Man Goes From Sick Orphan To Olympian Thanks To Adoptive Single, Gay Father

Oct 13, 2021 by apost team

An orphan from Cambodia who had been struggling just to stay alive has since gone on to become an Olympian. Jerry Windle was a single gay man during the 1990s and had always wanted to become a father, but had faced many hardships while trying to do so. After finding out that it was possible to adopt a child from Cambodia as a single parent, he quickly made the plans to do just that.

After a quick phone call and a short few months' wait, Jerry was finally able to call himself a father. He met an extremely sick young boy at a Cambodian orphanage who was facing many health struggles, and he immediately knew that the child would be his son. Jerry cared for and completely adored his son, making sure to raise him to allow him to become anything he wanted to be. To this day, Jerry has remained an extremely supportive father to his son Jordan.

The young boy has since grown up and has battled the odds. Not only did Jordan survive sickness, infections and malnourishment as a child, but he is now competing in the Olympics. With the love and constant support from his father, Jordan has truly been able to flourish as a diver. He first began his journey in the sport at a young age, and he has since stuck with it and worked hard at proving just how talented he is. Jordan has done all he can to make his father proud, and he is now representing the United States in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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TODAY reported that Jordan had been placed in a Cambodian orphanage when he was only one year old, and he was adopted by Jerry just six months later. Jerry told TODAY just how hard it was for him to adopt as a gay man. He said:

"There was such homophobia and bigotry around the concept of a gay person being a parent. Even folks who loved me said, you can't be a dad if you're going to be gay."

However, one day Jerry stumbled upon a magazine that allowed him to see how his dream could become a reality. Jerry recalled:

"I started thumbing through a magazine and there was a story in there of a man who adopted a child from Cambodia, and it didn't mention a mother. The story went on to talk about the close relationship between the father and his son, and something kind of clicked in my head ... The article listed (the number of an adoption service) and so I called the number and I said 'I just read an article, is it possible for a single person to adopt a child?' and they said 'Yes, it is.'"

Jerry said that it was love at first sight when he saw Jordan in the Cambodian orphanage:

"He was 2 years old but he was 16 pounds. I didn't know if he would live or die. 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."

Jordan Windle (2021), (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Jordan is currently representing the United States in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on the U.S. Olympic Diving Team. He placed second at the Olympic trials, as per TODAY. Even though Jerry can’t see his son compete in person, the father-son duo are still extremely excited. “I can usually hear (my dad) out of everyone in the audience, which is awesome,” Jordan said. He explained that even though it “will be different” competing without his father there to cheer him on, he is still ready “to have fun, show off a little bit and put on a show for everyone.” On top of this, he hopes to make his dad proud.

When he was 7 years old, Jordan was noticed by diving coach Tim O’Brien, and the youngster went on to win his first junior national championship two years later, as per TODAY. Speaking about his father, Jordan said, “I have him to thank for everything, all my accomplishments. It’s been an amazing journey with him, and we’re still rolling.”

Grateful for his upbringing and holding onto his first home, Jordan got the Cambodian flag tattooed on his arm so people can see it when he dives, according to TODAY. “It’s a really big honor for me,” Jordan said. “There’s a lot of people, a lot more eyes on me, but if anything it just makes me excited to be able to perform at my best and show that all this hard work can hopefully pay off.” Jordan continued, “This has been a dream come true and it’s an amazing opportunity to be part of."

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