into a fatherless, drug-abusing family and eventually placed in foster care. According to Texas Monthly:

Biles was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1997 to drug-addicted parents who struggled to care for their children. Biles and her three siblings were shuffled back and forth between their mother’s house and a foster home. (Biles’s father had abandoned her mother and was never present in his daughter’s life.)

When I asked her what memories she has from those days, Biles recalled that one of the foster homes had a trampoline that she and her siblings weren’t allowed to play on.

Her upbringing was chaotic. Biles bounced back and forth between state and foster care until she was six years old. In 2001, her grandparents, Ron and Nellie Biles, officially adopted Simone and her sister and moved them to Spring, Texas.

Something else very interesting – she is attends church weekly:

Her parents also introduced Simone to her Christian faith. She attends mass with her family every Sunday when she is not competing. Simone prays regularly and carries a rosary that her mother gave her.

And was homeschooled, as reported by PJ Media:

At age 13, Simone Biles broke down in tears. She had decided not to attend a normal high school, opting for homeschooling in order to practice her gymnastics.

“I was just so lonely all the time,” Biles told The Undefeated’s Lonnae O’Neal. “I missed, like, all my friends at school and stuff. But I mean, in the end, it worked out.”

[…]Biles sacrificed a great deal for the opportunity to train: There would be no prom, no after-school activities, no comaraderie with fellow classmates. But she took the risk. “I decided that I wanted to be better. I didn’t just want to throw my skills, I wanted them to look good.”

The future Olympian adopted an intensive training and competition schedule, which made it impossible to follow the traditional high school track. “If I had a competition, I had to leave [school] for like a month; I would take my schoolwork with me,” she told Jarvey. “I didn’t get the high school opportunity, but it always worked out.”

I don’t think that you can produce success like this if you run a child through the government-run public schools. They have their own secular leftist agenda to push.

The 2016 Olympics in Rio

I have videos of some of her performances in Rio.

Here she is scoring 16.060 out of 16.300 on the vault:

A tremendous floor exercise performance:

Very strong beam performance:

The American team won gold, beating the second-place Russians by 8.209 points, 184.897 to 176.688. This is an enormous margin of victory for gymnastics – the largest margin of victory ever. (The previous largest was 5.066 points)

My thoughts

So, what shall we say about this? Well, I want to first contrast the atheist worldview with the Christian worldview. The atheist worldview basically says that the strong should seek their own happiness and fulfillment, even if the weak must suffer and die. That is why atheists are so heavily committed to recreational sex and abortion on demand for any reason or no reason at all. Self-sacrificial love is irrational according to the atheist worldview. They deny objective morality. They want to have fun, and they are willing to kill (weaker) others to prevent any loss of fun. That’s atheism in a nutshell. There is no stronger pro-abortion group than atheists. The unwanted weak are expendable (to them).

Christianity on the other hand welcomes the needs and demands of others. This is what you get when you read the words of Jesus in the gospels. Whoever asks you to go one mile, go with him two. Whoever asks you for your shirt, hand over your cloak as well. Jesus says that the Kingdom of God belongs to little children. In chapter 2 of the Didache (an early Christian writing), Christians are urged “You shall not murder a child by abortion”. And the earliest Christians would take in unwanted infants abandoned by their parent(s). Christians are supposed to be into taking trouble for the sake of others. Christians are supposed to be into accepting obligations and taking responsibility.

So often, I see  many young Christians being more interested in grabbing the spotlight for themselves. Apologists want to be in the spotlight, missionaries want to travel to have adventures, and ordinary Christians just embrace the prosperity gospel – Christianity as life-enhancement. I think we are going in the wrong direction. The real treasure for Christians consists in allowing others who are in distress to make demands on us, and then helping them to grow and strive. Don’t be so focused on being the center of attention that you neglect the needs of the person right in front of you. My friend Dina is especially good at this. She is a very busy professional, but she fills up all her spare time with visiting the elderly, the sick and the dying. She barely has any time for her own leisure. But this is practical Christianity – others first, me second.

I think the example of a married couple adopting an unwanted child and investing in that child to make something special is especially appropriate for Christians. But today, I find that young Christians somehow want to put off marriage, and put off having children, and put off adopting children. They want to make a difference some other way, in front of a big crowd. I don’t think that Christianity was intended to work that way. Help the person in front of you. And a marriage is a wonderful unit to take on others who are in distress. It’s a strong partnership where two people can pool resources in order to take care of others more efficiently. It’s a good witness to the culture as a whole, because people are looking for love more than they are looking for truth. A good marriage invites them in to ask questions.

2 thoughts on “Simone Biles adoption story illustrates Christian value of unselfishness”

  1. Very well said! I agree wholeheartedly, particularly with your point about how distorted Christians are becoming nowadays. We’ve got to get back to really following Jesus!

  2. A couple of points for today:

    #1. This is also interesting:
    Practicing Christians are more likely to adopt and be a foster parent, as well as consider it. (We’ve looked into it, but there are certain things that make it difficult. For instance, we have young kids, and some adoptions are only for families with significantly older children and/or no other children.) So I am not holding the lack of adoption or fostering against people.

    #2. Let’s talk about another gymnast, Jennifer Bricker. Born without legs, her Romanian biological father left her for adoption. A Christian family took her in and raised her and gave her love and opportunities. Jennifer became the state champion in power tumbling. You can find her website here:

    Or other articles here: (an interview of Dominique Moceanu by Timothy Dalrymple)

    It turned out Jennifer’s idol was her biological sister, Dominique Moceanu — another Olympian.

    Another adoptive family takes in what seems like “the weak” in the world and that changes everything.

    Adoption of course reflects the heart of God. That adoption can change a life, well, it reminds me of a poem I heard:

    It was battered and scarred,
    And the auctioneer thought it
    Hardly worth his while
    To waste his time on the old violin,
    But he held it up with a smile.
    “What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
    “Who starts the bidding for me?”
    “One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
    “Two dollars, who makes it three?”
    “Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three”,

    But, No,
    From the room far back a gray haired man
    Came forward and picked up the bow,
    Then wiping the dust from the old violin
    And tightening up the strings,
    He played a melody, pure and sweet,
    As sweet as the angel sings.

    The music ceased and the auctioneer
    With a voice that was quiet and low,
    Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
    As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
    “One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
    “Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
    “Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
    Going and gone”, said he.

    The audience cheered,
    But some of them cried,
    “We just don’t understand.”
    “What changed its’ worth?”
    Swift came the reply.
    “The Touch of the Masters Hand.”

    And many a man with life out of tune,
    All battered with bourbon and gin,
    Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
    Much like that old violin.
    A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
    A game and he travels on.
    He is going once, he is going twice,
    He is going and almost gone.
    But the Master comes,
    And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
    The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
    By the Touch of the Master’s Hand.

    (Myra Brooks Welch, 1921)

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