Jerry Windle always knew he wanted to be a dad, but 20 years ago, because he was gay, he thought that it was a dream that might never come true due to adoption laws that made it nearly impossible for him to become a father. Now, he’s going to get to watch his adopted son Jordan, a U.S. diver, compete in the Olympics today.
“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.”
When Windle first began looking into adoption in the late 90s, it was extremely difficult for a single gay man to adopt a child. After moving to Florida following the death of his mother, he discovered he wasn’t allowed to legally adopt a child in the state. But everything changed when he saw a magazine profile about a gay man who adopted a son. Windle called the agency and was told that he would be able to adopt.
Windle quickly applied and before long, the adoption agency sent him a photo of a baby boy in Cambodia and he said he immediately knew he was looking at his son. In June 2000, he brought his 18-month-year-old son Jordan back to the United States. Windle said that his “mission from day one” was to “be the best dad I could possibly be” and fill Jordan’s life “with wonder and amazement.”
When Jordan was seven, his dad signed him up for an aquatics summer camp where a coach quickly recognized his talent. He told Windle that he needed to get Jordan into diving because “he could be an Olympian one day.”
That instinct proved to be dead on, as Jordan is now competing in Tokyo for Olympic gold in the men’s 10-meter platform diving competition. Windle was not able to go with him due to COVID restrictions but they FaceTime every day and Jordan says that his father’s love is the reason why he dives.
“I tell everyone, when they ask me why I dive, I dive purely for my dad and how much he loves watching me,” Jordan explained.