Nov. 8, 2018

Greenwood woman who was adopted from Romania named MVP for Colts-Jaguars game

Mihaela Morgan has overcome more in her young life than most people overcome in a lifetime. You might call her a survivor. Maybe a fighter. And the result of this fight? She’s become a young woman determined to help others.

Mihaela spent the first two years of her life in a Romanian orphanage, and then two more in a foster home as Kathy and Gary Morgan of Greenwood waited to adopt her. One of the last 45 children to be adopted before Romania stopped allowing international adoptions, Mihaela joined the Morgan family in 2002, when she was 4. Developmentally delayed and visually impaired, she spoke broken Romanian and no English.

Now, just a couple of weeks before her 21st birthday, Mihaela is on her way to becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). She’s also a gifted artist who has created her own cartoon characters inspired by her love of anime and video games like Kingdom Hearts.

On Sunday, she’ll attend the Indianapolis Colts-Jacksonville Jaguars game as a Damar MVP, an achievement she’s earned through hard work at school and in Damar’s behavior management program. Damar selects one student as an MVP for each home game this season. The MVP and three companions attend the game as special guests of the Colts, complete with a visit to the field for pre-game warmups, where they meet Blue, the Colts’ mascot, and receive a football.

“She’s excited to go to the game and looking forward to the limo ride, and really looking forward to having an exciting adventure,” Kathy Morgan said.

Mihaela will be there with her parents and with Michelle Wood, her therapist at Damar, who nominated her for the honor.

The successes for which she’s being honored have not come easily for Mihaela. She struggled in school, not because she’s not bright – she was reading at a high-school level by the time she was in fourth grade – but because of her autism and delays caused by the trauma and neglect she endured as an infant. Nonetheless, thanks to hard work, one-on-one support and a couple of really great teachers, Mihaela graduated from Center Grove High School in 2016 with a diploma and college credits.

Having always wanted to work in the medical field to help people, Mihaela got a job at St. Vincent in patient transport, and that led to her interest in patient care. Eventually, she began taking courses to be a CNA. She’ll finish her course work and take the state exam this month.

Her goal – and her parents’ goal for her – is to live independently. No doubt, there will be challenges, but with the Morgans by her side and her remarkable spirit, Mihaela will persevere. After all, she’s already overcome more than most people encounter in a lifetime.


WHAT:  Limo pickup of Mihaela Morgan and her parents, Kathy and Gary Morgan, and her Damar behavior management therapist Michelle Wood
WHEN:      Sunday, Nov., 11 between 11 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
WHERE:    Damar Services Family Services Center (main building), 6067 Decatur Blvd

About Damar Services, Inc.
For nearly 50 years, Damar Services has been a leader in providing services to children and adults challenged by autism and intellectual, developmental and behavioral disabilities. From its main campus on Indianapolis’ southwest side, a northeast side clinic and other locations across the state, Damar offers residential and community-based treatment, outpatient behavioral health services and ABA Autism Services by Damar. In addition, Damar operates two schools and provides foster care services. For more information, visit