Bobbie Kay Marie Womack
Born: 11:27 a.m. on June 27, 1994, at Lucy Lee Hospital, Poplar Bluff, Missouri
It was late May or early June of 1994, when I ran into Jennifer Womack, a
young, pregnant, and unmarried local girl, and her three year old daughter,
Amber. I had stopped by the apartment complex to see my niece who lived
there. Jennifer came out from somewhere, and asked if I would take her to the
store. Little did I know then, just how involved I was to become.
After that first ride, I pretty much became Jennifer's free taxi and full
time, unpaid babysitter. I took care of Amber (Jennifer's 3 year old),almost
constantly. Amber was a very mischievous, insecure little girl. She had been
left with babysitters most of her life, and was always into something. She
demanded full attention, at all times.
The town we lived in was a small town, and had no hospital, or obstetrician,
so Jennifer's doctor was on Poplar Bluff, MO. A town 45 minutes away. I began
taking Jennifer to her appointments. Then, it was just assumed, that I would
take her to have the baby. She was scheduled to be induced on June 27, 1994.
At 11:27 a.m. on June 27, Bobbie Kay was born at LUCY LEE HOSPITAL, in
Poplar Bluff, MO.
By the time the baby was born, we had helped Jennifer get an apartment at the
low income housing complex in Van Buren. I went back to Van Buren, to ready
the apartment for them to come home to. On Wednesday, June 29, Bobbie Kay was
brought "home". The first night, Jennifer kept her at home, but the following
day, she called me saying she didn't feel well, and could I come and get them
and let them stay at my house for a few days. I went and got Jennifer and
both of the girls.
I set up a bassinet in the living room for Bobbie, put Jennifer on the
couch, and little Amber in with my 10 year old daughter. After a bit, the
baby awoke crying, I waited for her mommy to tend to her. After several
minutes of fussing, Keith told me, "Rosi, I don't think she woke up to take
care of the baby." I listened for a few more minutes, before going in to care
for this red-faced little screamer. She was soaked through and thought she
was starving. I changed her diaper and bed, fed her and put her back to bed.
All of that, and not a single response from her Mother (who was sleeping
right in the room)! I returned to my bed. A couple of hours later, there was
a repeat performance. A screaming baby, an unresponsive Mother, and me awake
wondering if I should go tend to the baby. I did just that. I went to her,
changed and fed her, but this time, I moved baby, bassinet and all to my room
for the remainder of the night.
The next morning, I asked Jennifer if she had heard the baby. Her answer was
"Yes, but I knew you would take care of her!" The bassinet remained in my
room. Jennifer stayed that night, but on Friday, she asked if I'd keep the
kids, she wanted to go out with friends. I said okay!
Sometime that week Amber was taken back to her mother. She was big enough to
cry and ask for her mommy. I would not keep her when she was crying to go
home. The following Sunday, I tried to take the baby home. Bobbie Kay was 13
days old. At the apartment, I was greeted by a locked door, and a note saying
that Jennifer had gone to St. Louis, Amber was with Heidi, and that if I
didn't want to keep the baby, I was to drop her off at Hiedi's too. (Heidi
was one of Jennifer's party buddies, a young mother, with 4 children of her
own.) I decided to keep the baby with me. I wasn't working , and found that I
kind of enjoyed having a baby in the house. It was a week later when Jennifer
finally returned, wasted and broke. She had spent her entire D.F.S. check
while she was gone. Guess who had been buying pampers and formula.? She took
Bobbie Kay with her that day, but less than two hours later was calling me,
insisting that I come and get the baby. When I got to the apartment, I was
informed that I had spoiled her. Jennifer said she could do nothing with her.
Bobbie calmed the instant I had her in myn arms. That poor baby had no idea
that Jennifer was her mother~ I was all that she knew!
From the time that she
was left with me at 3 days old, until she was taken from me at 5 1/2 months
old, she was only away from me a total of 13 days. Those were days that I had
things that I had to do. Four of those days I was out of town, and Jennifer
left the baby with my then 15 year old daughter(who was staying with her sick
grandmother.) A couple of the days she was left with other people in the
apartment building. She never knew Jennifer, she never, never had the chance
to know her! I took Bobbie Kay for her check ups, her baby shots, I even
picked up her WIC vouchers. We took care of her as if she were ours. Jennifer
came and went as she pleased. I got an occasional call from her, but we
rarely ever saw her.
In August of 1994, Jen started dating a guy from
Sikeston, MO. She took off to Sikeston, saying she planned to move there. She
left both girls with me, saying she needed time to look for a place to live,
and could not do that with two kids. She was gone for 3 weeks that time. Then
in September, her former boyfriend, a possibility for Bobbie Kay's father,
who had just been released from prison contacted her. He was living in
Arkansas with his sister and wanted to see Jennifer and the baby. Jennifer
came over and informed me that she was going to Little Rock and was taking
Bobbie Kay with her! I asked how she intended to get there. She wanted me to
take her but I refused at first. When she threatened to take Bobbie Kay and
hitchhike, I didn't have much choice so I took her. I could not let her
hitchhike with the baby.
