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, July 8, 2013

3:23, One week later

It has been one week since we said good bye to our heart warrior Teresa.
Life has changed drastically for our family.  We once again are trying to find our" new "normal.
But how do you find a new normal when the one you lost was your normal?

Teresa's funeral was a beautiful celebration of her life.   Thank you to our amazing Catonsville community , friends , family, church  and friends around the world for all of your prayers , love and support.

The outpouring of love for Teresa has been amazing.  The stories of how deeply she changed so many lives is awe inspiring.   I know I keep saying this but , only by the power of God could one little orphan girl change so many lives around the world.  Ed and I take no credit .  It was all God, we were just doing what God asked us to do.  He shared Teresa with us for almost three years , now he has asked us to share her with the world forever, and this meant HE had to call her home.

It would have been so easy for God to heal Teresa at any  time. But through the last two weeks of her suffering life on this earth HE was able to change so many lives around the world.

Right after Teresa received her new heart from her "Heart Hero", she started to have difficulty.  First the right ventricle was struggling, then the left atrium, cardiac arrest, CPR, ECMO for 12 days,  ECMO cannula cracking, two more open heart surgeries,  Heart cath., on and off  ECMO,  bladder infection, phlebitis, Kidney failure, Liver failure, lung failure... and she kept on FIGHTING to LIVE!  She would awaken from being heavily sedated and communicate with us through nodding her head and squeezing our hand.  She would give me the thumbs up when I would talk to her about going to see the Disney Princesses.  She would start to cry when I talked about Gemma or home.  This broke our hearts.

For two weeks Ed and I did not leave her side.  We talked to her about happy times and how much her family loved her.  We played her princess songs on the ipad for her to listen too.  Over and over a song kept coming on that was not a princess song. At first I thought this was nice but then I realized that she was waking up each time this particular song was on. Almost as if to say " Hey , what happened to the princess songs".  But now I can see the meaning of it.  The song was " You raise me Up".  It was as if God was sending us a sign and Teresa was acknowledging it.

For two weeks the similarity of Christ suffering on the cross and Teresa suffering in the hospital bed was uncanny.    She bled from her eyes, nose , mouth, and heart almost continuously.  She would sign for a drink.  We would soak a little pink sponge in water and hold it in her mouth to try and quench her unending thirst.

As I sat for two weeks holding her hand , listening to  You raise me Up and staring at the crucifix next to Teresa's  head all I could think about was our Blessed Mother watching Jesus suffer on the cross.

We finally had to tell her  it was O.K to rest and to ride her princess bike into Jesus' arms.
Never in my life did I think I would have the strength to hold my child as she died and whisper the words "run to Jesus, HE loves you so much".    At that  moment God gave me the most incredible gift. I  was not there when she took her first breath but HE let me be there to hold her as she took her last breath.

We held her for hours. I did not want to forget one thing about her.  We bathed her and were able to kiss her sweet face for the first time in two weeks with out any tubes.  I just could not leave her laying there all alone and walk away.   And once again I was reminded of Our Blessed Mother Mary and how she felt holding Jesus lifeless body.

The pain does not get any better as the days go on , it only becomes different.  You never get over the hole that is left in your  heart. The magic of Teresa has left our home.

Everyone is coping differently .
In Teresa's memory we would like to help other children have their own families so that EVERY orphan child will know the love of a family !  We also would like to establish Mission trips to China by this country's  best cardiac surgeons and  cardiac doctors so  other orphans will  be given the life saving cardiac surgery needed right after birth to save their lives.
How we will do this is up to God  .  Just like the last three years of our life , God is in control and will lead us on this new journey to help more orphans. 

With God  all things are possible. 


"I Love you More"


dhm78 said...

Dear Ann,
Our family's hearts break for your family. We've prayed and asked God to heal your precious girl, our precious little princess that gave us all hope to keep pressing forward when times are hard. Teresa experienced more hard than anyone should have to that is six years young. She had an iron will that has changed many in this mixed up world and saved lives in the process, I believe. I am so very thankful to have known Teresa and your family thru your blog and the adoption community. I know that your Treasure will help to encourage many more families to step out of their comfort zone and follow God's voice as He leads them to bring a child who only wants a Momma and Daddy. This is my prayer, that as God chose to heal Teresa's heart in Heaven, that he will open the hearts of folks to give an orphan a home.
Our Anna joined our family from China in 2005. What a blessing God has given us.


Françoise said...

