Thanks so much for providing updates on your little girls especially to those wonderful people who adopted Liu Fang. I met her when she was just a wee baby when I was volunteering with ChinaCare in 2007. Despite her conditions, I found her to be incredibly strong and she left a lasting impression on me. I prayed she would be healed and find a good family. Ive missed her all these years and am very grateful for your updates.
So many of you have been following the story of the three special girls from our China Care Home who recently found their “forever families.” These remarkable families and the tiny little fighters they welcome home have endured daunting medical challenges with so much grace and so much love. At the beginning of this New Year, they graciously agreed to provide updates about their extraordinary girls Teresa (Liu Fang), Lily (Caig Ping) and Jennifer (ZiJun aka “Dou Dou”):
Teresa Caroline Bartlinski (LiuFang)
Teresa has been home five months and has adjusted so well. We are so blessed to have her as our daughter. She is a very special little soul. Even though her health is very fragile, she has the best outlook on life. She loves to sing and dance and is quite the little performer. Her sister Gemma (who is also four) has quickly become her best friend. The two of them are inseparable.
Because of her fragile health, the winter months seem to be more difficult for Teresa. Her heart and lungs are so weak she must be kept away from anyone with a cold or virus. She continues to have good days and not so good days, but always has a beautiful smile on her face. The look of excitement on her face when she experiences something new is priceless.
Christmas morning through Teresa’s eyes was magical—the look on her face was pure joy. With every gift she opened she would put her hand across her heart and say, “AHHH, Is this for me? Thank you!” Having Teresa with us for Christmas this year was the best Christmas present ever!
We are so glad we took the leap of faith and adopted Teresa. The past five months have been the best months of our lives. We pray God will share Teresa with us for a very long time. We are very grateful for everyone’s prayers for Teresa. Please pray for a miracle for her heart and lungs to be healed.
The Bartlinski Bunch!
Lily Cai Ping Lee
Lily (“Ping”) is doing really well — her first Christmas with us was a lot of fun. She loved decorating the Christmas tree and making a gingerbread house. She also wanted to make absolutely sure a stocking with her name on it would hang with those of her siblings. She loves drinking tea and playing with dolls and Legos.
During the holidays, we hung out with friends a couple of times, but mostly we just stayed home and got to know Ping better, as well as the new dynamic that comes with every child we welcome into our family. Lily has responded so well to her life here—she is very sweet and loving — she gives lots of hugs and kisses, but only to people in her family.
Of course, we still have concerns about Lily’s health, but we’re taking it one step at a time. She is still recovering from her incredibly grueling, 17-hour open heart surgery this past summer. All the hospital stuff has been really hard on her … six weeks will do that to anyone, but especially a child. To be honest, we’re still waiting for her to smile the way she used to. But her smiles are getting bigger and pretty frequent, so she’s on her way.
It is very obvious that the staff at China Care Home worked hard to care for Ping before we brought her home and gave her a lot of attention and care. We’re very thankful for all the devotion and hard work. Please tell everyone at the China Care Home how thankful and happy all of us are!
Mike, Tanya, Jake, Nick, Shelby, Anna and Lily Cai Ping Lee
Jennifer Mei Hamm (ZiJun aka DouDou)
Mei Mei (our nickname for Jennifer) spent her first Christmas with us and loved her little Dora the Explorer lunchbox!
Jennifer has such a strong spirit and wants to do all the things her two older sisters do. Climbing, jumping and running around the house are part of a normal day for her. She is talking more and more each day and can’t wait to go to school with her big sisters. She loves climbing the monkey bars and riding the swings at the park and is friendly to all the other children she meets.
Jennifer had her first heart surgery procedure called a bi-directional Glenn shunt, last July and all went well. We feel that she received the best care available at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. When she weighs 15-20 kilos she will have another heart surgery called a Fontan procedure.
In the meantime, of course, Jennifer continues to have checkups! Her recent echo cardiogram went well, as we had hoped. She is taking a blood thinner and aspirin, but it is hard to believe she has a heart problem–she is an active, talkative little two year old girl.
We are blessed.
Happy New Year to all at Half the Sky!
Greg, Josie, Jean, Julia and Jennifer Hamm