The word “family” has an extensive definition. It doesn’t always have to be a pair of parents and a bunch of kids. Sometimes, all it takes is a genuine person who has a lot of love to offer and someone who’s in need of someone to call family.
Lieutenant Jerry Windle had just retired from the Navy and was transitioning into a healthcare career when he had a realization.
A Touching Story
He read a magazine story about a man who adopted a child from Cambodia and, as a single gay man in the 1990s, he felt hope as he read the story between the father and his son.
Jerry called the listed number of an adoption service. He asked if a single person could adopt a child, and the service said yes.
A few months later, he got to adopt a sick 18-month-old boy he named Jordan from an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The baby had intestinal parasites, was malnourished, and suffered from severe infections.
Raising The Boy
Jerry showered the little boy with lots of love and nursed him back to good health. He even supported him as he discovered his interest and passion for diving.
How It Started
Jordan was 7 years old when he impressed a man named Tim O’Brien at a summer camp who told Jerry that Jordan reminded him of Greg Louganis, a legendary diver.
Pursuing His Passion
Jordan won his first junior national championship when he was 9 years old, and represented the United States on the U.S. Olympic Diving Team after he took second in the Olympic trials.
When Jordan went on to represent the country in the Tokyo Olympics, Jerry only had a watch party at home with family and friends to support his son because he couldn’t fly with him to Japan due to the pandemic.
Grateful And Blessed
Jordan expressed how thankful he is to Jerry. He said, “I tell everyone, when they ask me why I dive, I dive purely for my dad and how much he loves watching me. Without him making all the sacrifices that he has, and his love and support the whole time we’ve been together, I really wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Watch the touching story of how Jerry raised Jordan from being a sick baby into an Olympic champion in the video below.
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