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.

More

The great thing about American democracy is the separation of powers. The federal government has rights, states have rights, counties have rights, cities have rights, and we, as people, have rights, too.

Heck, even animals have some rights in the good ol' U S of A.

The president of the United States is not a king or a dictator so a team of U.S. mayors, led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are asking to go over his head to negotiate directly at next month's UN climate change conference in Santiago, Chile.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Amanda Williams

It can take time to feel comfortable in a new home, especially if you think there are scary monsters lurking about, which is why six-year-old Hayden Williams had trouble sleeping in his new room.

Hayden used to share a room with his 15-year-old sister, but when the Eldridge, Iowa family moved, each kid got their very own. While his sister was excited for the change, Hayden was having a hard time adjusting to the new arrangement.

"My little man has been having severe anxiety since we moved into the new house…I've tried everything under the sun to get him to sleep in his own room. Nothing is helping," his mom, Amanda Williams, wrote on Facebook.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Capital One

It was around Christmas 2018 and Jean Simpkins, 79, was looking out the window of her new three-bedroom apartment. Eleven floors above Washington, D.C., the grandmother of two gazed out at the lights of the city and became overwhelmed with gratitude. "The only thing I could say," Simpkins remembers, "was 'Thank you, Father.'"

Almost a year later, Simpkins still can't help but look at the apartment as a miracle — one she desperately needed. Fifteen years ago, when her grandson was born, she became his primary caregiver. Six years later, when her granddaughter was four, Simpkins was awarded full custody of her, too. She's spent the time since trying to give her grandchildren the life she knows they deserve, which has been difficult on a fixed income. On top of that, Simpkins worried that the neighborhood the family resided in wasn't the best influence on her kids. Something had to change.

Then she learned about Plaza West, a new development created by Mission First housing that would reserve 50 of its apartments specifically for families in which a grandparent or other older adult was raising children who were related to them. The waiting list, Simpkins says, was daunting. There are a great deal of grandfamilies in the D.C. area and she was sure it might be years before she got the call. But soon after applying, she was offered a choice between a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom apartment. She accepted the latter, sight unseen. She knew that each of her grandchildren needed space of their own.

Keep Reading Show less
Future Edge
True
Capital One
via Pixabay

Ninjas are black-clad assassins that date back to the days of feudal Japan. They are skillful, secretive fighters who have mastered the element of surprise, espionage, and clandestine tactics.

Ninjas weren't held to the Bushido code like the samurai, so they could be mercenaries who did the lord's dirty deeds without worrying about their honor. A ninja's most important power is the ability to be stealth and sneak into castles or homes to take their targets by surprise.

Keep Reading Show less
popular