In 2007, Barbara Marlowe was reading a newspaper when she saw a picture of a badly burned girl in Iraq. Barbara said the picture of 5-year-old Teeba pulled right at her heartstrings and she knew she had to do something.
“Teeba’s eyes were so compelling, it was as if they were just saying ‘help me’”. Barbara said.
Teeba was covered in severe second degree and third degree burns on her head and face. All her hair had also been burnt off.
You see, Barbara couldn’t have children of her own. But this one child, she felt so pulled to she decided she had to do all it would take to get her the care she needed.
For the following days, Barbara was able to trace Teeba’s family.
After lengthy conversations, Teeba’s mom made the ultimate sacrifice and let Barbara adopt her child. She even gave the blessing for Barbara to take Teeba to the U.S. so she could get the best medical care she needed.
“It was a giant leap of faith. She’s releasing her daughter to someone she never met,” Barbara told Inside Edition.
Teeba left war-torn Iraq to Cleveland, Ohio where she built a new life for herself.
Barbara lined up top surgeons to perform 19 life-changing surgeries on Teeba who has made incredible progress.
Now , at 17 years old, Teeba is getting ready to join college. Teeba reveals that feels very lucky to have two moms who have made so many sacrifices for her. “I definitely felt very safe and very loved from the moment I stepped off the plane,” She told Inside Edition.
10 years after she left Iraq, Barbara arranged a reunion with Teeba and her mom. “Her mom and I never felt we were competing against each other for her,” said Barbara. “It felt like the most natural thing ever, we both loved the same girl.”
“Both my moms are moms. There’s no fake mom, real mom. There’s no birth mom, raising mom. It’s just Mom and Mom,” said Teeba.
Barbara recalls the moment Teeba embraced her as her second mom. “I remember just crying because I never thought I would hear those words, hear somebody call me mom.”
Barbara and Teeba have even written a book called “A Brave Face.”
Watch her incredible journey in the video below and don’t forget to SHARE this with your friends and family.