This amazing dad adopted his son from Cambodia at eighteen months old and, this summer, he got to watch him compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
Jerry Windle watched his son, Jordan Windle, represent his country as a US Olympic diver. Jerry reminisced on the incredible journey it took them to get there.
Jerry WIndle of Anderson, California, adopted Jordan, who is now twenty-two years old when he was just eighteen months old.
"From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to be a dad," Windle told Good Morning America. "That was something just innately part of who I was."
Two decades ago, it seemed almost impossible for Windle to have a son as he was gay, which would prevent him from ever fulfilling his dream of fatherhood. "I got a little bit sad and depressed about the fact that I could never have a child," he said. "But I'd accepted that."
However, that all changed when Windle, after the dest hot his mother, switched careers and moved from sunny California to even sunnier Florida when he was in his mid-thirties. It was while waiting in a doctor's office in Florida that he read a magazine that profiled a single dad who adopted a son.
"I called the agency [named in the article] and just said, 'Is it possible for a single person to adopt?' and they said, 'Yes,'" Windle recalled. "I got a packet of information and an application about a week later and I took probably three days and filled out every single document, got fingerprinted, filled out my background information, I did everything."
Not long after applying for adoption, Windle said he learned about a boy in Cambodia who was in an orphanage and available for adoption. When the adoption agency sent a photo of the boy, at the time named Pisey -- Cambodian for "little darling" --, Windle said he knew he was looking at his son.
"It was done the second I opened the envelope and saw that photograph," he said. "I sent a photo of me and asked them to give it to him in a necklace and explain to him that I was his daddy and was going to be coming to get him.
Windle welcomed his new son, Jodan, into the United States in June 2000, only 5 months after the adoption process began.
"When I held him in my arms that first moment, I made a promise to him that I would be the best dad I could possibly be. I wanted his youth to be filled with wonder and amazement," said Windle. "That has been my mission from day one."
After narrowly missing earning spots on the U.S. Olympic Diving Team in the two previous Olympic trials, Jordan, a senior at the University of Texas, placed second in the 10-meter platform at the Olympic trials in June.
The Tokyo Olympics was one of Jordan's few diving competitions that his dad had ever missed in person. Fans, including athletes' family members, were not allowed to attend this year's Olympics due to COVID-19 restrictions
Instead, Windle, who FaceTimes with Jordan daily, was among friends and family in California as he watched his son fulfill an improbable dream.