Corrections Officer Fired After Pledging to Help Newborn, What Happened Next Confirms the Truth: ‘God Provided’

A woman in Mississippi found a whole new world open up to her when she lost her job as a correctional officer because she agreed to care for an inmate’s infant. Roberta Bell was a correctional officer at the Louisiana Transitional Center for Women in Madison Parish, Louisiana, which is about 30 miles from her home in Vicksburg, Mississippi. However, she was fired earlier this year because she agreed to take care of Katie Bourgeois’s baby while the convict finished serving her sentence, CBS News reported Friday. Despite the setback, Bell proved that humanity sometimes trumps regulations — and might even open the door to a whole new world. Bourgeois, who was pregnant when sentenced to a stint in jail, had asked Bell to care for her soon-to-be-born son while she served her last few months in jail. The inmate told Bell that she had no family willing to help out while she finished her sentence and did not want the baby to go into the foster care system. Bell agreed to lend her time as a temporary guardian for the newborn boy. However, when she told her bosses, they at first ignored the situation and then deemed the proposal a conflict of interest, telling her that she would be fired if she followed through on her promise to the inmate. Sure enough, when Bell confirmed that she intended to pick the baby up from the hospital if the doctors called and would bring that baby into her home, the jail fired her. Prison officials said it was against the rules for guards to pass personal information to prisoners, and Bell’s address and contact information were found in the inmate’s possession, Mississippi Today explained. That was a fireable offense, they told Bell. But Bell was defiant. She gave her information to Bourgeois for the hospital, not for the inmate’s pleasure but to care for an innocent life. “I said, if the hospital calls me to come get that baby, I’m going to get that baby,” Bell said, according to CBS News. “And he said, ‘Well, OK, I’m going to have to terminate you.'” A week after being fired, Bell got that call and immediately brought the infant — named Kayson — into her home to await his mother’s release from jail. The 58-year-old, who is also raising five of her eight grandchildren, decided there was room for one more baby and brought him home with her. “They buckled him into a car seat, and we left and we came home. … For two months I raised him. I loved him as he was my own, and I still love him today,” Bell said. Kayson stayed with “Mama Bell” until Bourgeois was released from prison on July 4. Unsurprisingly, when she arrived on Bell’s doorstep, she did not know what to expect. “She was kind of, you know, a little nervous because he didn’t really know her, and she says, ‘He’s crying, Ms. Bell,’ and I said, ‘Well, baby,’ I say, ‘he’s got to get used to you,'” Bell said, according to CBS News. Unfortunately, despite Bell’s sacrifice, the boy ended up in the care of Child Protective Services, and his mother is nowhere to be found, WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi, reported Wednesday. “The first thing that went to my head … I said ‘Oh, Lord.’ I said, ‘Jesus, no,’” Bell told the station.
But before that, Bell and her family started a GoFundMe page to help raise money to feed and care for Kayson — and the outpouring of support was astounding. The donation tally soon came to $90,000, Bell said. And that wasn’t all. Individuals and agencies also chipped in to offer help. “God provided so much stuff,” Bell said. “People came by, agencies called. It [was] just overwhelming, because I couldn’t do it by myself. That was part of my ministry that I’m getting ready to start.” Since her assistance to Bourgeois concluded, she used some of the donations to help another woman similarly incarcerated while pregnant. And there’s more. Bell has decided to use the money and recognition to create a transitional home for formerly incarcerated women with children. It will be called “Serenity House” and will be located in rural Mississippi. “I’m hoping it’ll be ready before the first of the year,” she said, “because them ladies calling me.” Mama Bell has started on a brand new path of service thanks to her chance encounter with a prison inmate and a fateful decision that led to the loss of her job. But now the Lord has provided a new life, one that will also lead to help sustain innocent children who face a harsh world in their first months of life.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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