I Will Love You Forever: A True Story about Finding Life, Hope & Healing While Caring for Hospice Babies

I Will Love You Forever: A True Story about Finding Life, Hope & Healing While Caring for Hospice Babies

by Cori Salchert, Marianne Hering

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683224341
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/01/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 462,354
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Cori Salchert is a mother of 15 kiddos and counting. She knows what it's like to love deeply, while holding loosely to the terminally ill children she cherishes in her home for the brief time they live before dying. Her strength and hope is in God, and the pain and grief endured on earth is worth it because she'll have forever to love her children in heaven.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN

O Lord, my best desire fulfil,
— William Cowper, "Olney Hymns"

* * *

The first time I laid eyes on the unnamed baby girl, I fell in love.

It was on a Tuesday in August, and the infant was swaddled in a pastel blanket and lying in a standard-issue wooden hospital crib on wheels. She was so still I found myself gazing intently at her chest to see if she was even breathing. She was not making any sound. No crying, no cooing. Her eyes were closed, and she was seemingly unaware of the medical staff bustling about, attending to the other infants requiring immediate attention in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

I had been told over the phone that this tiny two-week-old girl was expected to die at any moment, and I guessed that was the reason there was no flurry of activity or staff hovering closely over her. She was not a typical NICU patient from the looks of her or the traditional crib in which she rested. The other babies, lying in isolettes or radiant warmers, were surrounded by equipment that flashed and beeped. These at-risk infants had wires and tubes attached all over their tiny bodies, and the nurses were expending great effort to make sure they would survive. The lack of life-support apparatus surrounding this particular baby was a telltale sign she was ready to be moved out of this high-energy, high-tech environment. And I was there to move her.

I exercised a great deal of self-control by reining in my eagerness to hold her by waiting about three seconds before I asked for permission to pick up Emmalynn, the name we decided to give her. The nurse assigned to her for the p.m. shift agreed with a cheerful nod that I could. I leaned over the crib, my breath catching in my lungs, a sob in my throat, tears pricking my eyes. I thought, Oh God, is this really going to happen? Then I carefully scooped Emmalynn into my arms and snuggled her close.

I took a breath, catching a whiff of the sweet, distinct newborn scent mingled with Johnson's baby shampoo. Baby Emmalynn was almost feather-light, and her fragility added to my desire to gather her in close and protect her.

Holding her near me and peeking underneath the typical nursery blue-and-pink striped cap, I could tell that her head, although abnormally tiny, was formed with an intact skull and a downy covering of light brown hair. My eighteen-year-old daughter, Johanna, had driven the eighty miles with me to the hospital. This was our initial visit, and I wasn't exactly sure what the protocol was or what Johanna and I would be expected to do. The nurse brought us some guest chairs, and we sat so we could dote on the precious infant. I gently ran the back of my first finger across her smooth pink cheeks.

A neonatologist wearing the usual wrinkled and faded blue scrubs came into the nursery and pulled up a stool next to us. She leaned against the edge of Emmalynn's crib and cocked her head to the side, brows furrowed in concentration and caution. "How did you get into this situation?" she asked.

I think it was a little hard for her to believe we had willingly volunteered to care for this baby. Or perhaps she thought we hadn't understood the gravity of Emmalynn's prognosis. I quickly explained that I had experience as a neonatal nurse as well as a bereavement specialist offering hospice care to families when their babies died on the labor and delivery floor. I shared my desire to come alongside an infant with Baby Emmalynn's lethal condition. I couldn't change the fact the baby would die, but I could care for her and love her for the short time she had on earth.

Once the physician realized I wasn't going to be deterred from taking the baby home, she sat back, relaxed her shoulders in relief, and grew tearful. She said, "When this baby arrived in the NICU two weeks ago, I was so dismayed because I thought she would never have a family. I'm so relieved this is happening. I don't know if you're a person of faith, but you're a godsend for this baby." She had other infants to attend to, so she left us to bond with the newest addition to our family.