I do not well enough speak English to express you what I feel. I am upset by the story of your wonderful girl. I think a lot of you, your family and this new star in the sky
Françoise from France

Anonymous said...

Ann, I Am So Sorry For Your Loss Of That Little Angel From Your Arms On Earth. We Know She Will Again Be In Your Arms Again One Day In Heaven, But It Is Hard Not Having Her Here. I Love The Ideas You Have About Trips To China. Who Knows, Maybe One Day We Will Join You. Heather And I Have Always Thought Of Going On Mission To China. Will Continue To Keep You And Your Beautiful Family In Our Prayers. - Dave Stanghellini & Family

jen chin said...

Absolutely beautiful Ann, i have not stopped thinking of Teresa or you. We will be with you in your journey and will help in anyway we can.

The Stroms.

Aus said...

I will always remember her - always...

hugs and continued prayers -

aus and co.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful. May God continue to bless your family while holding her in his arms. She will fly high and free in His light forever. Peace & love, Lisa

Anonymous said...

Teresa has touchéd so many lives . God needed a special family for her and chose yours. She was a very beautiful person inside and out. Thank you for sharing her with me I am praying for your family . God bless all of you. God is great! Flo

ckbrylliant said...

Thank you for sharing your journey and for sharing Teresa with us. We have much to learn here on earth. You are amazing parents and we pray for your continued strength through this trying time. Love from the Jerry Bryl Family.

Crystal Cudaback said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing Teresa with me and the world. She means so much to me. I honestly cant believe how lost I feel after just following your blog all these years and knowing she was gone. I too have to come to the trust of God and knowing she is just fine in the arms of Jesus where there is no pain and suffering and I pray someday I get to meet this little Angel who I cant shake from my head. I swear to you for not meeting her I feel as if she was one of my own children. Shes is so precious the life she gives off melts my heart. Ive prayed for her for two years and so have my children. We now continue to pray for your family. I get on this blog and facebook daily and tears just stream watching the videos. The ones where she says Dont forget to remember me and the one where you had to say goodbye before surgery. They just melt my heart. You are so strong and I hope forever you hold the memories close until the day you all meet again. God Bless you All!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing Teresa with us. She has changed my life in ways I could never imagine. We will continue praying for your family as you continue this journey. My heart is bigger because of Teresa.

Thank you.

Karin said...

With tears dimming my eyes, I want to thank you for continuing to share with us what God is doing in and through Teresa's life as well a yours. Watching God hold you is comforting to all of us who ache for you. To see God giving your family the strength to walk this road with Him, is to see a glimpse of Him. And to learn with you the parallels to Teresa's suffering to His on the cross is incredible. I remember a similar incident when my heart baby had to have a new chest tube inserted. They made me leave but as I left, I looked through the window to her CICU room and saw that she was strapped spread eagle to the bed. Instantly the image of Jesus strapped spread eagle to the cross and the EXTREME vulnerability of that body position came flooding into my mind. I stumbled away from the scene, so thankful for all He had done for me and the whole world. Many hugs and prayers to you all.

Lynda said...

You've written so beautifully of such a difficult experience. We will continue to pray for the Lord to comfort you and bring "beauty for ashes" for the sake of your precious princess and the beauty of her short life and the love you all share. We know that Teresa will meet and greet you again in the future, but it's your now that I seek His comfort for you all.
I have great admiration for the grace you have all been able to operate with in such trying circumstances.
God continue to bless and keep you all.

Len Smigelski said...

It's so hard to believe that a week has passed since Teresa left this earth. Having a daughter of our own, I can only imagine your thoughts and emotions. Those of us who prayed and hoped for Teresa's recovery can take consolation in the fact that she's now with God. I'm sure that her intercession will help many of us in the future. Thank you so much for sharing her story with us and please continue your family blog.

Tami and Bobby Sisemore Family said...

My heart continues to break for you and I will ALWAYS remember Teresa! I am so excited that her life will bring help to more orphans and will help them be orphans no more! She has forever impacted and changed the world. Her legacy lives on in the hears of all who knew and prayed for her and in all who help a child get surgery or help a child find a family in Teresa's honor. Much love to you and the family.
Tami Sisemore

Anonymous said...


Your words are so beautiful. We dedicated the last to Mass to Teresa, the girls here talked about her and decided to continue dedicating the Mass to Teresa and to your family. We are doing the Divino Ni~o Novena for your family.
We pray for you all have peace. Big HUG.

