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, August 28, 2012

First Day Of Kindergarten

Today Teresa reached another goal that two years ago we weren't sure should we would .   Today Teresa started kindergarten !

Because of her health she will attend only half a day and she will have home school 2-3 times a week in the afternoon .  Hopefully in a few months she will gradually go full day if she can tolerate it .
She was so excited ! Teresa and Gemma were split into different classes .  I really debated having them together but the school felt it would be in Gemma's best ineterest to be seperated.  Teresa has a tendency to talk for Gemma  and with her severe speech disorder she needs to be more vocal for  herself .  The girls are virtual twins and Teresa pretty much thinks "SHE" is the boss of Gemma .  Gemma is so laid back and easy going she lets Teresa "Think" she is the boss but when she wants to be heard , look out , the drama begins .

Mary was so excited for school to start that on Sunday  at 3:00 in the afternoon she took her shower , laid out her uniform , packed and re packed her book bag and then asked to go to bed . She woke up early Monday morning with a smile and ready to go .   I wish I could say the day started so pleasent for a few others but ( not mentioning any names ) , they were cranky , tired , and not used to the early rising .
Monday was also Lucy's Birthday .  Not a fun Birthday having school start on it  but Lucy was so happy to be turning 9, I don't think she minded . She thinks the older she gets , the bigger she will be.  Unfortunately because of the many syndromes she has , she will always be tiny and that's fine with me because she is easier to hug and squeeze .

   We had a wonderful summer and actually were able to go on a vacation  that  I am very grateful for .  We visited family and friends we had not seen for quite some time. We tried to enjoy every minute of every day and squeeze  every last minute of fun  into summer as we could .   When you have a child that you are not guaranteed any tomorrows with  , you look at EVERY day differently .  I want to fill   every day with fun, love , happiness and  new experiences because we just don't know if we will have another summer.  Teresa's heart function has started to deteriorate more.  Dr. Hanna was hopeful that within a few weeks she should be able to stabilize .   He said it was most likely was  from the summer heat .

As we try to adapt to a new season ,   life has become very stressful living out of a suitcase and jumping every time the phone rings . Trying to have the house completely organized and ready to run to Philadelphia  within minutes of getting "The Call".   Every time a call comes from PA, my mind races ... where are all the kids , how fast can I get home , is it work traffic , who can be at the house in minutes so we can leave , is there enough food in the fridge , is the wash done , is all of Gemma's medicine ordered, is everything packed    on and on and on . And then I stop and think how selfish  it is to think this way when another family is losing their child and making the biggest sacrifice of their life to give my child  a second chance at life .  And I feel guilty again .

Never in my life could I have imagined how Organ Donation , Blood Donation  and Orphan care  would  play  such a huge part in  my life .   Organ donation was always someone elses responsibility .  I loved reading the story's of people who received  a second chance and were so sick and now were doing great .  I always thought " that's nice but I am so glad I don't have to worry about that ".  Now my child will die with out someone else making that organ donation .  Blood donation was the same .  I donated blood in the past but it was never a big concern .  I wanted to help but did not feel the tremendous responsibility that I now do .  Without  blood transfusions every 3 weeks my child will die .
Orphan care was always someone else responsibility too .  We would donate money and say "well someday if we have the money we will adopt and do more ..."    We never had the money , the time was never right , life was not standing still and  children needed homes .  So we adopted .

We now advocate for Organ Donation , Blood Donation and Orphan Care in china . It's funny how your life goes in a completely different direction than you ever imagined  when you say "Yes " to Gods Will .   All the incredible experiences we would have missed out on had we never said "yes'.

Right now our life is very stressful and full of many unknowns but knowing this is Gods Will we are chosing to embrace it and go on one incredible journey down so many roads we never imagined we would travel .
We are looking forwrd to Fall and creating many more wonderful family experiences .
Teresa is already asking when we can go pick a pumpkin.
I have to get through the mounds and mounds of paperwork and books to cover from school first  !

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our Last Summer

We are back from some much needed rest and relaxation ( AKA- vacation).   Our energy level was very low and we were in great need of having our spirits re -energized .   It was so nice to be able and spend some time with Paul and Meg.  Because of their school schedule we only get to see them once or twice a year .   The girls love spending time with them  .  Alex and Taylor also spent a few days with us relaxing .

On our way home from vacation we met with an amazing family .  Their daughter ( Rachel) is also waiting for a heart transplant .   It was so nice to talk to another family who is going through the same situation as us .  Their strength and courage was very inspirational .  I know God puts people in your path to help lift you up on your journey and for us this was just what we needed !

We also stopped to see Ed's twin brother Jim and his wife Amy and their three children  ( they also have a daughter from China .  Hope, is actually from Mary and Emilia's province , Hubei ) .  Teresa  wasted no time makig herself feel at home and playing dress up .  She LOVED being a southern Belle .

We are now back to reality .  I have to say the escape from reality was actually REALLY nice .  We had no Doctors calls, Doctors appointments , blood transfusions , surgeries ...  It felt really great to just "BE".     Now we have to pay ... this week we have 8 Doctors appointments and Gemmas blood transfusion .. Friday all 6 of the girls and I will travel to Philly for Teresa's monthly check up and testing .  We will be meeting with the transplant team and Child Life to discuss the transplant procedure in more detail to the girls .

I can not believe summer is almost over .  In less than 2 weeks all of the girls will start school .  I really love having them all home,  but for the first time in 26 years , I will be childless for 4 hours each day . ( Teresa is starting kindergarden with Gemma but will only go to school  half a day because of her health ) .  So I  will have  4 hours to myself , I can hardly stand the wait !

Here are some photos of our VERY  WONDERFUL summer . It went by way too fast !  Praying God will bless us with another wonderful summer next year and  ALL of us together !