Though I didn't want to hand her over, I needed to share, so I cheerfully placed the precious bundle in Johanna's arms. She was beautiful to us, and so still, like a porcelain doll. Johanna held her as gently and carefully as she could while I plied the nurse with more questions about Emmalynn's care routine. I wanted to know everything. I had already decided to give her my all, no holding back, no regrets. This baby was not going to feel the least bit unwanted. For whatever time she spent in this world, my family would give her open arms and open hearts. God had numbered her days before the beginning of time. He was fully aware of when she would be called home. I was confident He would carry us through whatever lay ahead.

After holding the precious infant one last time that evening, I gently placed her back in the wooden crib, promising that, God willing, we would be back soon. We left the NICU hoping and praying this baby would live long enough to come home.

* * *

Earlier on the same sunny day, I had been required to empty my hands of a job I had held dear. After a year of being unable to work because of health issues, I returned to the office of my former employer, a hospital on the eastern coast of Wisconsin, and met with HR staff to collect the personal items I had left behind the previous summer — boxes of photos, mugs, books, and mementos such as a hand-crocheted angel and a plaster-of-paris cast of a baby's foot. I was no longer a confident employee walking through the halls with purpose; instead, I felt beaten down and discarded.

I did not want to keep the appointment; the internal resistance I felt over this door closing in my life was stifling. Fortunately, I didn't have to go into the hospital by myself. My husband, Mark, drove me to the employee parking lot and came inside with me, expressing one of his trademark sentiments as we walked: "I cannot carry it for you, but I can carry you." His presence was steadying, and I said a silent prayer thanking God for Mark's loving support.

Stepping through the automatic doors, I realized the grief was as fresh as it had been ten months before when I learned that the funding for my job had been redirected. There would be no job for me to come back to even if I ever did become well enough to work.

We passed by the office that had once been mine; it was now being used by a different department. Files that I had deemed of utmost importance now languished in boxes stacked on the desk in my old cubicle until someone could find the time to move them to more permanent storage.

My job as a bereavement specialist had been one of my passions. I had even come up with the program's name: Hope After Loss Organization (HALO). I had spent countless hours and had poured a significant amount of personal energy into championing the rights of miscarried and stillborn babies, and those infants who died shortly after birth, as well as their parents. One of my goals was to see that those little ones were treated with dignity and respect.

When the OB doctor needed to tell a mother her baby no longer had a heartbeat or was going to be imminently delivered and wouldn't survive, I was called. If it was possible, I would be present when the doctor shared this news, and I stayed with the family after the physician left to tell them what next steps they needed to take.

My job entailed helping parents make the best choices for their family. While the parents were dealing with the grief of their baby's death or impending death, I informed them of their options. Making funeral arrangements is horrible to contemplate, especially only hours after you thought you were going to take home a normal, healthy child.

One remarkable afternoon a baby boy was born alive after only eighteen weeks' gestation. His parents were completely overwhelmed by his untimely birth and seemed to be in shock during the delivery process. After the baby boy was born, the doctor placed him on a blue sterile cloth and handed him to me, his arms and legs gently wiggling. I had no clue how this was physiologically possible given the immaturity of the baby boy's lungs.

Seeing their tiny son moving but knowing he would die quickly was too much for the parents to bear. The boy's mother sobbed, choking out words between ragged breaths. "Please, take him away. I can't do this." The father responded to the panic in his wife's voice and motioned frantically with his hands that I should move along.

I carried the baby to an unoccupied room just around the corner and stood near the window. I held him in the palm of my hand; his tiny feet were no bigger than the nail on my pinkie finger. I could see his heart beating in his chest; I could see his veins through his translucent skin. At this early age, the nerves were just below his skin, leaving him extremely vulnerable to pain because fat stores hadn't yet covered the nerve endings to insulate them. I eased onto the wide windowsill and sat, pulling my knees up toward my chest, instinctively protecting him by arcing over his precious little body, holding him in my hands only inches from my face, cradling him with the tenderest care, offering what comfort I could. The afternoon sunlight streamed in and created a serene setting. I marveled at how beautifully his tiny body was formed, and my breath was taken away by this miracle of life, in awe that one so young continued to live outside the womb.

