The Bartlinski Bunch

" Teresa "

" Teresa "

Teresa "Fang Fang " Bartlinski

Teresa was born on December 25, 2006 in China. She was born with a very complex heart condition. In July 2010, GOD added Teresa to our family through adoption. We have been blessed with 9 wonderful children. Gods grace has woven us together as a family. Upon bringing Teresa home from China we unfortunately learned she not only needed a heart transplant but also a lung transplant. Her doctors feel she would not survive this operation. Please help us to pray for a miracle for Teresa's heart and lungs to be healed. She is a very special little soul who has touched so many lives around the world ...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Good news and Bad news

Lucy , our almost 7 year old daughter always says ," I have good news and I have bad news. What do you want to hear first?"

Yesterday we took Teresa to Johns Hopkins Hospital . Her oxygen level was very low so they put her on oxygen and started doing several test on her heart. We were hoping that all of the medical information we had received from China was wrong ,but unfortunately it was not . All of the tests confirmed everything we already new. Teresa's heart is very damaged and so are her lungs. She is not a candidate for a heart transplant , she requires a heart and lung transplant. Hopkins will not do this operation on children because the mortality rate is too high . So the second option is to treat her heart with medicines to keep it going. This will only work for so long and she must stay away from anyone with a virus as she is more susceptible to any infection attacking her heart.The worst case scenario is a few months and the best is a few years. In a few weeks she will have a heart catherazation again and this will tell us exactly if the medicines are working to keep her heart strong. Our third option is a miracle. We need a miracle to save Teresa. When she has the cath. done again we need the pulmonary pressure (which is now over 60 )to be under 12. The Doctor said only a miracle could do this. So that is what we are praying for. If her pressure goes under 12 than she can have surgery on her heart to repair some of the damage .
The Good News is , God Can Do This, if this is HIS will !
Please ask everyone you know to pray for Teresa!

making cupcakes and having fun

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Today Teresa enjoyed another day of being "Home" and playing with all of her family. She now feels very comfortable telling her GoGo ( dog) what to do and playing with him. She still prefers to eat noodles for breakfast ,lunch and dinner. We are slowly acclimating her to American food. The extreme heat is still making her oxygen levels drop too dangerously low so we are keeping her inside for most of the day . We took her out this evening for a little while to play when the sun began to set , so it wasn't so hot. She loves being outside playing with her bike, bubbles , chalk and sisters. She was having so much fun she did not want to go in to potty . She thought she could just go like most of the children do in China ,in a bush or the gutter , but Dad was having no parts of that anymore , so in she went.

Today when my Father came over to visit, he asked "how are you going to put all of these kids through college? You should of thought of that first." Paying for college was something that did not enter our minds. What we were thinking was " How are we going to afford this adoption and bring this child home". Our first concern was to always give the girls a loving home and to get them healthy enough to even make it to college. Three of our daughters would have died if they had not been adopted. Two are doing fantastic now. We are praying that when we take Teresa to Hopkins on Monday they will tell us that all of the medical reports are wrong ,her heart can be fixed very easily , she will live a very long life and maybe someday even go to college.

We know GOD will provide a way if this is HIS will.

Friday, July 23, 2010

We are Home!

We arrived home Thursday night after almost 21 hours. Thank you for all of the prayers to get Teresa home. She did pretty well on the flight , after 8 hours in the air her oxygen started to drop to 61. She was breathing heavier but still alert and doing OK. WE were so glad to be home. Alex brought Emilia , Gemma and Mary to the airport to meet us . Since Teresa was doing O.K. we decided to take her home. She loved seeing everything,but at fist she would not leave the family room. She gradually started to explore the rest of the house. She was very affectionate to her GeGe (older brother ). She loves Alex and won't let him out of her sight. We unpacked a little, gave the girls a bath and went to bed . It was so nice to finally sleep in my own bed. Teresa slept until 5:30. Today she went outside for 10 minutes to play with the girls , but the heat was too much for her . Her oxygen dropped to 65. We are going to take her to Hopkins on Sunday as long as she doesn't have any difficulty. We wanted to give her a couple days at home and to get acclimated to the time change.

Thank you everyone for your comments and support. We loved reading them all. I can not tell you how lucky we are to have Teresa as our daughter.

