Pediatric nurse Liz Smith had always dreamed of having a baby, but it seemed like fate had other plans for her. She worked at the Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts, and had experienced plenty of heartbreaks.
But nothing could’ve prepared her for what happened that day.
One morning, Liz saw little Gisele in the hallways of the hospital. As soon as she laid her eyes on her, she knew something wasn’t right.
As she soon learned, the little girl had neonatal abstinence syndrome due to heavy drug use by her mother during her pregnancy. But this wasn’t even the worst of it, though.
Gisele’s condition required special treatment, but fortunately, she was in good hands now.
When Gisele was born, she weighed less than two pounds. Initially, the hospital didn’t even have the necessary equipment to care for her.
So, when Gisele turned three months old, she was transported to Franciscan Hospital for Children, where she would meet Liz.
But as it turned out, not only did the girl have a serious condition due to her mother’s reckless behavior, but she was also all alone.
She hadn’t received a single visitor throughout her time at Liz’s hospital. No one from her family even bothered calling the hospital to see how she was doing, let alone visiting her.
Liz couldn’t understand how her mother could abandon her sick baby.
Liz knew how she could help Gisele. Her decision was final and clear: “I’m going to foster this baby. I’m going to be her mother.”
Just like any child, Gisele deserved a caring, loving mother who would always be by her side. Little did Liz know how this decision was going to turn her life upside down.
Liz had recently broken up with her long-term boyfriend, so at that point, her chances of having children were slim to none.
Although her relationship didn’t work out, Liz wasn’t planning to give up on her dream of becoming a mom. So when she turned 43, she decided to try IVF.
Unfortunately, Liz wasn’t suitable for the procedure. So the only choice she had left was adoption.
Liz couldn’t wait to adopt Gisele and give her all the love she deserved. But, there was one problem: her biological mother was still in the picture.
Liz decided to become Gisele’s foster parent until the situation with her biological parents was resolved. And three weeks later, Liz received the good news – her application was approved, and she was allowed to take Gisele home.
“Leaving the parking lot of the hospital with Gisele and a car full of baby stuff, I was in shock that it was happening, “Liz recalled. “I was excited but nervous, realizing that I was committing everything I had to this child who might not be in my life forever.” Little did she know what was about to happen next.
The state had contacted Gisele’s biological parents and encouraged them to visit her at Liz’s home. They hoped they would develop a bond with their daughter, but all their efforts went down the drain.
Gisele’s biological parents weren’t interested in spending time with her.
After one month, the state had decided that Gisele’s biological parents were unfit to raise her.
“The day I got the call that their parental rights were terminated was very sad,” Liz recalled. ”My gain was another’s loss. It’s a feeling difficult to describe when you are experiencing this life-changing moment that someone else is as well, in the opposite way.” So what happened to Gisele after?
Now all Liz had to do was apply for the adoption process and hope for the best. And soon, she received the best news ever: the state had approved her application, and she was going to be Gisele’s mother!
And on October 18, 2018, Liz, Gizele, and her friends and family all gathered at the Brockton courthouse to celebrate this special moment.
Liz received a lot of support from the judge at the courthouse. ”When a judge walks in the room, everyone stands out of respect,” the judge said.
“But today, I stand in respect for you, Liz, because you deserve the respect from this room.” And what the judge said next brought tears to everyone’s eyes.
“A birthing day is a miracle. But adopting a child from miles away is destiny. That’s what brought you two together,” the judge said.
Their beautiful story soon went viral, and Liz and Gisele received an invitation for an interview at The TODAY Show.
“I can’t wait to wake up in the morning to say good morning to her. To pick her up at daycare. To have her run to me and ask for food now that she’s eating,” Liz said.
“I never imagined that I could have a best friend who is 2.”