We stayed in Little Rock for 3 days, then Jennifer suggested that I take the
baby and go home. I insisted that she return to Missouri with me. She had
left Amber with friends. Two days after we returned to MO the boyfriend
showed up and Jennifer left with him, leaving both girls with me once again.
Jennifer had been gone a month when I was contacted by her mother. She had
contacted Family Services and had reported that Jennifer had abandoned the
girls. I in turn was contacted by D.F.S. They told me that if I would
cooperate, they would leave the baby with me. Amber would be sent to her
biological father in Chicago. D.F.S. gave me temporary custody of Bobbie Kay.
Social Services asked me if I would be willing to adopt her if parental
rights were terminated. Of course my answer was yes!!
I was not a licensed foster home, we were made a provisional foster home, and
were working on getting licensed. We were assured by Social Services that
everything was fine, and that we had nothing to be worried about. (turned out
that there had been several problems with Jennifer in the past). Jennifer
went back to Arkansas, and we heard nothing further from her. The case was
set for December 14, 1994.
Two weeks before Christmas 1994, our whole world fell apart! D.F.S. took Bobbie Kay away. The case should have been simple. The state had all kinds of witnesses against Jennifer, her friends, her little boy's grandmother(whom she had left at 2 months of age), her stepfather, her mother. the list is too
long to list. But D.F.S.had also supplied her with a state paid attorney.
Jennifer was upset because I had to testify against her, D.F.S. told the
court that they felt I was too emotionally involved. That the mother should
be allowed to be rehabilitated, and that involvement with me would be
detrimental to their reunion. It did not matter that I was the only caretaker
that this little girl had ever known. I was not related, and I had no rights.
We had been in court all day, we were told all day that Bobbie Kay would be
going back home with us. Around 9:00 p.m. on Dec. 14 the guardian at litem
called me into a little room and announced that they were taking the baby,
that the judge had decided that it was in the best interest of the family for
Bobbie Kay to be removed from the only home she had ever known and be placed
with strangers. I was "too emotionally" involved. How can any one care for an
infant on a daily basis,(day and night) and not become emotionally involved? D
.F.S.claimed they feared I might take her and run away with her. I was
totally devastated, our whole family was devastated. We had been led to
believe that everything was fine, that she would remain with us. But, we were
lied to. They took Bobbie Kay and sent her to a different foster home.
They asked me to leave the courthouse and Bobbie Kay so the "mother" could
have a visit. This "mother" who had abandoned her children, had made no
attempts to see them, or to comply with the request of D.F.S. to get help for
herself, was being allowed to visit with "her child".The poor little baby
just hung on to me, and me to her! I was all that she knew, we were her
family. We were asked to go home and pack a bag for the evening, with pj's
and formula I went home and waited for the call that the mother was gone. The
minute that I started into the courthouse, I could hear Bobbie Kay crying.
The sheriff was holding her, trying to calm her down. I took her, changed her
into her pajama's, held her until she fell asleep, and then wrote a letter to
the new foster mom telling her all of little Bobbie Kay's likes and dislikes,
her quirks and habits. I explained just how I held her and rocked her to
sleep. I explained about how she sucked her left thumb! Then I carried her
out and buckled her into her car seat, in the caseworkers car, and sat and
watched them drive away, in the snow with that precious baby.
A very big part of me died that night!!
What about Bobbie's rights and needs? What about the love that she needed and
The family that Bobbie Kay was taken to, was a wonderful mennonite family.
They only lived about a half hour from us. They had kept several foster
children, and at the time that they got Bobbie Kay, they also had 5 other
children from one family, and a little boy from another. Bobbie Kay was the
36th child that they had kept. The Mast's were an elderly couple and had an
adult daughter living at home, she helped with the children.
One week after Bobbie was removed from our home, I was finally allowed to see
her. The D.F.S. caseworker told me he would get me in to see her, and from
there, it was between me and the Mast's. I knocked on their door,(I was
taking a car seat and some of Bobbies other belongings.) From the front
porch, I could see Sara Mast holding the baby.
She was so excited to see me, and me too see her. I just held her close and
cried, for what seemed like an eternity. It was so good to hold her in my
arms, but was devastating, knowing I would have to leave her again. I had
missed her so much. This family was a very wonderful family. They allowed us
to visit her at least once a week. We were with her Christmas Eve, New Years
Day, and Easter, just to name a few. We took her clothing, and anything else
we thought she might need, and we became very good friends with the foster
family. They had Bobbie Kay until April 11, 1995. Although Jennifer had not
finished her parenting classes (she never attended even one), and did nothing
else that D.F.S. had told her too, she had not even visited Bobbie Kay once
since court in December, the Carter County Division of Family Services
allowed Jennifer to take Bobbie Kay to Arkansas.
