One Sheboygan family’s story is spreading across the country.
A mother opens her heart and home to abandoned, terminally ill infants.
Local 5’s Cole Higgins explains how through the heartbreak the family finds hope and inspiration.
The Salchert family is featured in the latest addition of People Magazine.
It’s because Cori Salchert, already a mom of eight, takes in babies with terminal or life-threatening
illnesses to give them the love and care they need.
“Somebody needs to be there when he dies because the fact that he’s going to die is sad and I can say I don’t want to deal with it, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s going to die,” explains Salchert.
Twenty-month-old Charlie, born with severe brain damage, wasn’t given much time to live after he was born.
At four months old his biological father decided that care-taking for the little boy was too much.
“It was not that Charlie was unwanted or that he was unloved, he was both. It just wasn’t manageable and so we were given him,” says Salchert.
Cori Salchert and her husband Mark are already parents to their eight biological children.
Now in their 50s and 60s, the couple still feels like they have more love to give.
The Salcherts adopted Charlie last year and specialize in fostering children who are generally too sick to be adopted.
“One of my favorite things to do is just climb into bed and lay next to him and we just kind of lay nose to nose and I talk to him and I tell him about heaven,” describes Salchert.
While it seems heartbreaking to most, Salchert says she’s been down this road before with a terminally ill foster child and her heart has healed.
“And he always reaches out his hand and he wants you to kiss his palm or he wants you to hold his hand and that’s how he lets us know, I know you’re there,” says Salchert of Charlie.
Rather than ignoring the reality of Charlie’s life-limiting diagnosis, the Salcherts find strength in their faith and comfort in loving and raising Charlie.
“But I do know that one of these times when his saturation drops out and his lungs are not ventilating the way they’re supposed to, I’m not going to be able to clear his airway and at that point in time, it’s, I’m all done, I’m all done. And, he’ll fly away, and he’ll be good and we will eventually be good,” says Salchert.