Tears splashed on my hands even though I wasn't consciously aware I was crying. In a half whisper I sang a hymn and then "You Are My Sunshine." My voice broke when I came to the line, "Please don't take my sunshine away."

I watched as he shuddered slightly. I whispered, "Oh, baby boy, fly away to Jesus." The fluttering in his chest stopped and his color faded. When he was still, I called my friend Marie who was working downstairs and asked if she would come help me take a photo of this precious boy. I wanted his parents to have something tangible to take home with them. A photo would be a poor consolation when Mom's and Dad's arms were aching to have a baby in them, but it was something, and something in the long run might bring them comfort.

Marie came to help me with Baby Boy without flinching, even though this certainly wasn't her area of expertise. She watched as I reverently dressed him in a small handmade kimono-style robe and then wrapped him in a blanket about the size of a washcloth. The outfit and blanket had been specially created by local church women just for babies his size. The OB nurse knocked softly on the door and poked her head in, "The parents would like to hold him now. Would you take him to them?"

I did as she asked, sighing with relief that they had chosen to hold him. The parents were going to have enough heartache, and creating a memory of their son would ease some of the pain that lay ahead. After settling Baby Boy with his family, I left the room to gather my things that I had left in the empty, hallowed space near the window.

Marie was there waiting. I had reined in my emotions while I'd had to, but now my sobs broke in spite of my best efforts to control them. "I wish I could have done something for him." I groped about in my mind, sorting through options and discarding them just as quickly. "But his lungs — they were too young to work. Any medical procedure I could have attempted would have been futile. And it would have hurt him. I feel so helpless!"

Marie looked incredulous. "You're kidding me, right?" she asked. "All that baby knew outside the womb was your touch and your love. What greater gift could you have given him?"

More than anything, the parents I worked with just needed someone to feel the loss of their child as deeply as they did, a compassionate and steady presence to help them as they learned to cope with their grief.

I loved what I did and the ability to make a difference for good in such tragic circumstances. It was difficult to accept closure, to acknowledge that this job was no longer mine.

As I walked down the hall, the heaviness in my gut was awful, and it had nothing to do with the physical pain I had endured in the past year. I felt weak, drained of energy and of the wherewithal to finish the task ahead of me. On the way to the HR office, one of my former bosses greeted me, and I felt pitied. His expression confirmed, in my mind, that my prayers and the prayers of countless others that I be fully restored to health had failed. What was even more bewildering was how much of my identity was wrapped up in my bereavement counselor role, and now I felt as if my identity had been lost along with my job. One of my worst fears had been to become disabled, and now I was staring it right in the face. My heart soundlessly cried, Dear God, how can this be Your will for me?

* * *

The events of the next day are proof to me that God was indeed working all things together for my good, even before I had any clue of what He was doing. Our home had passed the necessary inspection, and the initial background checks were accomplished. I had been given the go-ahead to bring Emmalynn home, and Johanna and I headed to the hospital once more, but this time we weren't just visiting. We would load this baby up in a car seat and carry our precious new gift to the rest of the family waiting at home to meet her.

On this second trip to the hospital, we found out more about Emmalynn's condition. Only the brain stem was present, which allowed her to breathe on her own, but she wasn't even able to swallow, which is a basic brain stem function. Feeding her was considered a comfort measure, and I was grateful she would not have pain from being hungry. A nasogastric (NG) tube went from her nose to her stomach so she could be fed by allowing formula to gravity feed through the tube with a syringe.

Johanna had brought with her a crocheted hat that was the color of an orange Dreamsicle from her own days as a newborn, and she fitted it over the top of the hospital-issue hat Emmalynn wore. Without this double-wrap effort, hats would fall off her tiny head.

