Liz Smith always dreamed of becoming a mother, but it hadn’t happened for her yet and then one day while working as the director of nursing at Franciscan Children’s Hospital, everything changed. Smith spotted a baby girl with bright eyes in the Brighton, Massachusetts hospital and was drawn to her. "When I saw her being wheeled down the hall I asked the other nurse 'who is this beautiful angel'"?
After learning eight-month-old Gisele’s story, she was more moved. It turns out the infant was a ward of the state who had been in the hospital for five months being treated forneonatal abstinence syndrome, a result of her mother using heroin, cocaine, and methadone during pregnancy. She only weighed 2 lbs at birth. Social services was trying to place Gisele in foster care and she hadn’t had a single visitor in her five months at the hospital. And despite her health challenges, that’s when Smith decided to foster the baby girl and become her mother.
Smith put in a request to foster Gisele and a few weeks later, she got to take her home. Since then, Gisele’s parents have had their parental rights terminated and no other family members were found who could take the baby. And finally, last October, Smith got to make it official and adopted Gisele. Now, at age 2, Gisele likes to dance and play with Play-Doh. And she loves pizza.
“If you told me a year ago she would be asking for pizza, I would not have believed you,” Smith told TODAY. “It’s just slow progression, but in the right direction.”
“This is the mother-daughter relationship my sister has waited a long time for,” says Phil Smith, Liz’s brother. “God knew they needed each other and it’s plain to see that they have brought a completeness to each other.”