This baby was all alone in the hospital. Her nurse adopted her and changed their lives.

"Who's this beautiful angel?" Those were the first words that Liz Smith, the director of Nursing at Franciscan Children's Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts spoke to a blue-eyed baby she'd never met before. She was on her way to the elevator and expected to say nothing but a quick hello to a tiny hospital resident she didn't recognize.

The "beautiful angel," it turned out, was an eight-month-old named Gisele. She was a ward of the state, and she'd already spent more than five months at the hospital being treated for conditions stemming from a premature birth and her mother's drug use during pregnancy.


What was most heartbreaking was that Gisele had had no visitors during the entire time she'd been at the hospital, not even her parents, who were granted visitation, but weren't able to take advantage of it. And while social workers were trying to place her with a family, they'd been having some trouble.

As Smith drove home from the hospital that night, The Washington Post reports, all she could think of was Gisele.

The nursing director had always wanted to be a mother, but there had been complications — including her insurance refusing to cover in vitro fertilization.

"I never imagined becoming a mum would be a challenge," she told WaPo. "It's a desire you can try to push away and fill with other distractions, but it never goes away." She'd never considered adoption, she said, but Gisele changed all that.

So Smith started making plans. She put in a request to foster Gisele. She sat in Gisele's room every day after work ensuring that the baby felt loved and cared for. And when Gisele turned 9 months old, she was allowed to come home with Smith.

It was a leap of faith, and one that came with uncertain conditions. The state had only allowed Smith to take Gisele home if she agreed that every effort would be made to reunite the child with her birth parents.

"I was excited but nervous, realising that I was committing everything I had to this child who might not be in my life forever," Smith said.

Despite that, she wanted to ensure that Gisele, who suffered from a myriad of health problems, could enjoy life outside of the hospital. For Smith, Gisele's health and happiness were all that mattered. Even if it meant that Gisele might not be her permanent child.

Even when it became clear that Gisele would be staying with Smith forever (or at least until she moves out for college), the news was bittersweet. While Smith was overjoyed that Gisele would be staying, she was also heartbroken for the baby's biological parents, whose parents rights had been terminated. All she wanted was for Gisele to have love in her life.

But today, she has that and more. The Smiths not only share a home and last name, but an unbreakable bond that has seen them through good times and the bad.

Though Gisele still struggles with her health, she's also gained weight and met every developmental milestone, growing into a loving, energetic child who loves nothing more than to burst into song.

This story is just more proof of something we all know: Having someone in your life who will care for you, root for you, and love you unconditionally can make all the difference. For Smith, that love is creating a future she'd long thought was only a dream.

A woman named Lisa posted a video on Facebook where she shared "the easiest way to make spaghetti for a crowd" as "you don't have to worry about dishes or a mess." I know there are a lot of people out there who love cooking a large Italian meal for family get-togethers, so it's incredible that Lisa discovered a way to do so without filling the dishwasher with a billion dishes.

It's also pretty amazing that she decided to share it with us.

In the video, Lisa explains that this is how "real Italians" cook for a large family gathering. What's really interesting is that she didn't have to cut corners with her recipe being that it's made for easy clean-up. It truly appears to be made with fresh, authentic Italian ingredients.

She even tops off the recipe with a salad made with Italian-style dressing. So you know it's authentic.

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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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