While we were away our 19 year old son , Alex took care of the girls(Mary, Emilia and Gemma). He did such a fantastic job, we are so proud of him. During the day he had help from Sarah and in the evening 2 woman from our church came over to help him ( Thank you Paula and Jane)and at night Grandmom came to spend the night. He was responsible for cooking ,cleaning, doing the dishes , the wash, feeding the dog, Medicating Arnold's eye( the cat),baths, bedtime, meals,taking Gemma for her type and cross, taking Gemma for her blood transfusion , taking care of Emilia's leg (to make sure no infection set in her fixator), and making sure everything ran smoothly at home . He did an incredible job! His sisters really love him. WE could not have done this trip without him. Someday he will make some young lady a wonderful husband.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hong Kong July 21

Tropical Cyclone Level 3 is in force!

This is the second cyclone to hit China since we have been here. The first one hit Gemma's province (GuangXi). This one is headed for Hong Kong tonight, is has now been upgraded to a level 3. The hotel is going door to door to tell everyone to stay in their room and go to bed ( it is the middle of the day).

PLEASE pray that it passes quickly and with no damage to the airport so we can fly home on time.We can not afford to be delayed. Teresa has been resting all day to make the flight home tomorrow.
Right now Teresa is doing really well. Her breathing and heart rate are all in check.
We have been advised that the flight home may be too much for her heart and lungs because of the pressurized cabin . Her oxygen level right now is 73%, but will likely drop during the flight . Please pray for her to stay stable with no emergencies .
Thank you for all of your prayers! We are so grateful to everyone.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hong Kong July 20

Today we took the train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong . Taking the train in china is such a different experience each time. The train ride through the country side is beautiful , but getting on and off the train is very stressful with 3 kids and all of our luggage. Everything went fine and we arrived at our hotel this afternoon. We spent most of the day inside because the weather is VERY hot .

Teresa is doing great .

We will leave China on Wednesday (U.S. time)10:30 pm and arrive in BWI Thursday at 5:30 pm.
We are hoping to take Teresa home for a day or 2 so she can see her home before we take her to the hospital, (we only have a few more days of her medicine left), but if she should have any complications on the plane we will take her right to the hospital.

Thank You everyone for all of your prayers! Thank you china for giving us another beautiful daughter!

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19

Today was our American Consulate Appointment. Our guide went to the Consulate this morning to prepare the paperwork for Teresa's Visa. Normal procedure is for the family to return the next day for the Oath Ceremony , but the consulate allowed us to return today and take the oath and receive Teresa's Visa . This is usually a three day procedure and Teresa was allowed to be expedited because of her heart condition . We can now take the train tomorrow to Hong Kong . We tried to have our air fare changed to return home on Wednesday but the airline for this time was sold out. So now we will have one day to stay in Hong Kong before leaving for the 30 hours of travel home. It would be nice to take Teresa to Hong Kong Disneyland for a few hours, but this would depend upon her vitals and the heat and humidity .

This journey has been truly amazing. Four months ago when we stepped out in faith to adopt Teresa we knew it would be an adjustment for our family to welcome a child so sick . Once we held her in our arms all the fears of her condition just melted away. Her contagious smile and little laugh lights up the room . She loves life and it is so clear in her little eyes. She is so sweet and kind to her sisters and the love she gives to Ed and I melts our hearts. We are so blessed to have her as our daughter. So many miracles already surround her .

Please pray for Teresa to have no difficulty with her breathing or with her heart on the flight home.
She has come so far. I pray that GOD will lead her safely home to be with her forever family.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Guangzhou July 18

Today we had a free day . Free from all adoption paperwork, so we decided to take a taxi and go to The Guangzhou City Zoo. It is interesting to see how differently the animals are taken care of here. Disney's Animal Kingdom does not sell plastic lids or straws in the park so the animals are not at risk of swallowing anything dangerous. Well here people were dropping plastic bottles and bags into the monkey exhibit and the monkeys were chewing them up. There were several people who asked Grace if they could take her picture with them . She felt like a celebrity again. She did not seem to mind this time , as in the past when she was younger and people would ask for her photo. We only stayed for a little while because the heat and humidity felt like that of Florida in August and we did not want to keep Teresa out in it too long. We came back to the room and looked at the pictures that China Care had given us of Teresa's life for the past three years. They had given us 4 CD's of her for the three years of her life. It was so great to see her taking her first steps. When she was learning to stand she could not push up with only one arm so she would put her bottom on the wall and use her head and one arm on the ground to stand up. She does not let anything stop her . Her personality is so funny , this morning at breakfast she told the waitress to take her plate away because she was all done. She is like talking to a mini adult.

