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 ...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Who will remember George?

George died today.

George died today  an orphan without a family.   He was almost two years old and he  never knew the love of having his own family.

A few months ago we asked to have George moved to Little Flower because of his heart condition.   His orphanage could not take care of his medical needs.

When we traveled to China last month, we were made Georges "Godparents"  because he was so critically ill.
We prayed for George , we advocated for him to find a family and we even thought we should adopt him.
Who will remember George?

George was born with a very complicated heart much like Teresa's.  He was a quiet soul.  He sat and watched everyone and everything.  He was too weak to do much else but he noticed everything.  His eyes were soulful.  He was an old soul.

When we met him he was a little hesitant about me coming too close to him.  He had never seen a person with blonde curly hair.  He would stare at my hair and look around like what is that?
He let me sit next to him but if my head came too close he would cry.   By the end of our first day together he was letting me hold him and feed him as long as my hair did not touch him.
He was smart, loving and so sweet.  We had a very special bond together.  I don't know what drew me to him.  Maybe it was the same thing I saw in Teresa's eyes.  He was different.  He reminded me A LOT of Teresa.  I believe with all my heart that when you live so close to death you become different.  Maybe it is because you walk  such a fine line between this world and the next.  Maybe it is because God has given you special glimpses into the next world.  I do not know but Teresa had it and so did George.

Who will remember George?

My heart is broken once again.  We loved George and were praying for him to be adopted and healed.

It has been a very difficult week.  Gemma received her blood transfusion today. Her counts were very low this month and for the past two weeks she was tired and not her bubbly self.  Emilia came home from the hospital Sunday and was re admitted today because the nasty bug in her legs was resistant to the antibiotic she came home on. On Friday we will travel to CHOP to discuss the autopsy reports for Teresa.  And today we found out that George died.

But we will go on.  We will remember  George and Teresa and all the other orphans that never knew  the joy of having their own family..  We must help the orphans.
We must get the heart home open so we can help children like George and Teresa.
Who will help them? 
It is every childs birth right to be loved and to have their own family.

Who will remember George?... will you?

This is George listening to the Taylor Swift Concert  recording that Teresa made  on my phone.  He loved it!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Grace is at the age where she wants to see movies and read books that are scary or have a thriller theme to them.   I have always told her to be careful what she allows into her head. 

When God opened our hearts to adoption this made us aware of the growing orphan crisis in the world. 
And because of Teresa's medical condition we were compelled to partner with others with the same vision to form a Heart Home for the most critically ill children in China.

When I think of the babies we have met over the past few years, I think how lucky they are right now.  I look at these photos and see smiles , love and hope in their eyes.

They are lucky because they do not know they are orphans yet.

And then I think of the older children we have met.
They know they are orphans.  They do not have a family to love them or a home to call their own.  Most do not even have a single possession.
One little girl we met  could not have been more than 8 years old.  She knew she was an orphan.  She stood and stared out of a  window to a world she knew she would never be allowed in.  She had lost all hope and was resolved to just starring aimlessly.  As we told her we loved her and tried to make her smile she could not take the pain of knowing we too would soon be leaving and she would remain, unloved and without  hope.  She raised her hand to block her view of us, it was too painful to look at our happy faces.
We left there feeling hopeless  ourselves because we knew there was no way we could help her. I was very angry at God for putting this experience into our heads.  Why would He show this to us if we could not do anything?
I can not get this little girl out of my mind.  I think about her every day.  I ask God what are we suppose to do?  Why did He show her to us?

What will it take to help her?  Money and love.

This is the reason we return to China,  why we adopt and why we will help to build a Heart Home for orphans. Not because we are special but because once our eyes have been opened to the suffering of others , it is impossible to go back to a life filled with only our own desires and self gratifications. We feel compelled to help.  I remember this little girls sad face and her eyes longing to be loved.
She represents just one of the over 153 million orphans in the world.
Why doesn't the world know there are 153 MILLION orphans ?
Do we just not want to know?  

Please consider adoption.  You have the ability to change a life for the better. If you can't adopt then help someone who can.
I promise you YOUR lives will be changed forever for the better!

 Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.-Mother Teresa

Thursday, October 24, 2013


It has been a crazy week.  Yesterday Adam was born and we had the joy of being Grandparernts for the first time.  Today Mary had oral surgery and then this afternoon, Emilia was admitted to the hospital with cellulitis.   She is being treated with IV antibiotics and lots of pain meds..  We are waiting for the cultures to come back to see what exactly is growing in her pin sites.  Hopefully the antibiotics will work and she will not have to go back into surgery to clean out the infections.

Teresa, we need you to whisper into Jesus's ear a sweet little prayer for your sisters...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Adam Charles

Dear Teresa,
Today was such a joyful day.  You are an Aunt!
Adam Charles Bartlinski was born today weghing 8lbs. 15oz.!