While we were being readied for discharge, we met the neonatologist of the NICU. He was much more clinical than the physician we had chatted with the evening before. He agreed that I could use our family pediatrician, Dr. T, to provide primary care for Emmalynn. Then the doctor informed me that she was in a vegetative state. She would be almost comatose, "unable to see or hear. She will respond only to painful stimuli and have no real quality of life."

My heart rebelled at his evaluation about "quality." In spite of her extreme brain deformity and the resulting physical limitations, Emmalynn was not a mistake, as some would call her. Her body was formed in her mother's womb because God decided it would be so. I love the way the Bible describes it, saying babies are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14 NIV). God doesn't make mistakes, no matter our opinion of His work.

It honestly didn't matter one whit whether we had evidence that Emmalynn understood anything we did for her. Because she was made in the image of God, my family would be the hands and feet of Jesus and care for her as He would. This privilege of loving her even though she was too frail to reciprocate made the joy all the sweeter. God's extraordinary love for us is not contingent on our deserving it, earning it, or even, quite frankly, wanting it.

I drove home, and Johanna sat with Emmalynn in the backseat. Because she was so young and tiny, the car seat had to be rear-facing in the back, which meant I couldn't see Emmalynn's face in the rearview mirror. I was glad that Johanna could monitor the baby's breathing and alert me to pull over if she seemed to be in distress. Not that Johanna was responsible for the little baby's life — we both knew that Emmalynn could pass away in an instant — but we both agreed that if she began to struggle, it would be best for her if someone was holding her, offering comfort and love.

Having my adult daughter with me buoyed my spirits and helped to solidify that this was a team effort because I knew that on my own I wouldn't be able to provide the 24-7 care Emmalynn required. Johanna could also share in the joy of seeing a prayer honored. Three years earlier she and I had attended a Mark Shultz concert for her birthday and we heard his song "What It Means to Be Loved." Mark told the audience the song was about loving a child who most likely wouldn't live very long: "I wanna be her mom for as long as I can. ... I wanna show her what it means to be loved." I realized that the artist had put into words what had been my heart's desire for the longest time. At that time Johanna and I had prayed for an opportunity to do just that: to be a family for a child no one else had the desire or ability to care for.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "I Will Love You Forever"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Cori Salchert.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

