Monday, April 13, 2009

Disability and Extreme Home Makeover

The Easter Sunday 2009 segment of Extreme Home Makeover last night was fascinating. George and Barbara Kadzis opened their hearts and enlarged their family circle to include six disabled children from China. Melody is blind. Julia is deaf. Martin's right arm and hand are deformed. Phoenix anbd Celeste have cleft palates in the process of restoration. Aileen was orphaned by disease and desertion and facing emotional challenges as a result.

Barbara is a lifelong teacher. George worked as a dentist in a prison. Their resources were limited. Their home in Florida was badly damaged by a hurricane, and then George contracted terminal brain cancer. His dying wish was for his family to have a safe, appropriate home to live in.

George and Barbara didn't know a word of Chinese when they adopted all but their one biological son Chris. To communicate they used the medium of music. Several of the children played musical instruments: piano, violin, flute, zither and guitar. Julie dances to every note though she is deaf.

Extreme Home Makeover and their vast crew and main character designers madeover the Kadzis home in one week. During that week George was dying in the hospital. He died three days after his family moved into their new home.

I have lots of questions about the extreme home makeover concept and how much or little help it gives permanently. How can people who need so much pay taxes on this new and much more expensive home? and more.

But what was compelling about last night's episode wasn't the new home. What was compelling was the hearts - George and Barbara's obvious love for all their children and the reciprical love of their children. George and Barbara offered a whole new world and life to their six adopted children. To do so, they made significant sacrifices. Their example of love radically and obviously impacted their community.

That started me thinking. People affected by disability are all around us. The question is: how are we taking these who have such great need into our circle of love and friendship? Do we care enough to take the risk and step out of our comfort zone? Obviously George and Barbara benefited as much from their adopted family as did the children they adopted. By not including people affected by disability in our lives we run the risk of missing an incredible opportunity to be blessed and to be a blessing! Here's to warm hearts willing to include others who may have a different way of being into our circle and hearts and homes!

George and Barbara did in their home and family what A Restoration Church is doing in being a church in the South Hills of Pittsburgh - reaching out with genuine love and acceptance! George and Barbara needed the help of the crew for Extreme Home Makeover and their community. At A Restoration Church we need God's help to push us out of our comfort zone to make a radical difference in our community.

No comments: