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 ...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lucy's Hurricane Birthday Party

In one week we had an earthquake and a hurricane.
Saturday was Lucy's Eighth Birthday .We celebrated by having a Hurricane Birthday party ! She was so excited to ride her new bike but unfortunately with all of the rain that had to wait . We ended up having to take Teresa to the ER around 8:00pm because as the girls were cleaning up getting ready for bed , Emilia decided to wing a toy at Teresa and it hit her in her cheek , went through her cheek into her mouth , poor baby . So during the middle of the hurricane we went to Hopkins where luckily it was empty . We were in and out in no time . All patched up and good as new. I'm hoping she does not have too big of a scar on her beautiful little face.
We only lost power for about 16 hours, so it wasn't too bad.

Luckily the sun came out today and Lucy could ride her new bike!

Five years ago when we adopted Lucy I had no idea what we were in for . Her adoption opened the eyes of my heart. Mary's adoption was so easy and her special need was uncomplicated. But with Lucy we had no idea of ALL her medical needs before we adopted her . We were told she had cleft palate and torticollus and that's all. I know with any adoption you have to be open to all of the unknowns and with Lucy there were so MANY.
She came to us very sick . Once we arrived home she spent the first 2 weeks in the hospital . Her Doctors said she would not have lived much longer had she stayed in China .
Before we left for China to adopt Lucy we had contacted China Care ( unknowingly the same orphanage that Teresa would soon be in ). We asked if we could do anything to help . At the time they were in need of supplies being delivered to China. So they sent us the supplies and we repacked them into 6 suitcase and delivered them to CC in Beijing when we arrived. While there we toured the home and had the privilege of playing with all of the children . God was slowly opening our eyes to the tremendous need for orphans. Little did we know that our sweet Teresa would soon be in this same home receiving life saving care !
As we left the China Care Home we were very moved by all of the children left behind without families to love them .
Several days later we traveled to Lucy's Province to meet her . What a little fire cracker she was . As sick as she was she tried everything she could think of to make us laugh so we would love her. Lucy's story is very sad . No child should have to endure the tremendous suffering that she experienced in the first three years of her life.
I would like to think had we known of her health before her adoption that we would have still gone through with it . It was very scary for a while . Today she is doing fantastic . She still has major health concerns but she is thriving and growing.
Four years ago when we returned to China ,we went back to Lucy's orphanage. We toured the orphanage and were able to see where she had spent so much of her early years. We also visited her abandonment site.( this is where she was found) We were there exactly 4 years to the day that she was abandoned. As I stood on the dirt road and watched all the people walking by , I couldn't help but think that just maybe one of these women might be Lucy's Birth Mother . Did she come back every year on this anniversary ? I can only imagine the pain she carries in her heart . She loved " Ya Ya Mei" so much . Lucy was found with a birth note from her birth Mother. This birth note told us so much about her Birth family . We know that she was dearly loved and that she had an older sibling . We also know that August 27, 2003, is her exact birth date and time. Her Birth Mother named her " Beautiful little Sister " .Lucy was born with bilateral cleft palate and torticullis. Her head was severely deformed and fused to the side and her mouth was completely open going through both sides of her nose. She was anything but beautiful, but her birth mother ( and I ) both thought she was the most beautiful child we had ever seen .

Today she is a very happy 8 year old .She still has moments from her past ... She becomes my shadow at night ,following me every where because she is still haunted by her past . How I wish I could erase these terrible memories for her. I know God is slowly healing her memories and filling them with love.

I am in awe at how God was preparing us for Teresa and how HE lead us to The China Care home just before Teresa would arrive . Our connections to China Care are only made possible by God.

China Care/Half The Sky Foundation are amazing organizations that help to save the lives of so many children in China. We are forever grateful to them for taking care of Teresa .

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Want / Need

Want and Need, one of the many lessons we have learned over the past year. With Teresa's medical care so expensive ( her one heart medicine alone is over $1,200 a month ), we can only afford what we need.
I constantly tell the girls "God will provide all that you need".
This is sometimes difficult for them to understand...
For the past few months Grace has been asking ,almost daily , for a horse . A horse is so far off my radar of something we need right now. So after hearing about this tremendous "Need" for so long , I finally told her to take it up with God .If HE felt this was something she truly "Needed", than He would provide a way .
So guess what ... God provided a way to meet Grace's "Need".
Through a friend we learned of a horse rescue farm in need of volunteers to help rehabilitate abused horses.
Grace went through the training and has been volunteering there for the past 2 weeks. She is in heaven . She LOVES caring for the horses and is helping to build trust in humans again through loving care. She will soon be matched with a horse to foster until it is healthy enough to be adopted.
God knew Grace's "Need" when all I saw was "Want".
God continues to provide for our every need!

As summer comes to an end we are so thankful to God for giving Teresa a summer full of fun , laughter, love and many healthy days full of energy and free from illness.
Teresa will start Pre-K in September. We really struggled over whether or not to send her to school or home school her. A simple cold could potentially take her life. She really wants to go to school. I have faith God will provide for her every need .
We are returning to CHOP in early October for another heart Catheterization .
Still praying for a miracle...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Teresa's First Holy Communion

Teresa's First Holy Communion .A very special day . Thank you for keeping Teresa in your prayers and getting her to this day . It was very special for her .

Monday, August 8, 2011

Teresa's Fantastic Summer

Teresa is having a fantastic summer! She is feeling great . This is the longest period of time she has ever gone without a fever, cough , runny nose , virus ...nothing !
Summer started with Teresa's Wish trip to Disney . We were a little apprehensive about the plane ride and exposure to so many people at Disney , but she stayed perfectly healthy .
Summer Bible school was another great experience . This was Teresa's first exposure to a classroom setting with other children . She loved it ! She talked about all her new friends daily . Again no illness!
For three days we were able to go to Grandma's beach house . ( unfortunately Ed could not go with us because of work. One of the many joys of being self employed.)Teresa had never seen the Ocean before and this was an experience we did not want her to miss.
Seeing the beach and ocean for the first time , priceless... "Look at all of the snow!"

Thanks to Give Kids the World , Teresa was able to go to Hershey park and have fun eating endless chocolate. ( for one year after a Wish , the family is given free tickets to amusement parks around the country. Luckily Hershey is close to where we live ).
Thanks to a wonderful ballet teacher , Teresa and Gemma were allowed to become ballerinas once a week .( thank you Miss Lisa for giving the girls this opportunity !) Teresa loves showing off her dance steps to anyone who will stop and watch.

Thanks to a very caring Horse instructor , Grace was able to continue riding and competed in her first horse show in 7 years. She loves to ride !

Our summer days were also filled with fun times playing at the pool, enjoying the company of close friends and just hanging out at home . We met new friends on their adoption journey too.
Our nights were complete with snow balls and catching lightning bugs. Gemma loves her bugs, she has quite the collection in her bug cage.
Gemma also had a very healthy summer. She has been able to hold onto her blood long enough to allow her to go 4 weeks in between each transfusion .Her ferritin levels still remain dangerously high (normal is between 10-300 and hers is 4,000)but she is taking baby steps in the right direction .

Mama Mia is the movie of choice this summer for the girls . They all love it and know all of the songs.

Sunday Aug. 14 , will be a very special day for Teresa . She is making her First Holy Communion . As she likes to say , " I am going to marry Jesus."
The Catholic Church is making an exception for Teresa to receive this sacrament early . She has shown an understanding for the sacrament and a very strong love for Jesus.
All week she has been telling everyone that she is getting married. Most people just smile and say "that's nice", but the few that ask her who she will marry are a little surprised when she says "Oh, I am marrying Jesus" . She is so excited.

This summer has also brought us to a peaceful realization for Teresa's life. We are no longer searching for the BIG cure all. We are content to let God be God .