Sunday, June 23, 2013

The end of anonymity

If you didn't know, beside been a father of 4 and a gay men and a successful designer I am also a recovering addict. I think it is important to out myself because is important for me to be honest, live in the light and to be proud of who I am and where I am today. For those who don't know , addiction is not a character defect or a lack of willingness or a choice. Addiction is  a disease that involves the physical, mental and spiritual being.

I am not responsible for my disease since I didn't choose to have it but I am responsible for my recovery which I work on in a daily bases. I have been clean from drugs and alcohol since September 27, 2007. I count the days and the hours because I don't want to be in that place anymore. Desperation and fear of dead push me to seek recovery and today I live a happy, full, beautiful life.

I believe in outing myself because there are many addicts living in secret and thinking there is not a solution to their disease. If you are of of those you can be one of me. I don't have any special power nor strong will. Nobody has them. But I learned how to ask for help and that is the most powerful tool I have.

Many of my fellows recovering addict believe in anonymity, I don't. Anytime I keep it in secret to the world it put me in a place of feeling special, less than and not proud of who I am, addiction is part of who I am and it always will be, since this is a disease that has not known cure.

I have to teach my children a clear lesson of personal responsibility, honesty and love for who you are. By been open with the world about this, the fear is lifted, I don't have to hide and I don't have to talk quietly about it.

It is scary to show who you are in a world full of people who judge you and have erroneous opinions about addiction, where seems jail and institutions are the only answer for this system to stop addiction, where religions seems to be the only rule for many and those old books that many follow as the only truth.
But I have hope in my people, I believe there is a lot of good people in this world who speak for themselves and they can see the truth on their own ways.  Those are my friends, the people who help me everyday to keep going and support my family unconditionally. And those are the only people I care about and I need in my life.

If I treat my disease I can be so many things, good things. I can be a responsible member of this society, I can be a good partner, I can be a good friend, I can be a good son and most of it I can be a good FATHER! And I said it loud because I love being a father! It is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me and I want to celebrate and communicate that feeling everyday.

I am grateful today because of the life I got to live and I have to be very honest about this, all I have today is the direct result of recovery. Everything!

Before recovery  not only that I have lost all of my material belongings, professional career, family and friends by I lost myself. I forgot who i was and  I was convinced that that was it, that that was the life I was destined to have and that I will soon died.

But there is breaking point, one day I woke up and I said is enough, this cannot be. I want to live! and I was ready to get the help I needed it. That awakening is a mystery, I don't know how that happens, under what circumstances or what every person needs to happen, but it did. I only know who is behind that awakening, the same who was behind any time I put myself at risk and saved my life. That is what many call God. Which for me has nothing to do with religion or the God people described to me. And why me I asked myself and many you may ask too. Well my only answer is; Why not?

We all has a purpose in life, and I believe is beyond our comprehension or personal desire sometimes. I took me 45 years or a crippled life in order to understand that, my purpose is to be who I am today, to help people, to help my 4 children become beautiful people, strong human beings, and perhaps their purpose is more elevated or significant of maybe their only purpose is to teach me the ultimate live experience. How to be a good dad.

I love you all. God bless you.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Kid's Place

Since we had the triplets and our 18 months old son Lorenzo has changed dramatically, we decided it is time for him to go somewhere where he can socialize, learn to be more independent and also give us a damn break. Sometimes his whining and crying can drive us crazy!

I started  to search 2 weeks ago for the perfect daycare for Lorenzo, since I don't have any experience with this type of institutions and we are new in the area where we live, we had quite a few surprises.
I first research online using the keyword: Best Daycare in Valrico and I proceed to visit one by one following the list, then I research their website and look at the pictures. Most in florida is about the same, old houses transformed into daycares, filled with dirty and faded toys, colorful and dreadful carpets and a bunch of color prints on the walls what they call "Curriculum"
The "curriculum" for a toddle class is very funny:

1- Pooh Pooh - Potty Training
2- Play with a ball party
3- Hand paint
4- Nap Time
5- Book reading circle (reading of those monosyllabic written books)

A couple of places we visited were far apart from the rest but still not as convenience for their location and exorbitant high price, so before  choosing one of the fancy ones, I decided to stop by and take the "tour" at one place we saw anytime we drive by. This nice looking place is called A Kid's place, it's a new and warm looking building right off the route Patrick drives to work everyday so it will be convenient if he can drop off instead of me and my 3 new babies.

