Adoption stories told at Right to Life rally

“Amazing Adoption Stories” will be told at the Sheboygan County Right to Life special event on Sunday, April 12, 1:30-3 p.m. at Sheboygan Lutheran High School. Ben and Kim Green from Michigan will share their experiences adopting 12 children from all over the world, some with special needs. Also featured at the event will be a local family, Mark and Cori Salchert from Sheboygan. They are foster parents who care for infants with a life limiting prognosis and make sure they know what it means to be loved for whatever amount of time they have. A free will offering from the event will benefit the New Hope Pregnancy Center, opening soon in Sheboygan.

The mini-United Nations Ben and Kim adopted beginning in 1999 come from Korea (5), China (1), West Africa (2), Michigan (2) California (1) and Josiah, from Ohio. Noah has Down’s Syndrome, and once required openheart surgery. Klaire came from an emotionally abusive home and struggles to speak. Two other children had special needs when Kim and Ken adopted them, but are now thriving.

The Greens say their first two adoptions were for fertility reasons. But after that, as Kim puts it, “Wherever God called us, we went.” And, Ken adds, “We just learned to stop saying no.” They average about one new place at the dinner table each year. “Every child needs a home,” Kim says, adding for emphasis, “every child.”

Mark and Cori Salchert of Sheboygan have 8 biological children and they’re also licensed as a Medical Treatment Foster home. Three babies have come to live with them. The first, Emmalynn, was born without the right or left hemisphere of her brain. She lived for 50 days in their care before she stopped breathing. The second little one was severely drug affected but is doing wonderfully having left his developmental delays behind and is thriving with his adoptive family in another state. The Salcherts currently have a little boy who is 9 months old. He's on a ventilator and requires round the clock care.

Cori began the Hope After Loss Organization HALO at St. Nicholas Hospital in order to give so many babies who died through pregnancy loss and early newborn death the dignity and recognition deserved. She has a nursing background in Hospice and believes families whose babies died have lost a loved one and should be accorded the support and services recognizing this fact. Another area that Cori is concerned with is Perinatal Hospice, where the diagnosis comes before birth that the child has a life limiting prognosis. Supporting the family as they carry the child to whatever term naturally happens and then being there to help make whatever time they have with their baby very special after birth, when done well, has proven to be healing for all involved.

The Safe Haven Law is not well known but it does protect those mothers/fathers who simply can't deal with the newborn they've been given but allows them to leave their child safely in the hands of people who will care for them.

“We're one of those families who will care for the baby as our own and make sure they know what it means to be loved for whatever amount of time we have with them,” says Cori.

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