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 ... I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!
This was sent to me from Serena at Little Flower. It should NEVER be too late for ANY child ! In Teresa's memory we are working very hard to establish medical care for children like Teresa in China before it is too late for them.
You don’t know me, but I knew Teresa and was responsible for her care during the first two years of her life.
I’m not sure how much you know about her early months in China…
husband Brent and I started a small non-profit in 1998 called Little
Flower. It’s named after St. Therese of Lisieux. In 2004 we began
running orphan care programs for an organization called China Care, and
it was into our China Care Shanxi baby home that little Liu Fang was
accepted in spring of 2007. She was a tiny, frail little peanut who was
sent to us because of her “little arm” and her failure to thrive. The
orphanage staff had no idea she had a heart defect.
for the first couple of weeks, neither did we. Local hospitals in
Taiyuan tried unsuccessfully to treat her stubborn case of “pneumonia”.
When she failed to improve, we brought her to Beijing. As soon as she
arrived, we had an American nurse practitioner examine her. I’ll never
forget her turning to me and asking “so what heart defect does this
little one have?”. And there was a moment of silence in the room, as
light bulbs started going off in the minds of each of our care staff.
faced many challenges after that, both seeking funding for her heart
surgery, and then finding a surgeon in Beijing who was willing to do
it. We could not find a doctor in Beijing who would accept her case,
but finally we found Dr. Li, in distant Hangzhou, who was willing to
try. By then, 6 months had passed since her arrival and the pulmonary
hypertension was quite severe. When she finally made it to Hangzhou and
met Dr. Li he expressed sadness and regret that it was “too late”. He
told us that if he had gotten her by 4 or 5 months of age the high
pulmonary pressures would not have caused such severe damage to her
lungs. As it was, he was only able to band the pulmonary artery to try
and prevent additional damage. I was crushed when I realized that if
we’d somehow been able to overcome the funding and medical issues when
she had first arrived, her outcome would have been so different. She
returned from Hangzhou after surgery relatively stable and happy, but
Dr. Li cautioned us that her long term prognosis was bleak.
ran a very active foster care program at the time, but we were hesitant
to put such a fragile child in the care of an average Chinese family.
So while baby after baby joined families of their own (foster and
adoptive) little Fang stayed in our home. She was loved and cherished,
please know that. Although our baby homes may have nicer clothing,
furniture, toys and medical equipment than most orphanages, the real
difference was not in those material things. The real difference, what
makes our homes different from an orphanage, are the people - the love
they share with the children. You cannot pay someone to love a child.
No amount of money can do that. But by working alongside our Chinese
staff, both by word and example (and much prayer), we taught them to
love rejected children like Liu Fang.
the end of 2008 China Care had plans to begin a new cooperation with
Half the Sky, and so we were tasked to make a special care plan for each
child currently in our programs. Most were already in foster care
while they waited for their forever families. Some were still
undergoing medical treatment or surgery. A few were classified as
hospice and not expected to survive. Liu Fang was in a special
category, and was one of the few children who transferred directly to
the brand new HTS China Care Home in May of 2009 with no specific plan
going forward. She was too fragile to join a foster family, and her
orphanage was unsure whether to submit her file for adoption. Not long
after that Jenny made a special arrangement with CCCWA to advocate
specifically for a family for Liu Fang (and two other little girls with
severe heart defects who had also been with us in China Care programs).
Although she was no longer in our care, I continued to follow her story
as a family was found, and then she finally left for the US. I was
amazed when I learned what name you had chosen for her - that she was
named after Mother Teresa, who also takes her name from the St. Therese
the Little Flower. I’ve followed your blog since her adoption and have
always shared your photos and updates with our staff who cared for her
(who cannot access those from China).
she transferred to HTS in May 2009 we ceased to run any more programs
for China Care and again returned to the work of Little Flower. We run a
number of projects that provide specialized care for sick and disabled
orphans, including a hospice for dying orphans, or those who are like
Liu Fang – for whom surgery is not possible in China. Many, many of our
babies have severe heart defects. I think you’ll be happy to know that
we are working hard to save the lives of little heart babies like Liu
Fang. We are very excited to be involved in a new program that will
bring talented pediatric cardiac specialists from the US to China.
These specialists have already begun doing training, offering
consultations, and assisting in complex heart surgeries for orphans who
would otherwise have no hope of treatment in China. Now when we receive
babies with heart defects as serious as Teresa’s, we have hope. I like
to think of Teresa in heaven interceding on our behalf, to help other
know that while we were devastated to learn of her passing, we remember
her fondly and with many wonderful memories. Your family will remain
in our prayers as you adjust to your new “normal” without your precious
little princess. Thank you for loving her!
I wanted to share Minus 1 Project (-1)'s
fundraiser for the Bartlinski family. We were thrilled when they chose
our fundraising shirts for their Disney trip and humbled that they are
allowing us to help in raising money for their medical expenses. Feel
free to contact me with any questions. We are taking orders for all 4
shirt colors for the next 2 weeks. Shirts and decals should ship out
during the first week of August.
Believe in Miracles 501(c)(3) is a non-profit organization collecting donations for The "Love You More" Heart Home in China. All donations are tax deductible. Contributions can be made payable and mailed to Believe in Miracles, P.O. Box 21199 Catonsville Maryland 21228. We are eternally GRATEFUL !