I was the first person to hold and kiss her. She and her 17 year old mommy lived with me for 8 months. I wanted to adopt her, her mommy chose to keep her. I loved her as deeply as I loved a child I gave birth to. I fed her and changed her, I held her while she slept. I bathed her and smelled her sweet baby perfume. Eventually she and her mommy, her grandma and aunties and uncle, who had all been staying with us moved to their own apartment. Her mommy signed up on welfare. After a month or so on welfare, DSHS (the same evil entity that is now screwing up Poca's life) made the decision that her mommy was "mature" enough to live on her own in her own apartment. Her grandma argued and argued with DSHS that her mommy was NOT mature enough. She knew her daughter they had only known her for a month. Her grandma told DSHS that if they moved them to their own apartment she could guarentee that her daughter would be dead within a year. They, who knew more than the mother, moved them anyway.
Her mommy loved living away from grandma. There were no rules and no structure. She did not get fed regularly, she was kept out at all hours of the day and night. Grandma tried to help, but her mommy did not want her help.
One week in February of 1993 her grandma called to check on them. There was no answer, she called every night for five nights. On the last night she called she left a final message saying that if she did not call back tonight she (grandma) was going to call the police because something must be wrong.
About an hour later her uncle received a call from his friends that in essence told the family that she and her mommy had been found MURDERED in their apartment along with mommy's boyfriend. Mommy and the boyfriend had been tied up in bed, forced to lie on their stomachs and shot in the back of the head. She died of starvation and freezing. She was left in the apartment by the person who murdered her mommy. He thought someone would find her. Her bedroom window was broken and this 10 month old baby girl lay in her bed until death overtook her.
Why, you ask, do I hate DSHS? This is why. Alecia, my baby, would be 16 years old this month. She never got to ride a tricycle, a bike, go to a prom, learn to drive. She never got to discover sand between her toes, Disneyland, ice cream cones or reading a book.
Can we really allow the same fate to befall Poca?