Jerry Windle was a gay man who was not in any relationships. Much of his life was spent hearing people say that he cannot ever be a dad. Jerry, himself, did not have much hope of ever becoming a father. But, it all changed one day. He did become a father, and that’s not all. His adoptive child grew up to be an Olympic athlete! Safe to say, Jerry is a very proud father today.
His journey as a parent is nothing short of a fairytale in real life.
The First Chapter In Jerry And Jordan’s Story
Jerry Windle was a homosexual man who was not married. For the longest time, he had one desire: to become the father of a child. But in the United States, his national country, adoption was proving to be very difficult for him.
Then, one day, Jerry was flipping through a magazine when a particular story caught his attention. In an interview with Today, he reminisced that the story talked about a man who adopted a Cambodian child, without mentioning a mother. It had also talked about the loving relationship between the son and the father, and it sort of lit a bulb in his head.
The article had given a number to an adoption service, and Jerry promptly called the. He mentioned the article and asked if someone single can adopt one of their children. He got the answer he wanted: “Yes, it is.”
In 2000, in June, Jerry hurried over to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. There, he picked up 2-year-old Jordan, the son he would soon adopt. Jordan’s biological parents from Sihanoukville had died and he was living in the orphanage ever since. But the child was very sick. Jordan suffered from severe infections, malnutrition, and scabies. The infant weighed a mere 16 pounds.
It was so bad that Jerry had no idea if the child would survive. But Jerry made a promise that day:
“I promised him that I would do everything that I could, that he wouldn’t ever have to suffer again. I would make every sacrifice I could as a parent to get him every opportunity.”
When he returned to Florida with Jordan, the challenges awaiting the parent and child were numerous. Apart from the severe health issues, Jordan did not know English. So the two used sign language to communicate until Jordan learned English.
Jerry Kept His Promise And Became A Proud Father
At 7, Jordan’s journey to the Olympics started. He was attending a camp for diving when Tim O’Brien, Ron O’Brien’s son took a fancy towards him. Jordan then enrolled in an exclusive diving program. Soo, he began to see success. He had participated in 3 Olympic trials since he was only 13 years old.
Today, Jordan Windle has become a success story. After succeeding in his 3rd trial, he represented the United States as a member of the Diving Team in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. He made it all the way to the final round but unfortunately could not secure a medal.
The restrictions due to COVID meant that Jerry could not witness his son performing in person in the Olympics. But that did not stop Jordan from wishing that his father was there with him. He had said that he hoped to make his adoptive father proud.
Jordan has also not forgotten his original country, Cambodia. He has a tattoo of the flag of Cambodia on his arm so the audience can get a glimpse of it while he is diving. In 2011, the son and the father co-authored a book for children called “An Orphan No More: The True Story of a Boy” which chronicled their story.
The love of a parent is powerful, and one does not need to be the biological parent to love someone like a child. Jerry and Jordan Windle’s story stands testament to that.
Image credit: Instagram @jordanpiseywindle