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 ...

Monday, February 28, 2011

New Found Friends

Teresa woke up this morning and was feeling a lot better. She looked so much better than she did Sunday .

Today we met an amazing family from PA . They have been following Teresa's journey on our blog. After going to Hopkins for doctors appointments they stopped by to meet Teresa and give her some " Goodies". Teresa was so excited all morning waiting for them to arrive.

Thank you Amy , you ,Sam and Hope brightened Teresa's day ! Your generosity was greatly appreciated ! Teresa has not let go of Cinderella ALL day .

One of the greatest gifts we have received on this journey with Teresa is AMAZING friends ! Their generosity , love and support for Teresa has helped us as we carry this tremendous pain in our hearts .

Thank you D'Ann and Amy ! You are angels sent from God .

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Prayer Weekend

Thank you everyone for praying for Teresa this weekend !
This past week has been very sad for us . Finding out Wednesday that Teresa's heart is failing even more has been very difficult. I feel even more driven now to fill every minute of every day with love and happiness for her .
This weekend in church her name was mentioned in the prayer for the sick . She heard her name called and she turned and looked at me with a very puzzled expression and said , " Why are they praying for me , I am not sick ". She does not know or feel she is sick . When I look at her face I can see it in her eyes how much she has deteriorated . She looks so tired .

Even though this past week has been hard for us , she keeps her little "Princess " smile going . Today she was Cinderella.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not Good News

We are admitted , we are going home, we are admitted , we are going home . We are finally home ! Not a good day .

This morning we went to see Teresa's cardiologist at Hopkins. For the past 3 weeks she has been holding onto a cold that would not go away . I could tell something was wrong , she just hasn't been herself . The echo revealed her already severely damaged Tricuspid valve was leaking even (dangerously )more. This is causing damage to her liver and fluid retention in her face. After a VERY long day of testing it was decided we would go home and closely monitor her and speak again in the morning to go over the blood work . She will start 2 new medicines , one to eliminate excess fluid and one to help her heart function better. Not the news we had hoped for .

To all of Teresa's prayer warrior friends , people from all over the world that pray continuously for her , people we have never met but feel called to pray for her , THANK YOU !!! Your prayers and words of wisdom and love mean so much to us . Your prayers mean more to us than you will ever know . Thank You !

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snow Day

Teresa wanted so badly to go out and play in the snow today ... but she wasn't feeling too well . She unfortunately needed oxygen most of the day . We are going to the Doctor tomorrow .

Monday, February 21, 2011


After I took this photo and showed it to her she was mad because her hair did not look like a "Princess" . This is how puffy her little face and eyes have been , but she still LOVES to smile for the camera !

The kids were off of school today and I was hoping to take them to the park but the weather has turned very cold and we are now expecting snow . Only 4 more weeks until spring .

Teresa is still having trouble from this cold that won't go away . Her eyes and face are puffy and she is starting to cough a lot . This morning her oxygen level was again in the upper 60's . We will go back to see her cardiologist on Wed. . We are trying to stay positive but when I look at pictures of her from just a few months ago and then now , she looks so different to me . Her energy level has also slowed down . She stops often throughout the day to lay down and rest.

We are still trying to squeeze every ounce of happiness into every day for her . She tries so hard to remain a Princess even when she is not feeling well . Her favorite princess this week is Cinderella .

The Day Of Prayer for Teresa on Sunday Feb. 27th. has turned into The Weekend of Prayer and fasting for Teresa. We would be VERY grateful to anyone that would like to take a few minutes this weekend and storm heavens door for her .

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year !

This past week was so busy ! The girls had 6 Doctor's appointments in 5 days. I think that was a new record for us . Everyone is doing great although Teresa is still holding on to this cold that won't go away . She has had it for several weeks now and it is starting to make her oxygen level drop into the upper 60's almost everyday now. She's needed oxygen several times over the past week and has to take many breaks through out the day to catch her breath . She also looks to me like she is retaining fluid , her eyes and face are a little puffy . If this doesn't improve soon , we will be headed back to the Doctor.

Today we celebrated Chinese New Year with our local FCC group . The girls really enjoy this every year . This was the first time for Teresa and she loved the day . She liked everything except The Monkey King . She wore her Chinese "Princess Dress" as she called it .

