No one anticipated a homosexual man to become a father when he was unmarried. When Jerry Windle adopted Jordan, though, his fantasies came true.
Jerry Windle was told he would never be a father.
He’s now cheering on his son, Jordan, as he competes in the Olympics.
Jerry Windle told TODAY’s Hoda Kotb, “There was such prejudice and intolerance around the thought of a gay person being a parent.” “Even those who loved me told me that you can’t be a dad and be homosexual.”
He disproved their claims.
“I was thumbing through a magazine one day and there was a story in there about a man who adopted a child from Cambodia, and it didn’t mention a mother,” he recalls.
“The article continued to discuss the father’s tight bond with his kid, and something clicked in my thoughts… The article gave (an adoption service’s phone number), so I contacted it and said, “I just read an article, is it feasible for a single person to adopt a child?” They answered, “Yes, it is.””
He held a sickly young kid in his arms at a Cambodian orphanage months later. Jordan was malnourished and infected, and he was battling for his life. It was love at first sight for both of them.
“He was two years old, yet he weighed sixteen pounds. I had no idea if he would survive or die “Jerry remarked. “I told him that I would do all in my power to ensure that he would never have to suffer in the future. As a dad, I would make every effort to provide him with every chance.”
Jordan Windle is a member of the United States Olympic Diving Team, having finished second in the Olympic trials.
Jordan said he’s “very happy,” even though his father won’t be able to watch him participate due to COVID limits on spectators.
“Everyone in the audience can generally hear (my father), which is fantastic. It will be weird not having him in the Olympics “Jordan said. “I wish he could be there, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m going there to have a good time, brag a little, and put on a show for everyone. That will be my goal, and I want to do so in a way that pleases him.”
Jordan began his road to the Olympics at a young age. A guy called Tim O’Brien informed Jerry when his kid was just 7 years old that his son resembled him of the great diver Greg Louganis. Dr. Ron O’Brien, O’Brien’s father, was Louganis’ Olympic coach and led Team USA through eight Olympic Games.
“He said he saw something in Jordan that was sort of physiological but also unexplained, and Jordan said he wanted to take diving classes, and I said, ‘OK, if that’s something you want to do, let’s do it,'” Jerry explained. “So he started diving when he was seven years old, and two years later he won his first junior national championship, which is nearly unheard of for someone who is new to a sport.”
“I know the hard work he’s put in, and I’m just very thrilled and proud that he’s been able to accomplish such an unbelievable thing with his coaching team,” Jerry added.
Jordan returned to Cambodia at the age of 16 to compete in a diving display intended to encourage Cambodian youth. When Jerry and his partner arrived at the airport, they were greeted with a large crowd.
“There was a deluge of news… We weren’t expecting that; we didn’t realize how well-known Jordan was in Cambodia, and how well-known he was because to the internet… In Cambodia, he’s considered a national hero “Jerry said. “We stepped off the plane, and I began looking around, assuming Angelina Jolie had just arrived or something. We were really hoping to see the King of Cambodia or Angelina Jolie, or someone important.'”
“Then they began chanting his Cambodian name, ‘Pisey,’ and we were like, ‘Holy smokes, Jordan, this is for you,'” says the author. Jerry recalled something.
Jordan described the vacation as “amazing” and that he felt totally at home while there.
“I went there to put on an exhibition for orphans and school students who haven’t had much of a chance to grow, and it was incredible,” Jordan said. “Being able to talk to them via a translator and tell where I came from in my life and how, thanks to my father, I was able to become who I am today was incredible.”
Jerry remarked, quoting Jordan’s address, “He spoke something to the audience that was non-scripted but it just truly got me in the heart.” “‘You know, I’m just like you, I’m a Cambodian child,’ he added, adding that the only difference between him and them was that he was given a chance. Then he turned to the Cambodian government officials and said, “I wish you give all these children the chance that my father gave me.””
Jordan will compete for the United States at the Olympics six years later, but he will also be representing Cambodia in his heart. He recently had the Cambodian flag tattooed on his arm so that when he dives, everyone can see it.
“It’s a huge honor for me,” Jordan expressed his gratitude. “There are a lot more people watching me now, and it makes me even more enthusiastic to be able to perform at my best and demonstrate that all of my hard work is paying off. This has been a lifelong goal come true, and I am honored to be a part of it.”
While Jerry won’t be able to see Jordan’s Olympic dives since he won’t be able to go to Tokyo, he believes his son will feel his support from home.
“I’m sure Jordan is aware that I’m with him,” Jerry explained. “It’s really upsetting that I won’t be able to go since I like the performance he puts on… Though I won’t be able to join him, we’ll have a big viewing party here in California, and I’m sure there will be another one in Florida with family and friends. It’s frustrating, but this is Jordan’s trip, and this is the culmination of it, and I want him to enjoy it as much as possible… That’s always been my wish for him.”
Jordan stated that he will be thinking of his father while competing in Tokyo.
“When people ask why I dive, I always tell them it’s for my dad and how much he enjoys seeing me,” Jordan added. “I wouldn’t be where I am now if he hadn’t made all of the sacrifices he has, as well as his love and support throughout our relationship. I owe him everything, all of my achievements, to him. It’s been an incredible ride with him, and we’re still going strong.”