A US nurse says her life has changed after adopting a baby girl who was abandoned and addicted to drugs at birth.
Liz Smith, director of nursing at Franciscan Children's hospital in Massachusetts, had always wanted to be a mother, but couldn't have children of her own.
Smith had pushed the idea of children to the back of her mind, until she met the baby who would become her daughter.
"Who's this beautiful angel?' Smith asked the nurse pushing a stroller.
"This is Giselle," the nurse replied.
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"And that was it, literally every day after that I went to see her. I would wait until after work, that was my reward," Smith told Boston Globe.
Smith learnt Giselle was a ward of the state, born premature and with neonatal abstinence syndrome as a result of her birth mother using heroin, cocaine and methadone during pregnancy.
Giselle had been in hospital for five months, and never received a single visitor.
Smith fostered her, and cared for her tirelessly as tiny Giselle underwent drug withdrawals. She would vomit frequently, and needed to be fed via a tube, reports Boston Globe.
Giselle's birth parents could still take her, or the state could take her, as due process had to be followed regarding the fostering process.
"I remember thinking 'I could lose her'," Smith said.
"I would talk to [the state agency] about it. And they said, 'We're not going to come and take her in the middle of the night. It'll be a planned event.' Any time we had those conversations, I wanted to get sick."
Finally, parent's rights were terminated and in October 2018, Smith formally adopted Giselle.
The little girl, born underweight and addicted to drugs is now thriving with her new mother. She's eating food, and exceeding her developmental goals.
"I can't wait to wake up in the morning and say good morning to her," said Smith.
"To pick her up from daycare. To have her run to me and ask for food now she's eating. Every milestone is so different. I never imagined I could have a best friend who's two."