Liz Smith’s first thought upon seeing the bright blue-eyed girl was “Who’s this beautiful angel?”

The director of nursing at Franciscan Children’s hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts was on her way to work when she laid eyes on eight month old Giselle.

Source: YouTube – CBS News
Giselle was a ward of the state who had been at the hospital for five months. She was born premature and weighed below 2 pounds. The child was born in July 2016 and diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

The state of Massachusetts took custody of Giselle on her third month. They transferred the child to the neonatal intensive care unit of the Franciscan Children’s hospital.

Source: YouTube – CBS News
Giselle had a feeding tube with her lungs needing special care during her five-month stay.

When Smith saw the child, she knew she wanted to foster her. Smith was always nurturing and caring so being a mother was in her heart.

She grew up in Andover, Massachusetts, losing her mother at 19 to liver cancer. She followed her mother’s footsteps.

“My mom was a pediatric nurse who always put others first. So I grew up wanting to be a nurse, too.”

Source: YouTube – CBS News
Smith has two brothers and two sisters. Seeing her siblings having families of their own disappointed her as she had none of her own.

Smith became “the world’s greatest aunt” with 13 nieces and nephews. But naturally, she wanted a child of her own.

Smith couldn’t afford in vitro fertilization and adoption had never been an option.

But it was Giselle that changed her mind.

Source: YouTube – CBS News

Smith started the paperwork to foster Giselle, wanting to care for the child and raise her as her own.
Giselle was 9 months old when Smith was able to bring her home after making an agreement that the state would still attempt to reunite the child with her birth parents.

Source: YouTube – CBS News

Bringing her home was an exciting and shocking experience.

Smith knew she had to commit even though there was a chance that she couldn’t keep Giselle forever.

Source: YouTube – CBS News

The state soon found that Giselle’s parents couldn’t care for her. Smith knew that adoption was now possible but was also saddened at the news..

“The day I got the call that their parental rights were terminated was very sad. 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. The bottom line is: It’s devastating for another family.”

Source: YouTube – CBS News

Giselle grew strong and healthy under Smith’s loving care,and was officially welcomed as member of the family in October of 2018.

Liz’s brother, Phil, says that this was the one relationship his sister had been waiting for.

Source: YouTube – CBS News

Gisele still had her feeding tube at the age of 2, but did gain 23 pounds. This little girl loves cheese, avocados, and pizza. And she is one energetic and loving child.

From a lonely NICU preemie at Franciscan Children’s hospital, to a now healthy and loved child, Giselle has come a long way.

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