It was a Happy Father’s Day indeed…

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Father's Day + Baseball = Great Memories - Father's Day 2011

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there…whoever and wherever you are.

The family and I headed out to a Colorado Rockies game today. Mateo and I representing with our Cardinal gear. Dad, well, he’s become a local…and cheers for the Rockies. Living in either N.C. or TN. neither one of us had a team until in my early teenage years, when I started cheering loudly for my beloved Cardinals. Dad, has just been a baseball fan, in general. He used to take me to minor league games growing up in Nashville and that’s really where the fever hit. Now, Mateo and Kaia are set. My brainwashing and programing them to be true RED Cardinals fans is all part of parenting right? If when they are 18 and/or have moved out…THEN, they can cheer for whatever team they wish, but not until then :).

Seriously, this is my 3rd Father’s Day and my Dad’s 50th (I have an older sister), and they just keep getting better. I forgot to ask Dad today how he felt compared to number 1-3, but I know, as I see him with my kids, the joy has just started all over again. Their smiles and my love for them is just a perfect mixture of joy that I can’t match to anything. Baseball is such a Dad sport too, so it was just fitting today that we spend it at the ballpark.

Enjoying a Rockies game with Daddy's girl - Father's Day 2011

What a blessing it is to enjoy my family and kids today and be honored by them and thanked by them for just being me…a guy that can’t help but love them and in a large sense was made to love them. It’s become easier and now fun to sit and enjoy moments of time with them, because soon they will be gone. Because, despite looking at a picture, just like you are right now, as I write, the moment has passed and the memory is now set. The picture/video is not the same as the experience that it reflects. God blessed my life by His perfect timing, because fortunately I learned to not let these times pass without feeling them wholly. It’s taken practice but now, being present is more on than off. I’m sure I miss a lot, but I catch more, I think, because I won’t take for granted the best gift I’ve been given…FATHERHOOD.

Thank God for Grandparents

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When Pearlie and I moved to Colorado over a year ago after leaving Nashville, my hometown, our motivation was to live in a city/state that had a lot to explore and enjoy. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. We dig our home. The kids have now spent as much of their life in Colorado as they did in Tennessee. The downside to moving anywhere and away from a city is leaving people. We have many friends that we think of often and talk to or see occasionally. It is for different though than living in the same city. We left family too. Pearlie’s sister and her family lived only a few miles from us. The cousins would now have to wait and see each other less often and catch up with each others lives via the phone and internet.

My parents too are from Nashville and when we talked about moving to Colorado, I for sure saw the sadness in their eyes. The grandchildren they had dreamed for along with us were now not going to be in their daily lives. Or were they. Turns out, as I look back and remember, my parents talked fondly of Colorado long before it was on our radar. So only 4 months after we moved in Feb. 2010, my parents moved right along too in May. The kids so love their their Papaw and Nana. Their other set of grandparents, Lolo and Lola, we knew would never leave South Florida, so they are the “visit grandparents”. You know the kind that you talk to on the phone for holidays and birthdays, and then meet up with on vacation to catch up with and enjoy. But my parents just so happen to get the “Go West Bug” when we did, and boy are we, as a family happy they did.

More like me then DNA

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Wordless Wednedsday Blog.

4 years ago…it all started

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I really can’t believe almost 4 years has gone by since Pearlie and I entered the world of international adoption and the journey our lives have been on. I started this blog back then to connect and hopefully stay connected to the wonderful souls that were feeling the same feelings I was feeling and who could relate to my perceived successes and failures along the way. I’ve watched kids come home, along with mine, and kids that haven’t.

The last 4 years of parenting these 2 kids has been a roller coaster of…Man, I’m the greatest parent and most connected to God right now, to…Dude, I suck at this, and if I can get through the next 18 years without causing too much harm to these little ones and not rack up big therapy bill, it will be a miracle.

Kaia is my princess. I know, I hear you sighing. Really? A princess? Although we have yet to buy her any kind of dress up outfits or “princess dolls”, this girl has it in her “enjoyment Guatemalan DNA” that Princess’ Rock. She plays as rough and hard as her brother, but let me tell you, here heart is as fragile as a glass slipper. As a Dad, I often get torn with teaching both my kids on protecting vs. sharing their your heart. I’m a feeling guy and teaching my kids to feel their feelings, tell the truth, and trust in the process is tough if I have my doubts about all that.

Mateo is “chill”. He is only 4 months older than his sister, but sometimes it seems like he’s years older. His personality fits for being the older child. He’s a guardian and watches out for…everybody. Mateo, is an opposite reflection of how is sister is ALL girl, with him being ALL boy. His love for baseball and hockey was programmed into his head at an early age by me and his Mom spending hours watching these 2 sports in person and on T.V. So in case you were wondering, you can guide your kids interest, especially if they are the family’s interest.

It amazes me sometimes when I stop and think about it that these 2 are not biologically related. They are as adopted to each other as they are to us. Yet, spending 9 months together at Eagles Nest (orphanage in Guatemala), and now day in and day out in the same house, their bond and love for each other is thick. As babies they had their own “language”, before they could speak to us. And now as 3 year olds they read each other’s mind and finish each other’s sentences. They are as tight as I’d hoped they’d be…maybe more.

We’ve jumped right into it these last 3 years. Sometimes we landed on our feet and other times not. The best part of all this is that we ARE jumping…moving…living life and experimenting with how everything God lays out works in my life and theirs. It’s fun and I can’t stop laughing, crying, smiling, and loving.