1 Beauty in the Broken 13

2 Amie 37

3 Fifty Days 63

4 The Funeral 81

5 Flaws Revealed and Healed 97

6 The Broken Vessel 117

7 The Dark before the Dawn 133

8 The Tight Fist of Fear 153

9 Breath of Life 177

10 Strength Made Perfect in Weakness 197

11 Crazy Amazing Answers to Prayer 213

12 Stained Glass Windows 235

Notes 249

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I Will Love You Forever: A True Story about Finding Life, Hope & Healing While Caring for Hospice Babies 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have a box of kleenex while reading. It is truely inspurational book.
J-M-Powers_Author More than 1 year ago
The death of a sweet baby is a life shattering ordeal, but Cori Salchert’ and Marianne Hering's story respectfully addresses loss. The love is selfless, and the giving nature throughout the book is touching. Cori wraps the reader with comfort through her written word. This story shows how God guides us through hard times. This story is not sad like I thought, but uplifting. This book touched my heart, and reminded me of the strength we gain through faith. The author grabbed my heart from the first page, and kept me immersed throughout the book. I highly recommend this true story. I Will Love You Forever changed me… and made me take a hard look within. I received a complimentary copy from Net Galley
DebbieCossey1 More than 1 year ago
I Will Love You Forever: A True Story About Finding Life, Hope & Healing While Caring for Hospice Babies I Will Love You Forever: A True Story About Finding Life, Hope & Healing While Caring for Hospice Babies Cori Salchert Video 5 Stars Out Of 5 I will Love you forever March 15, 2018 Quality: 5 Value: 5 Meets Expectations: 5 This is a very inspiring book - it shows strength, faith and true love. This is a true story about Cori Salchert struggles to deal with death of her younger sister years earlier and her struggles through her own life issues. After losing her job ax a bereavement specialist Cori become involved with babies who are put on hospice care with medical needs. Knowing these babies may only live hours or days her and her family agree to care for them. Her first baby to take home they named Emmalynn. She wasn't with them long but was given the love, attention and care she needed. This book tells of the struggles they go through daily to care and provide for these babies and how they touch Cori and her familys lives. It is true story of how God uses these babies to help Cori heal and at same time help these small babies have love and care they need. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Diana0 More than 1 year ago
Wow this is a powerful book. God uses Cori to comfort a dying baby. But in the process He is healing her heart. Cori and her family devoted their lives to care for a hospice baby. A baby that would never know the love of a family. Knowing she would not live long was long enough that she knew love. In process healing Cori over the death of her little sister years ago. Through their time with Emmalynn they have had faith and got joy from knowing her and ended with peace. I loved a quote Cori wrote want to share with you. "Our hearts are like stained -glass windows. Those windows are made of broken glass, which have been forged back together, and those windows are even stronger and more beautiful for having been broken. " by Cori Salchert I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
SusanS More than 1 year ago
I have family who foster children with special needs, open their homes to those in need, and work with the homeless. My heart warms with their compassion. I have read many books that shared real life experiences, and some have moved me to tears. This amazing book will both warm your heart and move you to tears. Cori and Mark Sachert open their hearts and their homes to Hospice babies. In this book written with Marianne Hering, Cori shares openly the vulnerability, the fears and most importantly the love and joy her family experiences with these children. When the Sachert family opens their home…and their hearts, to a child it is with the knowledge that that child may live only hours or days. Nevertheless during that time they become family, surrounding the child with every bit as much love and prayers as for their own children. I highly recommend this book to everyone. And then I recommend that you share the book with those in your church family, your coworkers, friends and acquaintances who foster children or who are thinking of fostering children. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
MelissaGH More than 1 year ago
Heartbreaking and inspirational true story about caring for hospice babies. The author shares her personal experiences of caring for these precious children. I learned valuable information about caring for anyone who is ill and how important those hugs and special moments can be to us all. I appreciate Hospice volunteers and all who are caring for those in need. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
PTL6KDS More than 1 year ago