Thank you for continuing to Pray for Teresa ! On Sunday Feb. 28th. We will have a day of fasting for Teresa . Thank you Bridget for this great idea . Please join us in this day of prayer for Teresa .

Sunday, February 13, 2011

7 Months !

Seven months ago today we adopted a "PRINCESS" in China !!!!!
Oh how our life has changed over the past 7 months .This little "Princess" has taught us so much about life. I have to be honest and say ,that some of the things we have experienced in the past 7 months I could have done with out ( well maybe a lot of things ) . This journey we are on has been very difficult at times but it is the one God has set before us to follow . We have been so blessed to have the privilege to love this "Little Princess".

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"To Do List "

Today we crossed off one more thing on our "To Do List " for Teresa . This is a long list of normal childhood experiences i would like for Teresa to have the chance to do. It has things on it from going to the zoo to going to Disney World, from making a Build A Bear to riding a bike . So today we went to Build a Bear for Teresa to experience the fun of creating a new friend to love . Lucy generously offered to give Teresa her Christmas money to help pay for it . She really loves Teresa and couldn't wait to help her.

Teresa picked a white bear with pink and red hearts . She named her "Princess Hope". The most exciting part of the day for her was picking out the SHOES. She LOVES shoes . She is really starting to have an obsession with shoes.

Last week while we were at Sinai Hospital having Emilia's Cast removed , she commented on the Child Life specialists shoes as she came into our room. "Mommy I lova her shoes" . Yesterday while we were at Kennedy Krieger for Gemma's Speech class she noticed EVERYONES shoes . As we walked into the elevator there was a woman standing there with purple sparkly shoes. Teresa started jumping up and down saying" I lova her shoes " . The woman thought this was hysterical and asked her if she would like to touch them . Then today at Church as we were leaving ( in the quietest voice she could contain ) she said " Mommy come here I have to show you something " . She led me back up to the front of the Church where an older woman was kneeling and praying . As quiet as she could she said "Look at her shoes ". They were gold. The woman stopped praying and turned and looked at Teresa to see who was interrupting her prayers. I had to explain to her that she was in love with her shoes. This woman was so kind to her . She told Teresa "Thank You " and that she also loved Teresa's shoes .

I am getting a little afraid of going in public places now for fear of what she might say if she doesn't like someones shoes. She only gets to see me in Tennis Shoes.
She keeps me smiling all day long with her funny comments.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Emilia's NEW leg

For the first time in 12 months Emilia is free from all casts,braces and external fixator devices !!!!

It was a long year but so worth the wait. She never complained about the pain or not being able to run and play . Her only request was to have a pair of sparkly shoes and to be able to ride her bike .

In a few years she will have her right leg lengthened again. ( this leg will never grow). Her next surgery on her left leg will be in a few months. This leg was totally rebuilt 2 years ago with the ability to bend at the knee. Over the past couple of years it has started to lock up and can no longer bend. This surgery will be a major one requiring a 7 day hospital stay with intense PT 5 days a week for 4 months and 3 hours of PT at home to keep the knee flexible . We would like to wait until Mayzie (Emilia's Service Dog )comes home to have this surgery because she will be able to help Emilia with the PT . She will also be a huge emotional support for her and a big distraction while at PT. Dr. Standard assured Emilia that after this surgery she would definitely be able to ride her bike ! That is all she had to hear , she can not wait !

So now the problem is trying to find the right time to fit this surgery in to an already very hectic schedule . We would also need to be able to afford a full time babysitter for a few weeks who would feel comfortable taking care of Teresa while I was in and out of the hospital with Emilia. I have not left Teresa with a sitter for longer than a few hours . I don't feel comfortable leaving her for long periods of time because her health is so fragile and she can deteriorate rapidly .

Praying for God to guide us in the right direction .

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Min Min Has A Family !!!!!

Min Min has a family !!!!!
This is Teresa's best friend from the orphanage. This little girl really touched our hearts while we were in China . She too has a very complex heart condition , but what really was amazing about her was how desperately she wanted a Mama. She carried Teresa little photo book around (of photos of our family we had sent Teresa) looking at every photo and saying Min Min's mei mei ? Min Min's baba? She wanted us to take her home too. This broke our heart having to say good bye to her . As soon as we came home we started advocating for her to find a home . Teresa still calls her on her play phone everyday and talks to her . If we could have we would of adopted her too , but GOD had other plans . She has a Family now !!!! This family is having her adoption expedited to bring her home as soon as possible so she can get the medical care she needs for her heart before she has irreversible damage like Teresa . This means they have to come up with all the adoption fees very soon . Please go to their blog to see if you can help them in any way .