Peace…it’s good to be back and writing. – Jeff

integrity vs. addiction

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As an Anesthetist I get a wide range of medical questions, not just those involving anesthesia. I’m not complainin’, I’m just sayin’. Don’t get me wrong I’m cool with it…because most of the time the people that are asking are my family, friends, or patients…and I am happy to answer anything I can. The questions usually center around a surgery or chronic illness of someone or their family member. Maybe something they are afraid to ask their doctor directly or just something that they’ve been saving to ask him/her on their next visit in 2 months. So I look at it, generally, as an opportunity to share honestly, and “without harm”, to someone. In other words, I tell them what I know IN COMBINATION with what I think (perception/view/judgement), if that is even relavent. Depending on the person and situation the last part may be very open or a little more tapered back or “vanilla”.

So here’s my take on Michael Jackson’s death via an anesthetic drug, Propofol, and his addiction, from an Anesthetist in recovery (and not so vanilla, I might add). This post comes from the “many” questions I have been fielding lately at work and out and about. My insight may not be that unique from others, but I believe, my experience in this profession, along with knowing something about my disease of addiction, and possibly how it affects others too is what’s motivating me to rant like this. My path of recovery seems to act as a light to reveal not just my disease to me, but in others to. I say that with confidence and humility, not arrogance and pride. Those close to me know this is true. So you get where I’m coming from? I hope so!

I have never been asked by more patients what Propofol is… or “the medicine Michael took”, than I have since his death. The brutal honesty of it is the medicine didn’t kill him. Propofol is an induction agent for general anesthesia. It does have a history of addiction, but it is unknown what component of the medicine is addictive. Many an anesthetist/anesthesiologist has died due to abuse of such a potent medication. Most deadly situations are due to overdose related to self administration. The facts in Michael’s story are that he was given the medicine and an overdose occured…either related directly or indirectly due to Propofol. This is what pisses me off probably the most. This is what I do for a living. Anesthesia is a medical science, that takes into account not just how 1 drug works, but many in tantum. My job gets a lot harder when a patient comes in telling me about ALL the pharmaceuticals they are on and I am to give medicines that render them unconscious…while at the same time maintaining hemodynamic stability.  I don’t get what was going on in that doctors mind. Seriously, I do this everyday and Michael would be a challenge, yet alone doing all this at his home.

Dr. Conrad Murray, a cardiologist, internal medicine specialist, was Michael’s doctor. It appears the guy (and others) did more harm than good and the outcome proves it…death. More and more info is coming out and if you haven’t put together that MJ was an addict, than you will…very soon. All the script meds this guy was on is freakin amazing. He probably has been dodging death for years and years. This doctors integrity and professionalism was bought for $150,000 a month to sign prescriptions, manage MJ’s healthcare, and sadly enable MJ’s chronic and deadly disease of addiction to the point of “killing” him. And again, it wasn’t just him. MJ’s family, collegues, friends, AND healthcare professionals all played their “deadly” part.

Micheal had no business using a mainly hospital based medicine that is used primarily for surgery and secondarily for heavy sedation, in someone’s makeshift hospital room, located in their house. RNs are not even allowed to administer this medicine via titration, yet alone a MD that manages patient care with little hands on experience. The RN that worked for MJ refused to give it…and good for her…STRONG WORK…that is some integrity. She doesn’t get off the hook totally because she has a “part” too. I wonder what she was payed to “enable”. I guess she had a price. I wonder if I do.

That, for me is the key, ie, “teaching tool” of this whole thing. When left to my own will (an addict’s will), God is pushed aside and my disease will run the show…and everyone close to me is fair game to destruction as well. My integrity is destroyed first and others’ follow. That is just how addiction works…and the result is ALWAYS, jails, institutions, or death

PROPOFOL

Photographing my life

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I’m up late tonight and got a chance to cruise through some blogs. It has been months and months, but I haven’t been totally absent from the “cyber-world”. My hope is to turn this blog into more of a photoblog, but lately my pics have stayed in Flickr, along with the info related to them. I say all that, because if your like me, whether I know you well or just your kid from EN, I love seeing God do his thing in family’s lives. And what I mean by that is that adoption affects so many people. Mine did…my kid’s did…and I have been reading how yours does. I realized, I’m not a Facebook guy, so I let my camera be my “voice” about this last year of my life, and the Flickr site has some of that, so check it out. I surprisingly haven’t shot as much video as I thought I would…I think because it just takes to long to process.

Anyway…all that to say, I learn from others (you) and have a lot to share about what God is teaching me. My children and family seem to be the medium of God’s teaching lately, but more to be revealed. Peace. Here’s a couple pics of Mateo and Kaia last month at my buddy’s wedding.

        Kaia (6/2009)Mateo (6/2009)

no time…but time

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So I wanted to post something quickly because today is 5/13 as in recovery513. I can’t let this 5 year anniversary go by without stating openly my gratitude to anyone that reads this blog. Being clean and sober for 5 years is a big deal and each day grows more and more gratitude, as life gets better and better. Unfortunately not easier, just better. So there I said it, THANKS! OK, 7 minutes til 5/14…whew!

Here are some upcoming posts that have some fun pictures involved. I’m running a little behind lately, and have a hard time keeping up. My life is sooo full.
1. Easter with the kids
2. Pearlie’s 1st Mother’s Day
3. more on 5/13/2009
4. My nephew’s wedding (Friday, 5/15/09)…and guess who’s performing the ceremony. Yep, yours truly. How crazy is that? You have got to see these pictures. Shoot, I, have got to see these pictures. Wish me luck. Maybe I’ll change the name of this blog to “The Rev Jeff speaks”…OK, maybe not.

See I told you my life was full…Stay tuned! Peace!

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