When she was a baby in 1985, Elizabeth Sifuentes was abandoned along the banks of the Blackstone River in Pawtucket.
After being left there and then rescued, her mother was charged with felony abandonment and neglect.
NBC 10 showed Sifuentes on Wednesday video from the day she was rescued.
"What was (my mother) thinking? Why would you do that?" she said.
Sifuentes was placed in foster care only to be given back to her biological mother two-and-a-half years later.
"Living in apartments with cockroaches with little to no food," she said.
After another six-and-a-half years, she went back with her foster parents.
"The state realized what a mistake they made putting me with my mom," Sifuentes said.
Sifuentes knew she had been adopted, but didn't know the circumstances. Then, when she was 13, she asked her adoptive parents.
"Very nurturing. They were really good people. They explained it and said this is what happened. So it was kind of shocking," she said.
Sifuentes has learned to put her past in perspective. But finding the man who saved her life keeps gnawing at her.
"(I want to say to him) thank you for saving me. You changed my life. It's because of him that I'm alive today. And I would like to tell him that," she said.
Sifuentes is now married and has two boys of her own.
"It doesn't really matter what you've ever been through. If someone was bad to you or tried to hurt you, there's always good. You always got to look for the good," she said.