People constantly told Jerry Windle, a single gay man, that he would never be a father. He never imagined himself being a father, but his life changed dramatically one day. His parents’ story reads like a storybook, and it proves that a merciful heart can overcome any obstacle.
We firmly think that parental love has the power to transform lives and that it transcends all social prejudices and preconceptions. We’d want for you to learn about a single man with a great heart who raised an Olympic champion from the ashes of an orphanage.
It all began with a magazine article.
Jerry Windle, a single gay guy, has dreamed of becoming a father since he was a child. He tried to adopt in the United States until he came across a magazine piece about orphans in Cambodia. He didn’t waste any time in contacting Cambodian officials, and he soon received life-changing information.
Jerry rushed to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in June of 2000, where his future son, Jordan, had been residing in an orphanage since the death of his birth parents. Malnutrition, scabies, and serious illnesses plagued the toddler. Jerry brought him back to Florida, nursed him back to health, and adopted him as his son.
The new family was confronted with various obstacles right away.
The new family faced various challenges once they returned to the United States united. Jordan was fatigued and weak due to his health problems, and he talked with Jerry through sign language before learning English.
Jordan was two years old at the time, yet he weighed just 16 pounds. His father had no idea whether he would live or die. He promised, though, that he would do everything in his power to ensure that his new kid never had to suffer again. There was already so much love that it had overcome all obstacles.
An illustrious Olympic career began by chance.
Jordan’s Olympic hopes began when he was seven years old. At diving camp, he drew the attention of Tim O’Brien, the son of a well-known diving coach, Ron O’Brien. Jordan then enrolled in a specialised diving programme and began to achieve his first triumphs.
It was also around this time that he met Greg Louganis, an Olympic gold winner and LGBT activist. Little Louganis was his nickname.
Jordan qualified for the men’s platform event after three Olympic trials, the first at the age of 13 and the second at the age of 16.
Throughout the years, the strongest link has been between father and son.
Jordan will compete for the United States in the Olympics today, 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, people can see it.
In 2011, the father and son co-authored a children’s book to commemorate their journey. The narrative of a rooster who was informed by other animals that he couldn’t be a father without a hen is told in the book An Orphan No More: The True Story of a Boy. He comes across an egg that no one wants one day. The duckling hatches, but despite their dissimilar appearances, the two would prove that “where there is love, there is family.”
What more examples do you know of or have in your family of mending parents’ love?