Tuesday, June 14, 2011

fishheads fishheads

fishheads fishheads
Originally uploaded by filthEdesign

Monday, June 13, 2011

John's name in Chinese

John's name in Chinese
Originally uploaded by filthEdesign

Yes, he leaves for Japan at the end of the month...but he was invited to join a summer class through the KU Confucious Center to begin learning Mandarin Chinese :)

After installing our new front door, I painted the inside with chalkboard paint and Saturday, John conditioned it and left us this note :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


My domain is live, with a decent little site if I do say so myself :)

I used a site called weebly which is a lot like iWeb, but for me it's easier...not sure everyone would agree with that.

It's still a work in progress, but check it out if you like:
filthEdesign fine art & design by emily eakes

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

getting a passport for a minor child under 16, the drama

Didn't know there'd be drama. I've been married to my husband for nearly 3 years, together for 7 and the only dad that my 15 year old son really knows. So the boy was accepted to a sister city exchange trip with scholarship to Japan this summer. He had to fill out an application, provide 2 letters of reference and go through an interview with 2 members of the city committee. Pretty big deal IMO. We found out in October that he was accepted and in November we learned we received a scholarship to help pay for the trip - awesome :). So in January, we went to the post office to apply for the boy's passport. He had his birth certificate and picture ID (took drivers ed last summer) and my husband and I filled out the application...we waited our turn and sat down. Then we learned that the father's signature has to be the "father" listed on the birth certificate. It's a LOOOONNNNNGGGGG story that I'm not sure I want to fully go in to here, but despite the fact that baby daddy forgot his ID the day the boy was born and wasn't initially on the birth certificate, he is now. And he hadn't seen the boy since he was 6. And I'd heard stories (his daughter from another mother found me on facebook) about him living with his sister, his father before he died, on the streets, but hadn't talked to him.

So I fill out the new passport app. with only my information and an explanation about why the baby daddy was not available to sign...that despite legal joint custody, he was not in my child's life. About 2 months later we receive a letter asking for more detail, proof...so I send the court records for child support and the actual child support payment record. Both show inaction for many years.

Then a month or more later I get a letter saying they need a court order! I fah-reaked the f**k out. It was $1750 for a step-parent adoption and then I found someone who could fill out papers and I could file myself, but there was no way at this point to get a court date before we had to buy tickets and without a court date I had no idea if the judge would even agree that my kid should be able to travel without his bio-dad's signature.

Talked to several lawyers and was learning the fastest way to get this done would be to google baby daddy and see if I could get a notarized signature on an affidavit. I'd searched before and never found recent anything, but this time he was actually on facebook, surreal...so I write him a msg. Last I heard he was homeless so I'm guessing he's not camping out under bridges or sleeping in shelters with a laptop or smart phone.

Anyway, one day goes by, no response...but the second day he responds! I think OMG this could actually work! Days were passing by, we were already in May now and 2 weeks away from the date to buy plane tickets. He said he would be happy to sign but had no ID for a notary...are you effing kidding me?!?! I offer to buy his ID, give him a ride to the dmv and the notary...ANYthing to make it so the reason my kid missed the trip was NOT because of a signature from a man who is irrelevant!

Then no response...it'd been nearly a week now...didn't know if I was going to hear from him again and in the meantime learned court was absolutely not going to work in the now 1 week I had left...

So yeah, I spent that Monday on the phone with lawyers, courts, the passport office in New Orleans, law professors at KU, everyone...and nothing...so I sent the program coordinator an email and said we'd have to pull out of the trip there was no way that he could get his passport in time for the trip...

I was spent...I cried the whole way home, you know that cry where you cry with your whole body, gasping for air, angry, sad, hurt...

I got home and for some unknown reason the boy checked the mail that day (he never does, his generation has no idea the joy of receiving actual mail in your mailbox) and you will not believe it, but his passport arrived!

Clerical error? I have no idea, but the letter asking for court documents must have been sent before they received my documentation showing baby daddy hadn't been involved for 7+ years...OMG! At that point I started crying again! I couldn't believe it! I had done it! A passport for MY minor child under 16! In our hands! I couldn't believe it was real :) but it was...being the parent for 15 years, being there, being engaged, paying for everything, working my ass off, it worked! I was the parent with the rights and the ability to decide!

What a f**king trial I tell ya...then of course there was a chance the trip would be called off for radiation leakage as a result of the earthquake...OMG! They are going this year, we're confident in the decision. There are only 12 kids instead of the usual 20, but I feel good about it and I know the other parents who decided this was a good time to go, do too...