How a Single Gay Dad’s Adopted Kid Grew up to Be an Olympic Champion

year ago

Jerry Windle often heard comments suggesting that he would never be able to experience fatherhood, being a single gay man. He had little faith that he would ever become a parent, but one day his life took a sudden turn. His journey as a father reads like a storybook come to life, and it is evidence that a kind and compassionate heart can conquer any obstacle.

1. The origin of this story lies in a magazine article.

Jerry Windle had a long-standing desire to become a father. Despite facing challenges in his adoption journey in the United States, he stumbled upon a magazine article about the plight of orphans in Cambodia. This discovery prompted him to reach out to Cambodian authorities, and soon after he received news that would change his life forever.

In 2000, Jerry traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia after hearing about a young orphan, Jordan, who was living in an orphanage since the loss of his birth parents. Upon arrival, Jerry was faced with a child who was struggling with malnutrition, skin infections, and other health issues. Undeterred, Jerry brought the toddler home to Florida and devoted himself to nursing him back to health. He soon became Jordan’s father and began a new chapter in both of their lives.

2. The new family faced a lot of difficulties right from the beginning.

Upon returning to the US, Jerry and Jordan faced a number of challenges as they settled into their new life together. Jordan was struggling with various health problems, was physically depleted, and initially communicated with Jerry using sign language before he learned English.

Jerry was determined to provide a safe and nurturing environment for Jordan, who was only 2 years old but weighed just 16 pounds due to health problems. Despite the challenges, he was driven by love and a promise to never let his son suffer again. Despite the obstacles, their bond was unbreakable and filled with love.

3. The beginning of an Olympic journey was fortuitous.

Jordan’s aspirations for the Olympics started when he was 7 years old. He was noticed by Tim O’Brien, the son of renowned diving coach Ron O’Brien, at a diving camp. Afterward, Jordan joined a specialized diving program and began to see early success.

It was during Jordan’s diving journey that he met Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, who was also an LGBT activist. He was even given the nickname of “Little Louganis.”

After undergoing three Olympic trials, starting at the age of 13 and then at 16, Jordan finally realized his dream of 15 years by qualifying for the men’s platform event.

4. The father and son have maintained a close relationship throughout the years.

Today, Jordan is poised to compete for the United States in the Olympics and will proudly display his Cambodian heritage. He has a tattoo of the Cambodian flag on his arm to symbolize his connection to the country.

Jerry and Jordan wrote a children’s book together in 2011, sharing their incredible journey. The book, entitled An Orphan No More: The True Story of a Boy, follows the tale of a rooster who is told by other animals that he cannot be a father without a hen. However, he discovers an unwanted egg and to his surprise, a duckling hatches. Despite their appearance differences, they show that love creates a family.

What are the other examples of healing parents’ love that you know of or have in your family?


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