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.
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 for neonatal abstinence syndrome, a result of her mother using heroin, cocaine, and methadone during pregnancy. 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.
“This is the mother-daughter relationship my sister has waited a long time for,” says Phil Smith, Liz’s brother. “It’s plain to see that they have brought a completeness to each other.”