Saturday, February 27, 2016

This baby’s biological parents can’t bear to witness her demise, but this woman has enough strength and love for it.


Cori Salchert has her hands full with eight of her own children, but when she sees this little baby suffering, she can't help but do something about it.
This woman deserves serious respect. This is Cori Salchert from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA with baby Emmalynn in her arms. Their touching story is the foundation for what has become known as the "house of hope."
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The Salchert family lead what some may call a normal life, apart from the fact that there is a gaggle of children running around the house. First, there are these three handsome young men ...
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... and then five beautiful young ladies. With eight children, husband Mark, and her job as a nurse, Cori felt more than happy and fulfilled until one extraordinary day in 2012. 
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While at work, Cori found out that a nameless baby had been left at the ER. The little one was barely clinging on to life.
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No one knew who the parents of the newborn were. The only fact that was clear was that the baby suffered from a severe brain defect and had to be put into a coma and artificially ventilated. The doctors knew that this little one's days were numbered. When Cori saw the baby, her heart ached. 
Facebook/Cori Marie
She couldn't allow this little girl to spend her last days in the hospital, hooked up to a machine. So Cori applied to adopt the newborn and soon after received an answer: She was awarded custody of baby Emmalynn! That was the name given to the newest member of the Salchert family. 
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The whole clan was immediately taken with tiny Emmalynn. Adoptive father Mark was completely supportive of his wife's decision, and his youngest daughter quickly found a place in his heart.
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In order to fully care for Emmalynn, Cori took leave from her job, and of course the whole family helped out - everyone has to stick together in times like these!
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Here is a photo of the oldest Salchert son Jonathan with Emmalynn. This older brother is proud of the fight in his little sister's heart. Even though everyone knew that they would have to soon say goodbye, their love was strong enough to prevent sadness from dampening the mood.
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Emmalynn survived another 50 days before her tiny heart stopped beating. Everyone felt the deep loss for a long while after she passed. The youngest Salchert son Andrew found his little sister's death particularly difficult. But everyone in the family agreed: those 50 days were some of the best of their lives.
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Cori still remembers, "There came an evening when I knew Emmalynn was beginning to fade. The whole family was home and got to hold her and kiss her. My husband tucked her close with her little head under his chin and sang to her. Eventually, most of the family began to drift off and head to bed, but my daughter, Charity, and I stayed awake with her. I was snuggling Emmalynn into my furry, warm bathrobe, holding her on my chest and singing to her, when it occurred to me that I had not heard her breathe for a few minutes. I leaned her back to look at her, and saw that this beautiful creature was gone. She'd left this world hearing my heartbeat. She didn't suffer, she wasn't in pain, and she most certainly wasn't alone."
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Despite the pain and sadness, the whole family was comforted by the overwhelming feeling that they had done something right. There wasn't a single second that they questioned whether they would make the same decision again. Little more than a year later, baby Charlie entered their lives. He was likewise born with brain damage and was expected to enjoy just a short time on this earth. Charlie's biological parents weren't able to care for him.
Facebook/Cori Marie
The Salchert family immediately decided to take Charlie into their home and ensure his short life was filled with love. "I've stopped counting the number of times I have had to resuscitate Charlie," said Cori. "But it is a gift to be a part of his life and to have the chance to see him smile, to care for him, and to love him."
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Charlie is now part of the family and has moved in to the home lovingly deemed the "house of hope." And it plans to stay that way. Next time a hospice baby needs help, this family is ready to give them a love-filled departure from this world.
Facebook/Cori Marie

It is so wonderful to see people like Cori and her family within our fast-paced and hectic world. Her selflessness gives me hope that the goodness of people will shine through.