When we set out on our journey to adopt Teresa, we knew how fragile her heart was. We said from the first day we would love her for however long God would share her with us on earth. We didn't know then that God would only share her with us for 3 short years.
Our family has 9 children, 4 biological children and 5 adopted daughters from China. All of our children have been gifts from God, but Teresa was different... Not only was she a gift but she was an old soul. She had the ability to see, feel and know things that the rest of the world would just pass on by, never really noticing.
Teresa's heart condition was so complicated her only hope was a heart transplant. Her gift of life came in June 2013. For two weeks she struggled. She endured cardiac arrest, CPR, three open heart surgeries in two weeks, catherizations, ECHMO and trauma from the ECHMO tube breaking after a tech spilled EKG remover on the tubing.
For two weeks she never gave up. She would wake from the heavy sedation to give us a thumbs up. Letting us know she was O.K. .
Finally, on July 1, 2013, with her new "Hero's" heart failing, her last hope was a double artificial heart.
After hours of waiting and praying, the entire team of surgeons came into her room to tell us the Berlin Heart would not work. It was time to let her go.
It was our wish that she would not die alone so the team brought her back to her room where she was surrounded by our family.
We held her and whispered in her ear to run to Jesus.
We told her how much we loved her and it was O.K..
God gave us the greatest gift of all, we were not there when she was born but we were there for three years filled with unconditional love and happiness, and we were there when she took her last breath.
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord. For God is good all of the time.
It has now been 1 1/2 years since Teresa went to Heaven. She continues to touch our lives everyday.
We try to live each day like she did, happy all the time and grateful for EVERYTHING. We are changed for the better. Our hearts are deeply broken because Teresa took a huge chunk of our hearts with her to heaven. But she reminds us everyday how to live and to never give up.
In Teresa's memory we are doing many things to help save the lives of other orphans.
We have partnered with Little Hearts Medical an organization dedicated to serving impoverished and orphaned children in China born with congenital heart disease through the sharing of knowledge between U.S. and Chinese cardiologists and surgeons. We are also members of the Board.
We hope to open a "Heart Home" in Beijing in Teresa's memory and call it , "Love You More" Heart Home. These were Teresa's last words to us.
We are also adopting again.
We love you more Teresa!