George was born in Romania. His birth parents, who were very poor, put him in an orphanage soon after he was born. George says they worried other villagers would be uneasy around him and wouldn’t accept him.

The Dennehys had seen George’s head-and-shoulders photo in an adoption magazine. “The caption read ‘little boy born with no arms desperately needs a loving home.’ We had three biological children and were thinking about adopting, but we didn’t think we could handle a special-needs child,” says Sharon Dennehy, who later proved herself wrong. She and her husband have since adopted eight more children, including some with special needs.

The couple believed their faith led them to George, and they decided to travel to Romania to meet George’s parents and convince them that their motives for adopting George were sincere. When the Dennehys finally brought George home, he weighed only 9 pounds. “The orphanage workers were superstitious,” Mike says. “They didn’t like to hold him or take care of him. They were overwhelmed with babies. He was last in the pecking order.”

NOW YOU KNOW: At press time, George already had two singles on iTunes and an EP on the way.

At the orphanage, the Dennehys noticed a note a Romanian doctor had written on George’s record. “It said, ‘This baby will soon die,’ and the doctor left the date blank,” Mike says. “We felt like we got there in the nick of time.”

After the couple returned home, George immediately started thriving. “When we got him, he was too weak to hold his head up,” Sharon says. “In two weeks, he was sitting up by himself, and then he was walking. He went from emaciated to very chubby.”

Doing tasks with his feet came naturally. “Even as an infant he would hold his bottle with his feet,” Mike recalls.

George’s musical abilities started surfacing around the age of 6. “He would hear a song and sing and hum it perfectly,” Sharon says. The couple enrolled him in cello lessons, but George never wanted to practice. “I wasn’t fond of music lessons,” he admits. “I didn’t have a natural love for the cello.”