Mother Cares for Children No One Else Wants, Helps Them Live Final Days Surrounded by Love


One of the scariest risks of fostering and adopting is having your children taken away. But one Utah mom faces an even scarier risk knowing her foster and adopted babies are going to die soon and chooses to love them until they do.

Cori Salchert and her husband, Mark, have had eight biological children and now open their home to what she calls “hospice babies.” These children aren’t expected to live for very long, but Salchert believes that loving them in their last days is a precious gift.

She describes the journey as both hopeful and difficult. Even though she can’t make a difference in hundreds of babies lives, she says that God has given her the strength to love these few babies who may otherwise be unloved.

“There are definitely situations where the baby just dies and they don’t necessarily have a name, and no one goes to the funeral. And they’re not missed. And they’re not loved,” she said. “And that for me, is just not an option.”

The family first adopted a little girl named Emmalyn in 2013. She was born without the right or left hemisphere of her brain. Doctors knew that she wouldn’t live for long.

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The infant died after only spending 50 days in Salchert’s care.

“When we’re told in everything give thanks — oh boy, it’s so hard to do when it’s situations like these,” Salchert shared. “But it’s about drawing close to God and not shoving him away, and knowing giving thanks makes it easier to bear.

Now the family is loving on a resilient 4-year-old boy named Charlie, who doctors did not think would live past 2.

Charlie suffers from brain damage due to a lack of oxygen and heavily relies on his family to take care of him. Instead of focusing on the fact that their children are close to death, Salchart says that they celebrate the fact that they are still alive!

Even during the difficult days, she rests firmly in the fact that God has promised to take care of her. “He will take care of me, and is closer than a prayer away and that takes the pressure off any of my family or friends,” she said.

“No one can roll with all the craziness our life entails. But, somehow, someway, God brings along this one or that who can do a little and all those little bits add up to a whole lot!”

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Since her story has spread throughout the media, Salchert said she has met many other people who love babies just like theirs. She has even released a memoir titled “I Will Love You Forever” that details her unique journey of intense hope and deep sorrow.

“We invest deeply, and we ache terribly when these kids die, but our hearts are like stained-glass windows,” she described. “Those windows are made of broken glass which has been forged back together, and those windows are even stronger and more beautiful for having been broken.”

The way Salchert and her family open their homes and their hearts to those babies who may have otherwise died without that love, is both heartwarming and convicting. We can only pray to be even half as loving as this sweet family has proven to be.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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