A Massachusetts nurse who always wanted to be a mother has finally had her dreams come true. After waiting two years, Liz Smith adopted a baby who had been abandoned at birth from Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Boston where she works.
Smith first learned about baby Gisele, who had been born prematurely at just 29 weeks weighing one pound, 14 ounces, from her coworkers. While the 40-year-old senior nursing director, who was told it was unlikely that she could ever have children, had never considered fostering or adoption, she says that all changed the moment she met Gisele.
“Literally, Gisele crossed my path in a stroller and we locked eyes and that was it,” she said in an interview with CBS Boston. Their connection grew more and more each day, as Smith would visit the preemie after work.
In October 2016, the state took custody of Gisele from her birth parents, who both suffered from drug addiction and were declared unfit. Smith initially began fostering the baby with the intent of returning her to her birth parents, who visited weekly.
However, those weekly visits eventually stopped—and so, when it was clear that the birth parents were no longer in the picture, Smith had a decision to make. “I remember certain nights, one in particular when she was hooked up to the feed and I was walking by the mirror and the thought went into my head of losing her,” Smith wrote on the hospital’s website. “It made me sick to my stomach. You can’t just love a certain percentage. You have to give it your all.”
The adoption was finalized on October 18, 2018, some 533 days after Smith first met Gisele. And the new mom couldn’t be happier. She told the Boston Herald, “She continues to amaze me with her strength and resilience every day. To witness what the power of love has done for her and for me — it has transformed our lives.”