Nurse adopts little girl after she received no visitors in hospital for months
Liz Smith, director of nursing at Franciscan Children’s hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts, recently made two dreams come true.
At the end of each workday at the hospital, Liz would visit Gisele, an infant who didn't get any visitors during her stay there. Born at 29 weeks gestation, Gisele was diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome - due to her birth mother's drug use during pregnancy - leading to the state gaining custody of her in 2016.
Now, Gisele has officially become Liz' daughter, after she volunteered to foster her.
According to the blog run by the hospital, Gisele was born weighing under 2 lbs, and spent three months on ventilator support before she was transferred to the hospital. During her stay there, it was only the 45-year-old Liz that visited her. The mother had recently learned that she was not a good candidate for IVF treatments, and decided to foster the then-9-month-old Gisele once the biological parents were unable to look after her.
“When I got the call that the parents’ rights were terminated, I imagined that it would be a day of relief,” Smith told the blog. “And it was a day I was really sad. I was really happy. But I was really sad for them. I was gaining her but they were losing her. And to try to battle addiction and being a mom, that’s impossible.”
Two years after Gisele first landed in the custody of the state, Liz legally became her mother - and is now looking after her at home. Gisele still needs to receive nutrition through a feeding tube, but her new mom has helped her to start eating some solid foods, with her favourites being pizza and avocados. According to Smith, who spoke to the Washington Post about the journey, the judge told her on last October's adoption day:
“When a judge walks in the room, everyone stands out of respect. But today I stand in respect for you, Liz because you deserve the respect from this room. A birthing day is a miracle. But adopting a child from miles away is destiny. That’s what brought you two together.”
According to Liz, her need to help others comes from her own mother, who passed away when Liz was just 19 years old. She decided to honour her mother's legacy by following in her selfless example. "My mom was a pediatric nurse who always put others first,” Smith said. “So I grew up wanting to be a nurse, too.”
“Since the moment I met her, there was something behind her striking blue eyes capturing my attention,” Smith said of her new daughter. “I felt that I needed to love this child and keep her safe.”
“Her new favorite song is ‘You Are My Sunshine'. And every time she sings it, I think to myself, ‘You have no idea.’”
While Gisele hasn't had the easiest start to her life, it looks like her new mom will make sure the rest of it is wonderful.