Carol was an American Indian child. When she was 8, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
She had been living in a car with her two brothers, a sister and her mother. Her father was dead and her mother had become addicted to drugs. The children would fend for themselves while the mother visited the bars.
When the diagnosis was made, the mother was told to take Carol to the hospital for surgery. She took Carol and told her to go in and tell them who she was, and that her mother would be in shortly. But Carol’s mother drove away and never came back for her daughter.
This picture of her was drawn by a man who came to the hospital and drew pictures of kids scheduled for surgery. She was so proud of this picture, as it was the last time she would ever have hair.
After the tumor was removed, she had to undergo chemo. In the meantime, the authorities found her siblings and they were all put into foster care. At this time, Carol started writing to a pen pal. She asked the pen pal to please pray for her to find a home and the pen pal sent her the “Hail Mary” prayer and told her to say it every day and Our Lady would find her a home. So Carol did and Our Lady sent her to a Catholic home, our home.
Since she was so sick they were going to put her in a rest home. She was only given a short time to live. The authorities planned to adopt out her brothers and sister and keep Carol as a foster child because of all the medical expenses.
She was so happy to finally have a home that she surprised everyone and lived another two years. She loved the story of St. Theresa and prayed for the day that we could adopt her and she could change her name to Theresa. She loved Right to Life, and the fight to save babies. She prayed for them every day and went to all the marches.
When she was 13, she had a relapse and another surgery. This time the cancer had spread and it was only a matter of months before her life would end. At her final march for life, she was too weak to walk and had to sit in a chair and pray. When she went to the hospital for the last time, she was in terrible pain with headaches, but she refused the pain medicine, saying she wanted to offer her pain up for the aborted babies. Before she died, a caseworker was able to get special permission for the final adoption so she could change her name to Theresa. When the caseworker went to her office to fill out the paperwork, she wasn’t sure how to spell Theresa and there on her desk was a saints’ book opened to the page of St. Theresa. No one knew how it got there.
Carol loved holding babies and told me before she died that God was going to let her have a special baby to hold in Heaven. A couple of months after her death, I was called to take care of a baby in foster care. (This baby had an unwed mother who wanted to adopt the child out but the father was Catholic and wanted to keep the baby. They were both very young.)
The baby got very sick on the second day. I could tell it was serious, so we rushed her to the hospital where she died a short time later of a serious heart defect.
I went to the funeral and the Catholic grandmother was crying and telling me how she had always prayed to the Infant of Prague and this was the first time he had let her down. She said, “I prayed so hard for the baby to be baptized.” I was able to tell her I am Catholic, and I did baptize the baby with the name of Theresa. It made her so happy that her prayers had been heard after all.
Theresa also told me before she died, “Mom, I asked God to send you a special baby too.” The next year, two little twin boys arrived as foster babies and never left. We adopted them; God sent us not one, but two special babies. Theresa’s story should inspire all of us to never give up, to fight for the right to life for all, to pray every day for an end to abortion, and to vote in people who are pro-life.