From April until July '95, I had no contact with Jennifer or Bobbie Kay. I
did find out bits and pieces of information from family members of
Jennifer's. I was able to get an address in Arkansas, where they thought she
was staying, and on her first birthday, I sent a huge balloon bouquet. (I
later found out, she did get it, and I still have some of the balloons.) Then
on July 17, 1995 Jennifer called.. The boyfriend had beaten her up, she was
in Little Rock, and would I come to Arkansas and get her. I went! There I
found a very pregnant Jennifer, but most of all, I found my Bobbie Kay!
Bobbie was coming home! Keith and I drove to Little Rock and brought Jennifer
and that sweet baby girl home to MO.
A week later we took them to Texas on vacation with us. It was so wonderful
to have her back in our lives.We spent a week in Texas, and then returned to
MO. Jennifer and Bobbie were staying with us. Jennifer returned to her
running around, and we just took care of Bobbie Kay. Then Jennifer decided to
stay the night in town with a friend, but she wanted to take Bobbie Kay. That
in itself was unusual, but I could not stop her; I was nothing, just a
friend. I knew that something was up but there was nothing at all that I
could do. She took the baby with her and went to spend the night with her
cousin at the apartments in town, my daughter stayed that night at the
apartment with my niece. I got a call about midnight from my daughter. She
called to tell me that Jennifer had just left in a red Isuzu Trooper with
Arkansas plates and she had taken Bobbie Kay with her. There was nothing we
could do. We called the case worker and they said they would have to wait
till morning to check into the situation. Morning was too late. They were
gone, with Bobbie Kay!
Two weeks later, I was contacted by a friend who told me there was a new baby
at the local daycare. Her name was BOBBIE KAY and she had a black eye,
bruises, and her little arm was broken. I was just sick about all of this, so
I went to work to find out who had custody of Bobbie Kay. It wasn't very hard
to find something out in a town the size of Van Buren. Every one knows every
one, the population is less than 1000 people. There aren't a lot of people
who keep foster children so I just did a little investigating on my own and
within a matter of hours I knew who had Bobbie Kay. This was a family I had
known for years but they did not want me involved. They said the state had
said it was not a good idea for us to have contact with Bobbie Kay because of
our emotional involvement, and that it is CPS' objective to try to reunite
the family, and that I was detrimental to that. I talked to several
attorneys, and they all gave me the same answer; I was just a babysitter, and
that I had no rights! They said that they could take my money but that we
would be fighting a losing battle.
The family that had Bobbie Kay then, kept her for a year, but decided not to
keep her permanently. They said that they did not want to raise her in a town
where I was because we ran into each other from time to time. They did not
want to run into me. I could not just look away when I saw that little girl.
She was part of me. I raised her for the 1st 6 months of her life, and then
again when she was just past a year old. I loved her, I still love her. She
was a part of me. They gave her back to the foster care system, WHY?
(Because, I was in the same town?) I would have never given her up, had I had
a choice! But this family gave up on her because I was an inconvenience to
them! Maybe they weren't emotionally involved!
In late 1997 Bobbie Kay was placed with a different foster family but I was
unable to find out where she was sent. I have gotten information that the
family who got her then, has since adopted her. I believe the adoption took
place in late January 1999, in Carter county in Van Buren, MO. Bobbie Kay was
seen in Van Buren at that time, with a young family, and I am assuming that
it was grandparents that were with them. From what I have gathered, they were
finalizing the adoption and they appeared to be quite smitten with the
beautiful little girl that they had been allowed to adopt. Apparently, they
were taking very good care of her. They had her dressed like a little doll
with her hair up in what was possibly a bun holder. I hear that her name may
have been changed to KRISTEN or KIRSTEN. That was the last information that I
have been able to obtain. I miss that little girl so much. If this family is
even half as smitten with her as I have always been, I know that they love
her! No one could NOT love her. She was such a wonderful baby, I am sure that
she is a wonderful little girl. I would never want to interfere with her
happiness. God knows that she has had enough sadness and upset in her short
life to last a lifetime. I just hope that she has found the happiness that we
had when she was with us. I pray that they love her even half as much as I
did and always will! As I said, I would never want to interfere with her
happiness, but I do hope that some day, some way, she finds out about me and
how much I loved and cared for her. I hope she wants to find me, when she is
old enough to understand. I hope that even the new adoptive family might want
to know about me. I would love to share with her new family, everything that
I have of the 1st year of her life. I have pictures from the day she was
born, on up to and after her first birthday. I have several of her little
outfits that she wore as an infant. I have her 1st toys, I even have video
tapes of her playing. She was such a beautiful baby. I have things from
Bobbie Kay's past that NO ONE else has or can ever have, without knowing me.
No one could ever share with the adoptive family what I have and am willing
to share. I know she sucked her little left thumb, I fed her her first baby
food, I know she loved beets, I helped to make her the little girl that they
love so much today! If I were the adoptive parents, I would want to know me!
However, that is another day.