Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Unspoken Question on Everyone's Mind...

The unspoken question on everyone's mind is… what happened to A's dad?

When I told him I was pregnant, he told me that it was my choice, but he wouldn't be around. And, he kept his promise!

He first saw her when she was two months old. He then saw her a few more times, but the last time he saw her was when she was two. People sometimes ask me if I'm mad at him. "Mad" really isn't the right word. It's more like bewilderment. How can he let ten years go by and not want to see her? How can he go about his daily life without knowing how she is doing?

When she was two, I filed for child support enforcement from the state of CA. Child support enforcement is separate from visitation rights, so paying child support doesn't guarantee visitation rights. When I opened the case, I had to submit monthly budget information with the court documents. A judge ruled that he owed me a certain amount of money (several hundred dollars per month). All this was done out of court, so I never had to go in. Even though he didn't pay, the amount continued to accrue over several years.  I continued to go on my merry way, trying to make ends meet.

Finally, two years later in Dec 2004, I received a small check in the mail from the child support enforcement office. I could hardly believe my eyes holding this check I never thought would materialize. Apparently, he had found a job that garnished his wages because of the child support enforcement case. He even called saying he was thinking about visiting and asked me to send him some pictures of A. Well, his good intentions didn't last long and neither did the checks. I think I got a total of three. Still, they were three little slips of hope.

Even though I only managed to get a few hundred dollars from him, I have to say – the Department of Child Support Enforcement must be doing something right because eventually,

1.   He was unable to renew his passport.
2.   He lost his driver’s license when he got pulled over for a traffic violation.
3.   And he got his car impounded. [I’m sure he felt pretty stupid then!]

Kudos to the Dept. of CSE for communicating with the other government agencies.

My case was eventually closed because they couldn’t track him down. I still have his phone number, but we rarely communicate. At the most, I talk to him once every other year.

However, the total amount of child support he still owes me is over $40,000. I am sitting on a cash cow that I will never see. If he does ever come through, it will be nice to use that money towards A’s college tuition. But I knew from the beginning, that I’d be doing this on my own, so I know that – in the end – I can only count on myself.

With this blog, I am hoping my story helps other women out there who find themselves unexpectedly expecting. When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to hear other single mom’s stories and especially one from an Asian perspective. Because I couldn’t find one in 2000, I created this one. There is no easy choice and every story is different. But take heart!

“It’ll be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I really like your blog and I was wondering if you'd be open to looking at an infographic I just made. I think it would spark a lot of discussion with your readers. If you're interested, please shoot me an email and I'll send it over. Thanks!