Every infant is a miracle. For all the cells to align and form and grow perfectly is a truly wondrous and amazing event.
But sometimes, that doesn't happen. Children are born with terminal conditions who aren't expected to live very long, if at all. Parents don't expect their bundle of joy to be born anything less than perfect. So when tragedy hits, some parents abandon their babies due to the intense emotional strain — they simply can't stand to see their baby suffer and die.
Cori Salchert, registered nurse and mother of eight biological children, made it her mission to take in severe to terminally ill infants, adopting and caring for them while they are alive. The children she cares for have all been abandoned by their parents for numerous reasons, according to Cafe Mom. Cori and her husband Mark love these babies while they live out their short lives on earth.
Cori specializes in perinatal bereavement, so she knows what some of these infants face — being "tucked away in a bassinet in the corner of a hospital, some never held at all if they were on feeding tubes." While Cori doesn't judge the parents who can't emotionally handle the devastation of watching their babies die, she can't stand to let these infants live out their lives so alone.
While these infants live out their short lives, they are surrounded by their own adopted family. Cori considered stopping, but during a family meeting with her children, the kids all agreed that they wanted to love and comfort these little ones during their short stay on earth. They all help giving love these babies so desperately need.
Cori beautifully stated, "We invest deeply, and we ache terribly when these kids die, but our hearts are like stained-glass windows. 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."
Maybe we can't take in children with terminal conditions, but we can look to ease the suffering of others around us. Everyone is dealing with a trial in their life. Some are big, some may be smaller. You never know if someone is being abused, going through a divorce, aching after the death of a loved one, struggling with anxiety or depression or hurting in some other way. But you can watch, listen and reach out with your heart to help those who need you.
As you seek to help those in need, your ability to feel the needs of those around you will increase and so will your capacity to love. Perhaps you will begin to see how everyone in your life is like a piece of a stained glass window — we all need each other to be whole and much more beautiful.