Mom Agrees To Take Strangers Baby, Without Any Idea She’s About To End Up Sick Just Like Her
Karen Brost 12/1/2017
When she was growing up in a small town in Ohio, Heather Salazar thought she had her life all planned out. She wanted to go into the social work field so she could help youth who were at risk. But then at age 18, she met her future husband Steve, and her life took a different path.
She and Steve married a year later, and over the next 10 years they had three children, Christian, Caleb and Cara. But then Heather's calling to do social work returned when her mother's neighbor told her about a 23-year-old woman who was battling stage IV breast cancer and was looking for someone who could care for her baby daughter.
Even though Heather and Steve thought they were done adding to their family, Heather spent the next three days praying about what to do. She finally told her husband that she believed that they were supposed to adopt this baby. So they arranged to meet the young mother, whose name was Alexis. In an interview with Women's Day, Heather said Alexis told them,
"I'm looking for someone to take my baby. I just want to know that you're going to love her."
Heather went on to say,
"My husband just melted right there; he would have done anything for her because she was so sick with no support."
Over the next few weeks, Heather visited Alexis and her baby, who was also named Alexis. Heather saw how hard this young mother was fighting to stay alive.
The Salazars took custody of Alexis, now called Lexi, when she was 10 months old. Over the next year, Heather and her three other kids would take Lexi (as she is now called) to visit her mother while she was receiving chemotherapy and bring her groceries and medicine. Sadly, Alexis passed away from her breast cancer when she was just 24.
Shortly after the Salazars welcomed Lexi into their home, their lives took another turn. Thinking about how Alexis was diagnosed with breast cancer at such a young age, Heather decided to do a breast self-exam. She discovered a lump and was diagnosed with cancer. She worried that her biological kids were going to lose their mom and that Lexi was going to lose her second mom.
"But my husband was a rock, and I was so lucky my cancer responded to treatment."
The Salazars were eventually able to legally adopt Lexi. As Heather explained to Women's Day,
"It was hard to adjust at first, but life with Lexi became second nature. All of our family, but especially Steve and I, just have this immense love for her. To us, she's no different than our biological kids. We tell Lexi how hard her mom fought and how much like her she is. Now, 10 years later, Lexi is 15 and Cara is 16 and they act like twins."