I Will Love You Forever by Cori Salchert I love to see how God works in the lives of those who want to follow Him. Often what we perceive to be the best way to represent God and his plan is not how life goes. So is the case for Cori Salchert. Reading her book was both challenging, and encouraging. She represents real life and real decisions. Cori’s life has many bumps along the way and even devastating moments that she wonders if she can recover from, but as you continue to read, you learn that God never leaves her and He directs in ways she would never have dreamed possible. This story is about caring for hospice babies, learning how to deal with personal health problems and how to let God be in charge of every aspect of Cori's life. I think what I loved about this book is how redemptive it is in those who have very short lives here on earth and in the lives of Cori and her family. The only aspect of the book that I struggled with was how Cori brought in her past and some of the growing up years that she dealt with, including the death of her sister. I realize these were a huge part of her story and needed to be in the book, but they detracted from the hospice focus a bit more than I would have liked. I loved that Cori started each chapter with the words from a hymn that gave her encouragement along the way and how she also included the many Bible verses that she shared which many times were her only comfort during the hardest moments. What I first thought was going to be a hard and discouraging journey for a family, turned into a hope-filled and energized testimony of what God can do with individuals who are willing to be a team and operate with a heart for others instead of themselves. I Corinthians 6:19 at the end of the verse says, “You do not belong to yourself.” Oswald Chambers understood the message Cori and her family were trying to share: “Never consider whether or not you are of use—but always consider that ‘you are not your own.’” (From My Utmost for His Highest, March 4) I highly recommend this book. It will challenge, encourage and give hope to those who are looking for evidence that God works in seemingly hopeless situations. He always comes through, and this family is blessed to recognize it and live for Him impacting others along the way. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing, and while I was under no obligation to post a review, I was delighted to do so.
chemil33 More than 1 year ago
Cori Salchert shares her emotions and reactions to the trauma in her early life. Through the caring and love of children no one wants she is able to heal of her past torments. The book is well written and contains information on how to heal through faith in God. Even though it is sad in that many of the babies die shortly after their births, the love and compassion shown these children is vital to their souls. I think this is a well presented aspect of human life and growth and the importance of touch and love for all God’s children. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. I posted the review at Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors, and Amazon under the name of chemil33. Thank you for selecting me to review this book. Each book I review is placed in our church library for use by our patrons. Cheryl Miller
Madalyn More than 1 year ago
I Will Love You Forever is the life story of Cori Salchert and her family. With severe health problems that caused her to be set aside from her dream job and a deep sorrow from her own past she carries her passion for helping suffering parents and children into caring for Hospice babies. The story is remarkable, not only that this woman had the passion and love to extend to those who have no one to love them, but her husband and eight children joined her in loving and caring in a beautiful way in their home. I was inspired by their story. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be challenged about what one can do through the One who gives us strength. I think your heart will be touched when you read this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
BMace More than 1 year ago
An incredible book that I had to finish in one sitting! The love displayed by the author and her family had me in tears at times, and smiling other times. In general , we seem to remove ourselves from anyone that is different. These little ones need love and caring just as much as we do, and yet society tends to hide them behind closed doors. You might say that with a family history like Cori had, and the illnesses she learned to live with, that she and those around her were made for this kind of caring. Perhaps that is true, but aren't we all instructed to 'love the least of these'? Consider the last time you looked away when confronted with some kind of disability.... I am thinking we all have some soul searching to do. I receive a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Wanda_M More than 1 year ago
A true love story that is filled with so much passion it will grab your heart and wring the tears from your eyes as you read each chapter. The hope and love this one woman gave of herself to this beautiful baby girl is enough to lift anyone's spirits. She loved so unselfishly! Not only her, but her whole family was so willing to help in any way. That really pulled at my heart-strings as this family fought together, through love and faith to try and keep this precious life from slipping away from them. Will she and her family succeed? I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER, by Cori Salchert , a befitting title for this wonderful book, was filled with suffering and heart-aches, when Cori, through an attempt to try and heal her broken heart, after loosing her precious sister, opened that same heart and made room by bringing precious hospice babies into her home to care for them. A rewarding attempt, to me, that will put stars in her crown some day. I was so over-whelmed at what this woman had done. How many people would gladly open their hearts and arms and share their love that way? I lost three sisters, and that left a deep, dark void in my heart. I had to watch slowly, as bit by bit, one of my sisters suffered and slipped away from us, and another one was taken in an instant. I still miss all of them today. This sad book brought their memory back to me for a little while, but there was also strength and faith that showed through every page. Oh! this is a must read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Jdp15 More than 1 year ago
