As an infant, Gisele was on the verge of being placed into foster care after her parents stopped visiting her in the hospital

By Jason Duaine Hahn
April 05, 2019 08:30 PM

When no one visited a baby girl at the hospital after she was born, a nurse stepped in to help — and fulfilled her dream of becoming a parent in the process.

Liz Smith, the director of nursing at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts, had always dreamed of being a mother, she explained to Today. And back in 2016, after going through a breakup, she tried other means of getting pregnant, including in vitro fertilization and sperm donation, but nothing seemed to work. At that point, she had begun to lose hope.

“Becoming a nurse was easy, but becoming a mom was not,” she said of her hopes of becoming a parent. “I put it in the back of my mind and got busy with work as I always do.”

But shortly after joining Franciscan Children’s in her hometown of Boston, she met a young patient who was in need of help.

“I came out of the medical unit one day and in the stroller was this beautiful little girl,” Smith said. “I said to the nurse, ‘Who is this beautiful little angel?'”

The baby girl, named Gisele, was on the verge of being placed into foster care when her parents stopped visiting her at the hospital. After seeing this baby, who was in need of someone to provide love and affection, Smith decided she would be the one to give it to her.

Smith would take Gisele home and help her through cocaine and heroin withdrawal, two narcotics she was exposed to while in the womb. She’d also feed her through a gastrostomy tube 16 hours a day.

Liz Smith and Gisele

After fostering her for weeks, Smith felt an inseparable attachment to the girl she was raising.

“One night she was hooked up to the feed… and the thought went into my head of losing her,” she told Today. “It made me sick to my stomach.”

Then, nine months after Smith began fostering Gisele, the state ended the birth parents’ parental rights.

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“It hit me, all of a sudden, that my life had changed, my dream was coming true,” Smith said. “But [also] that somebody else was losing her and that was really hard, because it wasn’t intentional.”

That opened up the opportunity for Smith to become Gisele’s legal mother, and when her birth parents failed to appeal the state’s ruling four weeks later, she was free to move ahead with adoption proceedings.

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“The day I got the phone call with the adoption date,” Smith recalled, “was the day that I was jumping up and down.”

Smith made the adoption official in October 2018.

Today, Gisele is 2 years old, and still uses a supplemental feeding tube, according to the Washington Post, who first reported the story. But thanks to Smith’s love and care, she is all smiles and couldn’t be happier.

“Her new favorite song is ‘You Are My Sunshine,’ ” Smith told the newspaper. “And every time she sings it, I think to myself, ‘You have no idea.’ “