The long-awaited finale of Tallahassee's experience with "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" arrives in a two-hour special beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday.
ABC will air the episode "Fulfilling the Dream of a Dying Father," featuring the Kadzis family.
Extraordinary compassion led George Kadzis, a prison dentist, and his wife, Barbara, a lifelong teacher who herself was adopted, to open their hearts and home to special-needs children adopted from orphanages in China. The family faced major challenges in their cramped, hurricane-damaged home, which was especially difficult for daughter Melody to navigate, as she is blind.
George Kadzis, age 56, died three days after his family moved into the home. His wife Barbara, biological son Chris and six adopted children live in the "Panhandle Coastal Cottage" built for them by a cadre of volunteers and organized by local firm MyddeltonParker Builders.
The other adopted brothers and sisters also face significant physical challenges: Julia is deaf, Martin’s right arm and hand are deformed, and Phoenix and Celeste are now having their cleft palates repaired. Aileen lost her birth father to cancer, and her birth mother fled after his death.
Because Barbara and George Kadzis weren’t fluent in Chinese, and several of their adopted children could barely communicate in any fashion, the family turned to the universal language of music as an instrument to heal, communicate and transform. Chris, Barbara and George’s biological son, Martin, play the guitar and piano, Aileen plays the flute and Melody plays the zither, while sister Julia dances like she’s listening to every note — except that she can’t hear.
Now Ty and the designers, local builder Myddelton Parker Builders, LLC and hundreds of volunteers and workers, will step in and rebuild the Kadzis home. In addition, legendary singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder stops by on reveal day and performs a private concert for the family.
The cast and crew of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" descended on Tallahassee Feb. 20-27 to build the 3,600 square-foot house.
Tentative about the crafting of the story line, Barbara Kadzis was relieved after previewing a clip of the episode.
"I was afraid nobody would see George healthy," she said.
George Kadzis collapsed the evening before Ty Pennington knocked on the family's door. The famous cast didn't have a chance to speak or interact with him.
"They never saw him as the family man, the daddy, my husband," Barbara Kadzis said.
She and her children have been invited to view the show at a private party coordinated by MyddeltonParker Builders.
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