Bringing Min Home .
or click on their button on the right .

We are so happy for Min Min and her family !!
(Teresa still calls her Ming Ming)

Saturday, February 5, 2011


The girls broke the news to Grandpop the other day . "Can we keep Annabelle? We will pay you our allowance for one year. " How could Grandpop resist those sweet little faces. He said " Yes". We will see how that works out . She is the sweetest little dog. She wants to be held ALL the time . I think Mary is going to have to move her bed permanently into the family room. She has been sleeping in her sleeping bag with Annabelle every night . We will eventually transition her into her crate . This is where she will hopefully sleep all night , but for right now she and Mary are enjoying snuggling together !

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Birth Time ?

The other day in the car Lucy and Mary were having a conversation about Birthdays. They were discussing how they each would like to celebrate their Birthdays this year . This was the year they each could have a friends birthday party . ( We alternate between a friend party and a family party because with 9 kids and 3 birthdays in one month ,it was too expensive ) .

Lucy was still undecided on what "Themed" party she wanted this year but Mary was very specific about the type of celebration she wanted. As I listened in on their conversation I wasn't sure where it was headed . Then as Mary was giving all the details of her party to Lucy , she turned to me and said " and Mom what time was I born because I have to start my Birthday celebration at exactly the time I was born ? Oh, wait a minute ,YOU WERE NOT THERE..." I could see that she had stopped to think and then she said , " Could you look at my adoption paperwork to see what time I was born ?"
I told her of course I would and then tried to explain to her that even though I was not there for her birth , she was always in my heart .

I wasn't sure what to do about her birth time because I knew we did not have this information . She knew that Lucy had a birth note from her Birth Mother with her actual birthdate and birth time on it . Her birth Mother even named her but Mary did not have a birth note from her Birth Mom . The only information we have from Mary's birth is , she was born with a severe cleft lip and palate . Her Birth Mom could not feed her and when she was found she was severely malnourished and close to death . Because of this her permanent teeth are now coming in without the enamel . She has already had to have several of her teeth capped to try to preserve them .

I did not want to disappoint her so I thought about what birth time I could make up and give to her . I decided to take my birth time and tell Mary that this was the time she was born also . I told her even though I could not be there for her birth , this was something we both had in common . She looked at me and said, "really 8:16 ? wow that is great . Now we can start celebrating at 8:16 . " She thought for a minute longer and said, " I am so happy we share the same time , this is great. "

She decided that on May 19th. at 8:16am. , she was going to change her "number" (age )from 8 to 9 .
I wish I could be so happy on Dec. 2 at 8:16am. to change my "number" also .

Yesterday , Gemma had her blood transfusion . She did very well . She was able to hold onto her blood for 4 weeks this time . Even though her hemoglobin level was very low , it was still high enough for her to make it 4 weeks. So next month we are going 4 weeks again . Hopefully this will become her norm . Her results from her Ferriscan were not so good . We were hoping for an improvement from last year but unfortunately her liver iron concentration increased along with her iron levels in her spleen . Average liver iron concentration is around 0.17, hers are 33.4 We are waiting to discuss with her Doctor the best treatment .

Teresa is still loving EVERYTHING ! (especially being a princess ). She is the BOSS of everyone . Today when I asked her who she was ,(this is a daily event . Every morning if I call her Teresa , she quickly sets me straight . Most days she is " Princess" but on a few rare occasions she will be Teresa, Fang Fang or Mommy ), today she was Princess. She would sleep in her princess dress if I let her . She takes it off only when she is getting into bed and puts it next to her bed and as soon as she wakes up she immediately puts it on .

Emilia will hopefully have her cast off next week . She is so excited .

Lucy is feeling much better and off all her pain meds.. We will find out in a few weeks if the surgery was a success when she has more renal testing done .

The girls are all getting very excited about Chinese New Year . We will celebrate this year with our local FCC( Families with Children from China) . We always have such a fantastic time at this event .