Baby Gisele was born prematurely after only 29 weeks, weighing less than 2 lbs.
Because of her mother’s drug addiction, she had health problems and had no visitors for several months.
When she was 3 months old, she was moved to Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts. That’s when 45-year-old nurse Liz Smith found her.
Ms. Smith had always wanted to have children. However, she suffered from infertility and was unable to get pregnant despite trying different types of treatment.
She had never considered adopting a child before but Gisele needed a home. After following a protracted legal process, Gisele started living with her in April 2017.
The nurse revealed she knew the first time she saw the baby that she wanted to be her mother.
“It was an emotional roller coaster. When I initially started fostering her, the goal was reunification with her birth parents. I always had that as a reality in the back of my mind while I was taking care of her, but in the moment (I) knew she needed and deserved every ounce of love I had to give her,” she told CNN.
The parental rights of Gisele’s birth parents were revoked last June as they were deemed unfit to take good care of the child.
“It was very bittersweet. I was experiencing this tremendous gain and happiness in my life where others were experiencing the opposite,” Ms. Smith added.
Gisele is now two years old and even though she was diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome after being exposed to drugs during pregnancy, her health condition is stable.
“She is thriving. She has a feeding tube where she still gets the majority of her nutrition through, but other than that, the specialist thinks she is just remarkable. They can’t believe the strides she has made and how healthy and strong she is. Her resilience is inspiring to me and every day I’m amazed by her,” Ms. Smith expressed.
“We talk about the power of love, but to witness how it can transform a life and to witness how it transformed her life and mine is unbelievable. I have never been happier or stronger and just I couldn’t imagine life without her.”
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