Terri and her husband were young parents, and ended up adopting at the age of 44 with two already grown children. 10 years later, they would adopt from China again. But, this time, their child would have a very special heart. They would adoption a beautiful child with CHD.
Brooklyn was born with a slew of complications and congenital heart defects, Double-Outlet Right Ventricle and VSD to name a few. Despite not knowing anything about it, Terri and her family dove head first into the often shocking and confusing world of CHD. They chose to because they chose Brooklyn, and CHD just so happened to be a part of her. “It was a steep learning curve when combined with all of her special needs, plus helping her learn to be in a new family, culture, language, etc. But she truly is a resilient and intelligent, loving, kind, girl. We are so blessed to call her our daughter,” Terri said.
Though it was not an easy choice to go down the road of CHD. Due to past trauma, they really had to think about their decision. “When we learned how serious her heart condition is and that it was not something that could be “fixed,” we really had to pray over our decision. We had lost our first daughter … to complications from scar tissue caused by a large blood clot in her brain just 6 years earlier. We did not want to go lose another child.” But, after much thought and prayer they found resolve in this: “Life is meant to be lived in love, not fear. We wanted whatever time we could have with Brooklyn.”
Brooklyn has been through so much. From living in an orphanage, to being adopted in a new country, to having multiple open heart surgeries. However, those are just parts of her story. She is still a bright, funny, and beautiful girl who has so much to offer the world. “Her heart is full, loving, and kind. It’s so ironic that the one who basically lives with half a heart has one of the biggest hearts I know,” Terri said.
Like Terri said, there was not something that could totally “fix” Brooklyn’s heart. There is still no cure for CHD. But, we at Project Heart want to change that. We want to grow a heart from a patient’s own cells in 20 years. Will you help us get there?