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.

Bobbie Kay At Birth 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!

Bobbie Kay 3 Months 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.Rosi With Bobbie Kay

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.

Bobbie Kay Ready For ChristmasTwo 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 deserved?

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.

Trick or TreatThe 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.