Jerry Wendell, who is gay, was constantly told by people that he would never become a father. He never thought he would become a father, but one day his life completely changed. His journey of fatherhood sounds like a living tale, proof that a good heart can win any battle.
It all started with a magazine article
We sincerely believe that parental love can work wonders, overcoming all social prejudices and stereotypes. We would like you to plunge into the story of a lonely man with a good heart who raised an Olympic champion who began his life as an abandoned orphan.
Gerry Wendell, a single gay man, has wanted to be a father for as long as he can remember. He struggled to adopt in the US and one day found an article in a magazine describing the lives of orphans in Cambodia. He did not hesitate to contact the Cambodian authorities and soon received news that changed his life.
In June 2000, Gerry rushed to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where his future son Jordan was living in an orphanage after his parents died. The child was suffering from malnutrition, scabies and severe infections. Gerry took him home to Florida, restored his health and immediately became his father.
The new family faced many difficulties from the beginning
Back in the USA together, the new family faced many obstacles. Jordan had many health problems, was exhausted and weak, and before learning English he communicated with Gerry through sign language.
Jordan was 2 years old at the time, but he only weighed 16 kilograms. His father did not know whether he would live or die. But he promised that he would do everything he could to make sure his new son did not suffer again. There was already so much love in him that overcame all obstacles.
A great Olympic career began by accident.
Jordan’s Olympic dreams began at the age of seven. At diving camp he caught the eye of Tim O’Brien, son of famous diving instructor Ron O’Brien. Jordan then enrolled in a special diving programme and began to achieve his first successes.
It was during this time that he met Olympic gold medallist and gay activist Greg Louganis. He even referred to himself as ‘Betty Louganis’.
Father and son have had the strongest connection for many years.
Father and son tell their story in a children’s book that they wrote together in 2011. The book, called No More Orphan: The Boy’s True Story, tells the story of a rooster who was told by other animals that he could not be a father without a hen. One day he found an egg that no one else wanted. What a weasel the duck is, but despite their different appearances, these two will prove that ‘where there is love, there is family’.
What other examples of healing parental love do you know or have in your family?