Want to tell you, My daughters name is Mei Lin Fang. And we called her Fang Fang. She said she has a connection with Teresa!

Mei-Ling Izquierdo, TX

Linda Mills said...

Dear Ann, Ed, and your beautiful family,
I have not stopped thinking of you or praying for you for one minute. I know you are grieving and the pain feels like you can't go on. Remember to take little steps forward, hold each other tightly, and allow yourself to experience all the emotions of grief. You can bet Mary went through many emotions when her dear son passed away. I have been through 7 deaths of my family members the past 8 years. I was so broken (and at times still am) that I sought out counseling. The good Lord was good to me and sent me to an earth angel that helped pull this shattered person back together. Through my tears of anguish, pain, and yes even rage, I truly felt Jesus by my side, comforting me and letting me lean on him. I learned that life will never go on the same, but with Jesus holding my hand, I can cope, and have the assurance that He is there for me.

My Mom passed away very unexpectedly two months ago. Mom was my best friend all my life. At the time, I was so angry at God. I screamed at Him asking "who next?" Wasn't it enough to take my dear sister to cancer, her husband to a broken heart only 2 days later, their daughter, my sweet niece, to her committing suicide 3 years later because she was so grief stricken, to my nephew, my sister and brother in law's son, struggling through life and feeling like an orphan himself and turning to alcohol for comfort. Just when I thought Jesus had picked me back up, my Mom, the glue of my family, passes away suddenly. I have been angry at Jesus, (yes He has huge shoulder's to lean on in our dispair). But through this little Angel named Teresa, I know my loved ones are in his arms and happy. Through Teresa, God has reminded me that we are never abandoned by Him, and He will always be there to hold us up, no matter what. Thank you for all of your blogs and bringing me back to Jesus.

You are all loved,
Linda Mills

Anonymous said...

Still praying for your family daily. Ann, please let us know how we can help you make Teresa's next miracle happen. We would love to contribute to the medical missions. What an awe inspiring idea. Maybe a home for cardiac newborns, appropriately called "Teresa's Hope." I love it. Let us know how to help you make it happen.

Dawn in KS

Anonymous said...

Dear Ann:
I only very recently learned about Teresa through the FCC Facebook page, and followed her journey since the time of her transplant. Thank you for inviting the world to come to know your beautiful family through your blog, and for sharing your joy-filled journey with Teresa. By your sharing, you and Teresa have brought me and countless others to our knees in prayer. By your great faith and faithfulness to God's call to bring Teresa home and share her with the world, you have brought so many new friends to Christ! Thank you to you and your family for your great generosity and your great faith. Since I learned of your family I have been sharing your story, and the story of "Saint Teresa" with everyone I know. I cannot wait to hear about the miracles she has worked since she earned her place in heaven.
I pray for great peace for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

We won't forget about you Teresa!

Claudia Huisman said...

Bless you and your family, Ann. You write so beautifully about Teresa and your words come to life in her little video's. Breaks my heart to read about your last moments with her and to see your photo holding her. Just can't imagine what that must feel like... Wishing you strength! Warm regards, Claudia, The Netherlands

Liddle said...

Thank you for sharing her story. We are already adoptive parents but because of darling Teresa, we are adopting from China next. Just got the application today!
-The Fowler family

Savi said...

I have no idea what to say to express my thoughts. But my heart and prayers are with your entire family. This just break my heart.

Anonymous said...

Have not stopped thinking of you and praying for all of you. Praying for comfort and strength in your grief. Theresa from Georgia

Esther Paris in Rhode Island said...

Dear Ann, So true that the pain doesn't go away but merely changes. It has been YEARS since my first brother died at 17. Next month will be 30 years. It has been 10 years since my HERO donor (liver & kidneys) brother died. Sen years since my mom died. And nearly three hears since my dad died. The pain has changed, not left. The memories, good memories free of resentment or bitterness or disappointment or regret, are a blessing. I am grateful beyond words on your behalf that you speak of no regrets or bitterness. You know you did ALL you were charged to do. The medical team did their utmost. The orphanage did what they could with their resources, and the birth parents put her in hands more likely to be able to help than they could. All this adds up to pure grief that's longing and yearning and missing. There is no regret or bitterness. Trust me if you don't already know this for yourself: this is a HUGE blessing all on its own. Saying "see you later, until we meet again, m'love" and a peaceful passing is never easy for the survivors, no matter how much advance notice we are given. Thanking God for your PEACE beyond and alongside the longing and heartache, Esther in RI

Anonymous said...

