The baby girl was left in the hospital for five months. She had no visitors, and was on the verge of being placed into foster care.
A little baby girl was left for five months in the hospital after she was born. Nobody ever came to visit her. Her parents never returned to pick her up from the hospital. Just when the hospital staff had lost hope and were planning to give her to foster care, a nurse stepped in to save her and at the same time fulfilled her own dreams of becoming a parent. During her talk on Today, Liz Smith, the director of nursing at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts, said that she always wished to be a parent and raise a child. Smith chose to foster the girl, Gisele, despite the fact that the state took custody of her in October 2016. Gisele was born at 29 weeks in July 2016 and was diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome due to her birth mother’s drug use during pregnancy.
Liz Smith mentioned that she was going through a break up back in 2016 and during that time, she tried other ways of getting pregnant like in-vitro fertilization and sperm donation. However, nothing worked for her and she started to lose hope. "Becoming a nurse was easy, but becoming a mom was not. I put it in the back of my mind and got busy with work as I always do." Soon after joining Franciscan Children’s in her hometown of Boston, she met Gisele who was in desperate need of her help.
Nurse Adopts Baby Girl Whose Parents Didn't Visit Her in the Hospital for 5 Months https://t.co/Ntn3Piri51— People (@people) April 6, 2019
"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?'" Gisele was on the verge of being placed into foster care as her parents stopped visiting her at the hospital. Smith decided to step in and adopt Gisele and give her all the love and care that she deserved. Smith used to take Gisele home and help her deal with cocaine and heroin withdrawal. The girl was exposed to these two narcotics while she was in the womb.
Smith used to take the effort to feed Gisele through a gastrostomy tube 16 hours a day. Smith fostered the girl for weeks and created an inseparable bond with her. She said, "One night she was hooked up to the feed… and the thought went into my head of losing her. It made me sick to my stomach." It had been around nine months since Smith was fostering Gisele when the state ended her birth parents' parental rights.
"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." This is when Smith got the opportunity to legally be Gisele's parent. The biological parents failed to appeal to the state around four weeks later and it was all done. Smith was finally allowed to move ahead with the adoption procedure. She recalled, "The day I got the phone call with the adoption date was the day that I was jumping up and down."
The adoption was at last made official in October 2018. Gisele is currently two-years-old. She is still required to use a feeding tube. However, Smith's love and care at least make the little girl smile and keep her happy. "Her new favorite song is You Are My Sunshine," Smith told the Washington Post. "And every time she sings it, I think to myself, 'You have no idea.'" According to Franciscan Children’s blog, Gisele, who was born weighing just under two pounds, spent three months in the NICU on ventilator support before she was transferred to Franciscan Children’s, and had developed an oral aversion.
Gisele had no visitors except for 45-year-old Smith. Initially, the birth parents had regular supervised visits but they gradually started to decline and finally stopped. This is when the state decided to change the goal from reunification to adoption. "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."
At least this little girl has a mother that loves her dearly! That's all that matters.— Douglas Lindzy (@lindzyormanjan2) April 6, 2019
As per a New York Post report, on October 18, 2018, which was the day of the adoption, the judge walked into court and told Smith, "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." Smith could not be happier to be a parent to a girl like Gisele.