"I Will Love You Forever" by Cori Salchert is an awesome book and I recommend it to everyone! You have to read this book. I was brought to tears by this amazing woman. Cori and her family do what most family's will not do; care for fragile hospice babies until their last breath on earth. I was so moved by this book. How Cori overcame her ailments is only because of God. Many prayers to the Salchert family. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."
Soupersally More than 1 year ago
This is a most unusual book, being a true story about finding life, hope and healing while caring for Hospice Babies. While being an accurate description, the only way to truly discover what all of it means is to read this book. The emotional ups and downs with the difficult life are shared with us, but more importantly, the love given to the babies and the love of many friends and all the family. Cori Salchert has poured out her heart over a year's period of time covering ten years devoted to loving the babies, much like reading her diary to me, beginning with her sister's childhood death. Her strong faith is revealed over and over, proving God's love for her. It is an amazing story she's shared. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Will Love You Forever is a beautiful story of the Love of Christ reflected in a family - a family that takes in and loves terminally ill children. But, it is much more than a story about the children. CorI Salchert shares her own struggles with grief and guilt, and healing, and she reveals a deeper and more profound level of trust in God. A must read! "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and I was under no obligation to post a review."
annelr More than 1 year ago
I Will Love You Forever, by Cori Slachert with Marianne Hering, is an amazingly powerful book that reflects the heart of God and tells of the hope we have of trusting Him in the scariness of the unknown, in fact, in all our circumstances, even the hopeless ones. The author shares her vulnerability and illustrates how God has redeemed the losses she has experienced in her sometimes messy life. In a very real and honest, sometimes humorous manner the author shares her life with readers--the devastating loss of her sister at a young age, the debilitating long-term health problems and the depths of despair that she endured. The book is not for the faint of heart regarding medical issues and yet it is a wonderful testimony to the emotional and physical healing that only God can bring. Throughout the book, Cori tells how she found comfort through scriptures, songs, and sermons, as well as examples of other individuals who have experienced difficult situations in her and her husband's lives. Recognizing there were no simple fixes, the answers to their often desperate prayers were often multifaceted. One thing that is evident is that as Cori has come through the challenges of her life and has begun to foster hospice babies, she has come to more fully understand that God is in control and is accomplishing His will, whether it is in her own life, her children's lives or the lives of the foster babies she cares for. I Will Love You Forever is a book that could be read multiple times as there is much wisdom to glean and principles from God's Word on which to meditate and begin to incorporate in one's life. It is a book to share with others, with those who need to know there is a hope, a hope in God because He is faithful, He is there and He can be trusted. Quoting from Holocaust survivor, Corrie ten Boom, "never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. I was drawn to the book because of the subject and my heart for children; this book spoke directly to my soul. I loved reading about the journey of the author and her ministry with these precious lives. Wonderful book, will recommend to everyone. I didn't want it to end. I received this book for free from the publisher and was not obligated to write a review. All opinions are my own.
PamMooney More than 1 year ago
Inspiring! Pure love. I enjoyed reading about this wonderful and compassionate family. I loved how through their own struggles and grief they were able to open their home to hospice babies. It is with amazing empathy they cared for these young souls so they could feel loved throughout their short lives. While the circumstances are sad the story is uplifting as along with the tears there is laughter and the celebration of these young lives. Cori is my hero as is her loving family. A good read
PamMooney More than 1 year ago
Inspiring! Pure love. I enjoyed reading about this wonderful and compassionate family. I loved how through their own struggles and grief they were able to open their home to hospice babies. It is with amazing empathy they cared for these young souls so they could feel loved throughout their short lives. While the circumstances are sad the story is uplifting as along with the tears there is laughter and the celebration of these young lives. Cori is my hero as is her loving family. A good read
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
I Will Love You Forever: A True Story about Finding Life, Hope Healing While Caring for Hospice Babies is a powerful read. I enjoyed reading about the author’s life struggles and how she was able to find hope and courage in taking care of the terminal precious babies. I have to admit, I found myself tearing up reading this but it is a true testament of finding grace I give I Will Love You Forever 5 plus stars. I highly recommend it. I received this book from the publisher but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
SunnieReviews More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing story of Cori and the babies that she cared for that had such a need for love. The story was uplifting and wow, the feelings that it stirs. One story she wrote about was actually about her sister and that she had been put into a care facility. I almost couldn't believe when I read this part as my husband worked there 33 years! Wow, this story hit close to home. Very heartwarming and a story of faith, endurance and the blessing of life, itself. You will want to read this. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