You could not wait for the Baby to come out of Laura's tummy.  You were so excited and could not wait to be able to hold him.  I know you are dancing and singing in Heaven rejoicing with us.  Adam is so lucky to have his very own guardian angel (Aunt) in Heaven watching over him.

I gave Adam a special hug and kiss from you !
We love you more...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mayzie and Emilia

Emilia and Mayzie have always had a special bond.   When Emilia came home from the hospital , Mayzie could sense right away something was different.  She started licking Emilia's leg and foot trying to bring her some relief from the pain.    She stays by her side all day, sleeps next to her bed and even follows her into the bathroom.  She is an amazing dog, Amazing Mayzie. 

This past weekend we participated in the Save A Limb Ride/Walk for Sinai Hospital and Mayzie proudly joined Emilia.  The 1 mile walk was dedicated in memory of Teresa.

 We don't get to go out too often with all of the kids.  So it was so nice to get dressed up and spend the evening at the Banquet with everyone.
The kids loved meeting Earl Cole ( the Survivor Winner of Fiji 2007).  He was so nice.  The kids got the inside scoop on Survivor although he wouldn't tell us who the winner was this season.

The love and support that the Doctors  and  Nurses from Sinai Hospital  and especially Marilyn (the patient liaison )  showed  to our family while Teresa was at CHOP was truly touching.   Marilyn  came to the house and brought gifts for the girls and a special card signed by everyone at the hospital.  During this very difficult time , it made the girls feel really loved.
We felt very honored when Marilyn  asked if they could dedicate the race in Teresa's memory.

 Teresa had such fun at the event last year.  If felt very odd to be there this year without her.

We have been so blessed to have so many loving , caring people in our life.
Thank you Dr. Standard for giving Emilia hope, love and the chance to run and play like every other child.  What a tremendous gift.  Something that so many may take for granted but Emilia has come so far. She appreciates every step she takes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dear Teresa- Arms full of Love

Dear Teresa,
The other night as Gemma was saying her prayers,  she asked me if you were happy in Heaven because you did not have your baby Belle with you .  Every night Gemma kneels down next to your bed and prays.  She always ends with a very long conversation with you.  I know you hear her.

Gemma wishes she could hold your hand forever.

We talked about Heaven and how you don't need "Things" in Heaven.   She still seemed a little confused so I asked her what was the only thing that you were able to take with you as you went to Heaven?    She started to say Baby Belle and then she stopped and said... Love.  

We know Teresa your arms were full of love  from all the "Huggie Huggles"  you gave to everyone here on earth.   I am sure that God was so happy with you as you gave all this love back to Him.

At seven years old Gemma knows that its not the person that dies with the most toys that wins.   The only thing anyone can take with them is love.

Having new "Things" always seem to make us happy for a while.  The latest phone,  a new car, new toys... but they only keep us happy for a while and then we are looking for something else to satisfy this "need" again.

  We can't take it with us.
Love is the only thing that lasts forever.

Teresa , God brought you into our family for a reason.  Yes, it was for you to have a family but it was also for us to learn the meaning of love, unconditional love.
 A love that was able to set you free and  give you back to the Lord because you were never ours to keep. Your light was too bright to keep to ourselves.  God wanted to share you with the entire world.  Now your light shines as bright as the stars for all to see.

Keep spreading your love from Heaven sweet girl!

Thank you all for the cards and prayers for Emilia.  She is home and doing great.  Hopefully she will be able to return to school in a few weeks.
She has a phenomenal Doctor at Sinai Hospital  that has given her the ability to be a normal little girl with two legs that she can now run and play like everyone else. (well ... in 6 months she will be running).  Dr. Standard is Emilia's angel here on Earth.   Emilia has a positive attitude and is enduring  everything she goes through with such a great smile.  Mayzie has really helped her through this last surgery.  She sits by her side and keeps Emilia company all day.  They are an inseparable pair and Emilia takes such pride in "Her" service dog. 
On Saturday our family will be participating in the annual "Save a Limb" walk/ride for Sinai Hospital.  Mayzie will be joining Emilia as she participates in her wheelchair.  And because of an anonymous donor who made a $1,000 donation in Teresa's Memory to the International Limb Lengthening clinic at Sinai, our family will also attend the banquet on Saturday evening.  A HUGE "Thank You " to this anonymous angel!   And a special "Huggy Huggle" from Teresa.  We love you more...

Friday, October 11, 2013


Tuesday , Emilia's surgery (bilateral femoral osteotomy) went really well.  The first couple of days were very tough.  But once the epidural was repositioned she started to feel much better.

