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They found time for George, eight more
Family's adoption led to eight more

 When George Dennehy was reunited with his birth mother in August, she was so overcome that she fainted.
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Date published: 11/8/2012

BY AMY FLOWERS UMBLE

George Dennehy's American life began with a small, blurry black-and-white photo on the back of an adoption newsletter.

Sharon Dennehy saw the photo of the Romanian baby and knew he belonged in her family.

But her family and friends weren't so sure. She and her husband, Mike, had three biological children--a trio so happy and cute they seemed custom-made for a Christmas card photo.

This baby didn't fit. For starters, he was born without arms into a poor Romanian family that couldn't take care of him. And he was severely malnourished. At 14 months, he weighed only 9 pounds.

His stark medical record ended eerily with "This boy will soon die "

The doctor thoughtfully left a space for the nurse to record the time and date of the baby's death.

Some of the couple's friends thought they'd lost their minds. Others asked if they had enough time and attention for another child, especially one with so many needs.

Mike and Sharon knew only that George needed them. And in 1995, they brought the baby into their Ashland home.

That blurry photo didn't just change George's life; his adoption inspired Mike and Sharon to adopt eight other children. In total, the family has 12 kids from six countries.

Friday, they'll share their story with Fredericksburg-area residents at Bethany Christian Services' fellowship dinner, an annual event to promote adoption.

The couple will talk about their nine adopted children, and the extraordinary way each one came to the family.

AN INTERNET SENSATION

This summer, George made another remarkable journey, this one triggered by a shaky video shot with a cellphone.

George, who plays guitar with his feet, performed the Goo Goo Dolls' song "Iris" at the Ashland Strawberry Faire in May. A friend recorded the concert and put the show on YouTube.

George posted the link to Reddit, with more information about his adoption.

The video soon went viral, making George an overnight Internet sensation. The video was seen by thousands of people across the world--including the Goo Goo Dolls' drummer, Mike Malinin.


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WHAT: Bethany Christian Services' Fredericksburg fellowship dinner

WHEN: Nov. 9, 6:30- 9 p.m.

WHERE: Fairview at River Club, 10835 Tidewater Trail

To RSVP or for details, call 540/373-5165.