BEASTEWART More than 1 year ago
I Will Love You Forever is the true story of Cori and Mark Salchert who dealt with Cori’s illnesses and became foster and adoptive parents to babies needing hospice care. The Salchert’s had several children of their own and also faced the medical needs of a diabetic daughter. This story is a tenderhearted, moving story of God’s grace helping people find their way through difficult situations; and in this case, several difficult situations. I Will Love You Forever is not only the whispered words to their hospice babies and to their own children, but also the whispers of God to their own hearts and lives. In amazing forthrightness, Cori explains various medical conditions, her emotions in dealing with them, and her desperate prayers to her Heavenly Father. Each chapter begins with the quoted words of a hymn or chorus with soothing words that can help heal our brokenness. This is a book everyone should read as it is filled with both heartaches of life, the love this family has for hospice children, and with the reassurances and answered prayers of a loving God. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
ksucindy More than 1 year ago
I thought this book would be hard to read. I was so wrong. I couldn't put it down and read the whole thing in one sitting. Cori and her husband Mark have been through much pain in their lifetimes, but they still make the choice to take hospice babies into their homes. These are the babies no one wants, the ones with health issues so horrible they are abandoned by their parents and left to die alone and unloved. The remarkable thing about Cori is that she lets herself fall in love with these babies, knowing she will have to give them up soon, or worse, give them up later. These children experience what it means to be loved in Cori's arms. Her husband and children love and accept them as well, taking on the eventual heartbreak with smiles and an unbelievable capacity to love the unlovable. Cori gives us not only the story of the hospice babies that have come to live with them, but many of her past experiences including a special needs sister that died young and her own physical illness that almost robbed her of everything she valued. These experiences prepared Cori's heart to be used of God as a loving mother to the children that find their way to the Salchert home. Read this book and experience its strong and stalwart message. It won't soon be forgotten. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
CK119 More than 1 year ago
I Will Love You Forever by Cori Salchert with Marianne Hering is “A True Story about Finding Life, Hope and Healing While Caring for Hospice Babies”. Cori trained as nurse and then became a bereavement specialist in the maternity wing of the local hospital. She works with families whose children are born prematurely and unable to survive, stillborn or those who survive for a short time. Her main goal is for the dignity and respect of the child as well as the family members. Due to her own serious health issues she has had to leave her position. The same day she collects her things she is invited to visit as child who has been relinquished to the state by her parents and is not expected to live long. Cori and her family take the child in, give her a name and care for her all the days she has left. This begins a journey of God healing Cori’s broken heart through caring for hospice babies. This story is very inspirational and one I could not put it down. I give this a solid 5 of 5 stars as it is well-written, and compiled in a logical manner. The family members, mainly Cori, share their shortcomings as well as what has gone well; they openly show their love, pain and at times frustrations. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
GailHollingsworth More than 1 year ago
A very eye-opening, very emotional true story. The author, Cori Salchert, tells of her many struggles, fears and unanswered prayers that led her to be who she is and give her the strength to care for Hospice babies. Many debilitating health issues, loss of a meaningful job, struggles at home all took her to the unthinkable attempt on her life. God brought her through all this so that she could see the bigger picture and what her purpose was in this life. Being a nurse, she felt led to foster medically needy babies and give them comfort and love for the short time they had on this earth. Soon she had her husband and her eight biological children on board to help. Follow her story from things that happened in her childhood to the years of searching for a medical diagnosis for her abdominal pain that had her bedridden. As she struggled with her faith, God brought her closer to him and showed her what he wanted her to do. I totally admired her courage and her strength. God gives each of us gifts uniquely ours to bring about his purposes on earth. Cori Salchert was open and willing to hear his plans for her. Everyone needs to read this moving story and see what is truly possible when we open our hearts. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Emthom More than 1 year ago
I Will Love You Forever by Cori Salchert, is a true story of her life of caring for hospice babies. The book started out well written, drawing you in early having you crying along with her in the first few chapters. The book seemed to abruptly change, devoting chapters to the authors various illnesses during the course of her life, which I felt took away from the subject of the hospice babies. The book seemed to lose steam, picking back up with the next hospice baby, and didn't keep my interest as it did before. It's not a bad book, but seemed to jump around a bit. I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.