She will be in the fixator for 6 months to slowly lengthen both her femurs.  When all is done she will be 3 inches taller.  She is very happy about this but Lucy is not so happy.  This could possibly  make Lucy a little shorter than Emilia and she is not happy. The one thing we did not expect was for her to be in her wheelchair for six months.  With her last surgery to lengthen her legs she was in a different style fixator that allowed for weight bearing.

Thank you everyone for the cards .  This really brightens her day!

Tonight Ed brought the girls to the hospital for a visit.   It did my heart good to kiss and squeeze them.  I have missed them so much .  Emilia was so happy to see them also.

It has been very hard being back in a hospital setting.  Even though it is a different hospital there are the same sights , smells and sounds.   Emilia has been stable the entire time and continues to make progress everyday .  This has been such a blessing.  I don't think I could have taken any emergencies.

Today three beautiful Blue birds flew into the tree outside of Emilia's' hospital room.  They then flew by her window not once but three times for several minutes.  I probably would not have thought anything of this but today it has been raining all day.  Three little blue birds... Hmmmm?

Praying we will be home soon.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dear Teresa- Tiaras

Dear Teresa,

I think by now the world knows how you loved to be a princess and wear your tiara.   You would wear a tiara to bed every night and I would have to take it off of you once you fell  asleep.  When anyone would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up, you would always say " a real princess. " I am quite sure you are a real princess now in Heaven.

For the past three months I have awoken  at 4 am every night after having a dream about you .  They are mostly about how much we all miss you  terribly still.   But last nights dream was different.  I dreamed Dad and I were living in a different world. One where people were trying to harm us.  The only way we were protected from them was to keep your princess Tiara on our heads.  The whole dream was about trying to keep the tiara from falling off.  Once we had it on we were happy and safe.

I wasn't sure what to make of this dream at first,  but Daddy and I both kind of  figured it out.   Lately we have been facing a lot of challenges.  We always knew that following  God and doing His Will would come with challenges.  Through all of it our faith has only grown stronger.    For what ever reason God is allowing these  trials to occur.   We will trust in God and wait for Him to lead the way.

Another challenge that we are facing is gief.  Just when I  think we are   having a good day out of the blue it hits again.  I walk by your little jacket hung where you left it from last spring and I can still smell the sweetness of your little cheeks on the hood, pieces of your hair are still on the hood and your little sleave rolled half way up.  Your tooth brush still sits in the bathroom next to mine.  I can't bear to throw it away.  Your little shoes that you loved so much are still sitting next to the door. All your princess dresses are still hung , your piano awaits the  beautiful songs you would serenade me with and your chair at the dinner table has your name on it from when you so proudly brought it home from school.

Our world stopped on July 1, 2013.  But the rest of the world went on.  Our life was forever changed.

The death of a child is like no other pain in the world.  We thought we were so prepared for it.  We knew all along it could be a possibility.
 When I was 11 years old I lost my Mother to Cancer.  At the time I thought this was the worst pain anyone could feel but I was wrong.  Losing a child is so different. There really are no words to be able to describe the pain.  Only someone that has gone through this grief can understand.  I believe that losing my Mother at such a young age was preparing me for what was to come later.   After  my Mother passed away I knew I wanted to become involve in Hospice care.   When I was older I volunteered  in Hospice.  I helped several people transition from this life to Heaven.  I wanted to help others  not die alone because I felt so helpless when my Mother died all alone.  After volunteering  for several years God lead us to adoption.  With each of our daughters adoption , God was still preparing us for more.
We have been so blessed by adoption. It is amazing how God orchestrates and plans things a little at a time.  I keep trying to remember this as I am one who likes to have things accomplished yesterday.

As we are continually faced with so many challenges it is nice to know that God is in complete control and we just have to Believe and Trust.    We will not be discouraged.  Tired and worn , yes ,but we will not give up on what has been set before us.
We do not believe that God started us on this path to give up because the road has become hard.

Teresa , I am trying to have your strength and endurance.  You motivate me each day to live as you did with complete Faith ,Hope and Love.

 We would be so grateful for prayers for endurance.   Also Emilia is having a big surgery on Tuesday to lengthen her left and right femur and remove the rod from her arm.  She faces each surgery with such bravery.  She doesn't complain and she works really hard at regaining her strength.  For those that know her you know how determined she is to succeed at what ever she tries.  When we adopted Emilia , she could not walk .  Her legs were twisted and bent backwards.  She swung her one leg up around her neck to keep it out of her way.  A very caring and knowledgeable Doctor rebuilt her arms and her legs when others told us to amputate.  She has over come so much and she continues to improve and grow stronger every year.  What a blessing this Doctor has been! 

Thank you Teresa for keeping us focused on what is important in life.  We love you more sweet girl and we will continue to wear your your Tiara!