Adoptive parents – the love is real

There was a dust-up a couple of days ago, because some NBC dick weasel sportscaster was forced to apologize publicly for suggesting that Olympic superstar Simone Biles’ adopted parents weren’t really her parents.

Ron and Nellie Biles adopted Simone and her younger sister, Adria, in 2001. The girls had spent time in foster care as Shanon Biles, their biological mother and Ron’s daughter, struggled with drugs and alcohol.

[Al] Trautwig referred to Ron and Nellie as Biles’ grandparents on Sunday’s NBC primetime broadcast. When a woman tweeted Trautwig to say that he should call them her parents, he tweeted: “They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents.”

This is what makes a family.

This is what makes a family.

For those of you who don’t know, Daniel is my biological son, but Sarah is adopted. She and her sister came to live with us after my now-deceased junkie half-brother and his wife gave them up. Things were not easy – especially with the older child. There was counseling, tears, terror, malnutrition and neglect that needed to be addressed. I’m not telling you this because I somehow am demanding credit for my struggles.

Sarah turned out to be an incredible person! She’s bright, kind, determined, intelligent, honorable, and intent on bettering herself. She’s a US Marine. She’s a pillar of strength and integrity, and she loves her family. I couldn’t be prouder to be her mom if I actually gave birth to her myself! (Actually, I’m glad I didn’t. She was kind of a chubster as a baby! *joking!*)

Sarah started calling me “Mom” when she was about 8 years old. Her sister, on the other hand, alternated between “mom,” “bitch,” and “my dad’s kid sister.” (I’m OK with it. I did the best I could with that one.) Not once did I think Sarah was any different from Daniel as far as my children were concerned. Not once did I consider her any less my child! She was mine. I raised her. I loved and cared for her. She is just as much my kid as Daniel.

And frankly, while I don’t get upset at much – I’m certainly not a perpetually offended snowflake – this is one issue that really grates on me. Adoptive parents open their hearts. They don’t have to love a child. They choose to. It doesn’t matter that the child doesn’t have our biology, our heart embraces them just the same.

Shitting out a kid isn’t enough. They’re not just some parasite that falls out of you to be allowed to grow like a weed on their own. They are human beings who deserve nurture, guidance, care, comfort, and love. They deserve to have someone wipe their tears when they hurt, kiss their boo-boos, praise them when they succeed, hold their hand when they need support, read with them, teach them the right path, and prepare them for the life they have ahead.

That’s what makes a parent. It’s not just squirting your DNA into a woman and winding up with a little hungry human 40 weeks later. It’s everything that comes with it, and by refusing to acknowledge this simple fact, Trautwig slapped Biles’ parents in the face. He slapped her in the face. And he spat in the face of every parent who opened his or her heart to a child to whom they did not give birth.

NBC – after a backlash on social media – had Trautwig delete his tweet and issue an apology. I just hope didn’t taint Simone Biles’ shining moment. She’s incredible!

11 responses

  1. Couldn’t agree more. My son was 2 when my wife and I married. He was the natural son of my late wife. Not only that, but my “new” wife readily accepted him as hers and my MIL would have beaten half to death anyone who dared to suggest that he wasn’t HER grandson! Also, I think I told you that my wife and I seem to be “waif magnets”. We took in an raised, from age 8 to 24, a black kid whose mother had died of leukemia (He’ll be 56 this September) and adopted our daughter from a Fort Worth agency at age 9 DAYS. (She’s now almost 38) That guy’s a MORON!

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  2. Papa Pat Patterson

    I went to a parent conference today for my 10 year old Alicia.
    It sure FEELS like I’m a parent, even though she has none of my genetic material.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Let me jump on board. I married my present wife 24 years ago when I had 3 kids of my own, and she had none. We adopted 2 sisters together, and raised them as if they were our biological children. As you found out, when you adopt, you do not get a blank slate, you must deal with issues from the kids past. We knew that going in, and accepted that. It has been just as rewarding for us with these 2 adopted kids then if they had been born biologically. Do we have different issues then if they had come into our lives in the “normal” way? Probably, but we also would have missed out on having these 2 wonderful people in our lives as well. I hope this Trautwig just made a stupid mistake and learns from it, and for his sake and the sake of many kids who need to be loved by families out there, I hope that positive exposure comes from it. I can give him the benefit of the doubt, in this case, because of ignorance, but that doesn’t mean that he is blameless, either. Just that he needs to become better informed and even use his position to speak out and make things right. It not only is the least he should do, it is the right thing to do.

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  4. Two of my cousins were adopted when they were babies, and were from Asia (forget which countries though). And they’re family through and through. Those who don’t know about a subject shouldn’t act as if they’re an expert about it. It just leads to these situations of foolishness.

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  5. This guy is by no means the only one. I know some people who adamantly would not wish to raise aomeone without their DNA in them. They’ll even argue on Datwinian grounds that that’s the only sensible attitude to have.

    Hint: We are more than just our genetics, and if you crave that sort of “immortality” you can leave behind a lot of other things than some strands of goo.

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  6. To all you guys who have opened your hearts and taken in children who don’t share your DNA – I want to tell you how humbled and proud I am to know you. I know you’re readers on this blog, and I’ve only met a couple of you in person, but in spite of all that, the fact that you have committed this spectacular act of goodness makes my heart swell, and I’m really proud to have you here as readers, commenters, and friends.

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  7. Anyone tries to tell me that The Daughter, whom I helped raise since she was two isn’t my ‘real’ daughter is gonna walk away with a limp. She might have come as a package deal with the her mom, but she will always be my little girl.

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  8. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law adopted an almost two year old little girl from China. I swear that kid was meant to go to our family from the beginning but just ended up in the wrong place and they had to go and fetch her to set things right. She’s ours. Their daughter, my niece. Anyone tries to tell any of us differently — especially her brothers and sister — is going to get a mighty rude awakening. She’s six years old now and is one of us through and through. We love her just as much. Okay, maybe she’s Grandpa’s favorite just because she cracks him up. And she’s even already developed a Texas drawl.

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  9. One of my friends in HS and College had a cross-stitched picture in her room. It read “Not flesh of my flesh Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didnt grow under my heart, But in it.”

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    1. Dammit. I kind of teared up at that!

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      1. Of course. You love your kids just as much no matter how they come to you. And we are proud to associate with you, as adoptive parents. We are entrusted by God, luck, or karma, with the task of raising children to adulthood, and beyond. Whether or not they bear our DNA from birth, they will bear our imprint upon their souls for life. I know which is more important.

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