I now understand why we could not adopt Josiah at the same time as Teresa. We had tried to bring him home too,but now I see why it did not all come together and work out. Teresa's care involves so much time and constant supervision of her heart and breathing , it just would have been too much right now. Tonight we took her to the pool for just 15 minutes and her lips and hands turned purple and we had to take her out. Last night in the play room she had to continuously stop and lay down , it was just too much trying to keep up with all the kids . We are constantly monitoring her heart rate , breathing and oxygen to make sure it is all in check. Even though her health is so fragile she continuously is smiling and loving life . She is so happy all the time .

Teresa (AKA "Lucy" while in the orphanage) has had so many people praying for her all over the world. I can not tell you all how thankful we are for all of the prayers for Teresa. Teresa has touched so many lives already . I am in awe at how one little orphan can touch so many lives and bring so many people together for the good , I know GOD has a special plan for her life.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Guangzhou July 17

Today started out pretty much the same as yesterday. We went to breakfast at our hotel ( The breakfast buffet at this hotel has all of the American favorite foods).
We then met our guide to return to the Clinic for the Doctor to exam Teresa's TB test . It was normal.

We had the rest of the day free , so we took a taxi to a local park about 15 minutes from the hotel. Baiyun Mountain, Yuntai Park is a very beautiful park decorated with a lot of Disney character's ( I'm sure Disney does not know about this ).

The city is getting ready for the Asian games so for the next 4 days the city is having traffic practice. Depending on your license plate number depends on the day of the week you may drive . Traffic for the next 4 days we were told should be very good. It only took us 15 minutes to get to the park , on a normal day this would have been around 45 minutes.

The rest of the day we spent in the hotel . We are trying for Teresa not to run around with Lucy too much ( this causes her heart rate to rise too high ). Her coloring ,breathing and heart rate have all been very good today .

Friday, July 16, 2010

More Pictures

Guangzhou , July 16

There have been so many miracles already in Teresa's life. The first miracle was with her birth parents. When she was 5 months old they chose to help her by placing her outside of a police station , so she would be found right away. She was taken to The Lvliang SWI. This a very poor orphanage in a very poor city. The orphanage , not having the ability to help her found a place that had the medical resources to help her. She was sent to The china Care Home that provided her with the best medical care and love .

God has touched her life in so many ways. I know he has brought her into our lives for a reason. We have only known her for 7 days , but she feels like she has been a part of our family forever.

We are starting to feel more comfortable with all of her daily care and with giving her all of her medicines. It is starting to feel routine, although she still has to be monitored continuously. In the playroom at our hotel last night she was running around with Lucy and her heart rate increased too much which caused her to start coughing and her lips to turn even more blue. We are constantly checking her heart rate and her oxygen levels . It is a daily learning experience with her right now, something I hope will become easier as we grow to learn more and more about her .

She continues to delight us with her amazing personality.

Thank you EVERYONE for your continued prayers and donations. We will be faced with tremendous medical bills upon our return home with Teresa . We are so grateful to all that have contributed and prayed for Teresa but with a special THANK YOU to those who we do not know personally. God continues to provide for Teresa in such amazing ways. Our whole adoption journey has been a miracle and Teresa still being alive is our biggest miracle of all.

WE pray God will share her with us for many years.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Yesterday's flight from Tiayuan to Guangzhou went very well. Teresa oxygen level dropped to 72 . She seemed to do OK with her breathing. She started to cough a little bit more and her breathing became a little more labored but still OK. Thank you everyone for all of the prayers!

Today we went to the Exit physical. All children entering the US are now required to have ALL of their vaccinations and a TB test before being allowed to enter the US. We luckily met our favorite Doctor there( he is the same Doctor to do all 5 of the girls physicals and he was so happy to see us again . He is now retired and was at the clinic only by chance today filling in for someone). He signed a waiver for Liu Fang not to get all the vaccinations that she is missing because it would be too much for her little body with her heart so sick.

Guangzhou is getting ready for the ASIAN Games being held here in November. For the past year the city has been under construction trying to refurbish the buildings. In December there was construction everywhere . Now it is almost done. The city looks so different. The landscape looks very pretty and the buildings now are painted in pastel colors.

Teresa continues to adjust so well to everything.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Leaving Taiyuan

Today we are flying 3 hours to Guangzhou. This is where the American Consulate is located. Here we will complete our adoption paperwork.
We are hoping that Teresa does not have any difficulty breathing on the plane.

The heat index in Guangzhou is 110. Very hot!

Teresa continues to adjust very well to her new life with us.
We are trying to keep her excitement level very low as not to get her heart rate up too high ( she takes medicine to lower her rate)
She is already speaking several English words very clearly.
She goes potty all the time because of the diuretics , so we are trying to keep her from getting dehydrated in the heat with out giving her too much fluids . Going to the squatty potties here is a bit of a challenge.