Just watched the Today Show video. Uncontrollable sobs for a little girl I have never met but have known for several years.

Although she is gone, her magic continues. Last night, as I was reading your blog, my own China Princess snuck out of her bed to tell me, "I Love You More". I have no idea where this came from because although we say "I Love You" daily, the last time she used those exact words was several months ago. Through my tears, I said a silent "Thank you Baby Girl" to Princess Teresa.

No worries Teresa, we will NEVER forget about you!

Deanna said...

Ann, Teresa was distant to be a Saint from the time they called her Lucy not ordinary Lucy but having the same name as Saint Lucy. Then when you brought her home you called her Teresa not just ordinary Teresa but having the same name as Saint Teresa. Now she is in heaven and she will be Saint Teresa of Catonsville. She is one of Gods brights stars and she will do great thing and help so many people. I will pray for Teresa and all her family forever for she gave my family a Miracle as I prayed for her. God bless you all

Raelyn said...

I embraced my one-year old niece earlier this evening before she left for home with her Mama. And, do you know what I said? "Give me a huggy-huggle.". ;)
Grief is hard enough. I cannot imagine what it must feel to lose a child. Our dear friend once told me years after saying goodbye to her second born that you never stop grieving. You never stop grieving.
Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with your family. Such a beautiful child. So very brave. You have a very special family.

Wendy said...

Ann, here are hugs for you. So sorry for the sadness you are experiencing now. I have seen children die in their parents' arms. I cannot imagine the strength it takes to hold your child as they leave this life. Don't ever think that you were ONLY following God's and Ed agreed to follow His commands which is what brought Teresa into your life. Before Teresa was even born, God knew you were going to be her parents. That was His plan. I always tell my daughter that God intended for her to be my daughter even though she is Chinese and we are white. I have three biological sons. Two of them look exactly alike and have same is uncanny. My other son does not look like his brothers and he and my daughter are carbon copies of each other in their mannerisms and everything. God meant for her to be my child. Just like He planned Teresa to be your child. I am just glad you answered His call. You might say you did it to give her a family but God meant for her to be yours and it was His Will. Days will turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years...the pain will not be as raw and the happy times with Teresa will make you smile maybe more than cry. Teresa had a broken heart and you have a huge hole in yours. Please know we are here for cry with, to laugh with, to share stories about Teresa with. We are here for you and will never leave. As I said, we have your back. Love, Wendy

Catiejoyce said...

Thank you for sharing Teresa and your family's story. I have been praying for your family fervently for the past few months. I am so sorry for the loss of your princess on earth. I am thankful we can all rejoice that she is in Heaven. But the ache to have her here is so hard and real. Thank you for adopting her and giving her a family to LOVE and LIVE for each day. Her story will be an inspiration to so many people. I pray that your love for each other will help others open their hearts to adoption. Adoption has blessed our family with our own princess and I am blessed beyond measure to have my Layla home with her family. EVERY child deserves a family. Thank you again for allowing us to walk this journey with you. May God comfort you with His love and presence.

Jen Link said...

God bless you and your beautiful family. Teresa was such a blessing. Our family is currently making t-shirts and selling them with all proceeds going to the Teresa Love You More fund at Half the Sky. Teresa is helping us help others. We think of her all if the time. Thank you for sharing this angel with us. Continued prayers for you and your family.
Jen Link

Jennifer Hnilo said...

Hugs and prayers...what a special young lady~

Anonymous said...

Ann and family,
Thank you so much for sharing Teresa's life with us.. I have followed your blog for over 3 years since we began our paperwork process. Your beautiful family and the loving and faithful way u live your lives w God has been an inspiration to me. Theresa is a miracle... And she will continue to bless all those who know and learn of her story. Blessings to you and Ed, and your beautiful children..

Linda said...

Anne, I cry when I read your posts because I remember the pain of losing 2 of my own children. You describe so accurately the hole in a parent's heart that will never close. Ten years later, we have adjusted to our new "normal," but my husband and I will never feel totally complete. I am a puzzle with 2 pieces missing, and until the day of that glorious resurrection, I will stay this way. BUT - I have seen my hurts work for His glory, and I will accept it. Thank you for being such a strong Christian witness. You are a blessing to many in the midst of your pain.

Brian Harriman said...

I found this lovely song from Glee that made me think of Teresa.