 I drove in and there was this wire metal fence around the building with a code pad in the gate, in front of me there is a car  which  is taking too much time to find the code apparently; while I wait I am thinking, this place is very serious about security. I love that for my kid! And this parent in front of me must be super busy, he can't find the code yet. Must be a lawyer for the way he dresses.
Finally the gate opens and I thinking I should just drive in to avoid the wait, then I thought, maybe I should ask first if it is ok to just stop by without an appointment. I don't want to give the wrong impression to my future son's teacher...
I hit the call button in the pad and I proceeded to explain to the lady at the speaker, I'm a parent with my kid , here with me now, and we are looking for a day care for him and I would like to take a tour of the facility, if that is ok of course. She said: Sir you don't want to drop your kid here, with this sarcastic kind of kinky voice... I am thinking what a bitch! if she would work for me I'd fire her immediately, she must be leaving her job today... Then I said- excuse me?  She said - Yes Sir, this is a FOSTER care facility, you don't want to drop off your child here and laugh....
Oh Snap! I felt totally stupid and laugh at myself but at the same time I felt grateful my child don't have to experience a place like that, even when it is a beautiful place.

Lesson learned: never judge a place for it name and pretty flowers at front...

I ended up enrolling my son in a real DAYCARE place called Kids R Kids. On tuesday I will prepare his bag and drop him off  in a place we thought it will never be an option for our precious kid, OMG how this happened to us. Too fast, too quick!

A Kid's Place, a licensed, residential group care provider, is a unique, state of the art, 60-bed facility for abused, neglected, or abandoned children. A Kid's Place has five 3,200 square foot homes, located on five acres in Brandon, Fl. We utilize a live-in house parent model which provides the children with consistency and simulates family living.

Lady please, stay away from my children and me.

At the mall with mom and children
Having triplets bring a lot of attention as many of you can imagine, my Facebook wall is full of ohh ahh awww cuuute, too cute... kind of comments. We received presents from people who we don't even know and you feel the TRIPLE love everywhere. But after the shock of this extraordinary moment has settle down and you make some time to see the dynamic of the people around us, oh boy... some of my friends came to my house and without even say hello they started to shoot their cameras and posting the pictures in FB; like there is not tomorrow.
Then this lady that I barely know send us 3 outfits in the mail that were too small already (premiere size are unreal) and she keep looking and asking for her outfits in every picture I post. Guess what Mrs Lady, we returned your tiny outfits and we traded in for formula, which is much more needed.

Now where the attention really  become a headache is during "The Mall experience". I am not naive and I knew that going to the mall with a triplet stroller and white baby triplets in it would be a reason to be profiled. However I never suspect it would be such a intense and never ending experience.

The Triplette from Peg Perego
Today I understand those Hollywood celebrities when they cover them self with huge sunglasses and seems they are always running in public and jumping into dark tinted glass SUV's.

The neverending people staring at you and your babies, asking questions or making comments or remarks in your face every 10 second is really overwhelming. I can actually count with my finger all the questions because they are all the same. People really expect you to stop and answer them every time.

My reaction to the first person I encounter in the Mall entrance was polite and even cool and I wanted to tell them the whole story of how we have triplets through surrogacy and that my partner was another man and so on... then the next person received a very abbreviated version of the previous story, with the third I just limited myself to respond with yes or no and to act like I was in a hurry, then the fourth interaction was just a simple and quick smile and I kept walking but turning my head because the lady at this point was following me and asking me more questions... are they yours? are they triplets? are they identical? how many girls and boys? the one with a bow is a girl? Are they natural? Are they NATURAL?? No, they are synthetic, all made in Korea. Trust me by the 6th and 7th person I was wearing my dark huge sunglasses and I was walking like I was deaf and very angry. Pretty much looking straight at front and never ever looking back again.

One lady screamed at me across the hallway -  I NEED TO SEE THOSE BABIES!!!!! but I kept walking in my direction while she stays there,  planted,  expecting me to stop and make her demand a reality. I clearly heard when she throw me a fit after she left and my partner said, I think you were a little rude with that lady. I thought, really? so you just scream to somebody and express what you want and you expect people stop for you without even asking politely? May I, Could you? Please...

So after my first Mall experience I had to make a decision on what to do next, my choices are:

1- Never go to a mall again and stay with 4 crying baby in my house until they don't need a stroller and go to college. 


2- Bring some aid with me to stop people of been rude or al least educate them that their questions are not very welcomed because they are all the same and they are formulated to us every 45 seconds. People don't see we are busy, we are not there for their entertainment, we are there because we need to shop or just because we need time out before we kill the performers of this show.

So I am planning to write a F.A.Q. sign for my stroller and save some time answering and showing people their question are not unique.

  1. Are they triplets? A: Yes (and no, i don't run a childcare)
  2. Are they 2 boys and a girl? Yes (Can you see their outfit colors and Lily's gigantic flower on her head? ) 
  3. Are they yours? Yes, I paid for them (that is hard to prove since they are white babies)
  4. How old are they? A: Realy? you make the maths, they were born April 1st. 
  5. You must have your hands full... A: Not shit! I didn't realize that yet. 
  6. Holy cow triplets??? A: yeah (Holy cow, you make another idiot asking the same question for the 10th time today) 
  7. We only had twins in my family, never triplets .A: Oh... (so?) 
  8. Are they natural? Yes they are all 100% natural. (their clothes are synthetic though) 
  9. Are all identical? emmm no, only the boys (after they asked if they are boys and girls...
  10. Can I touch them? A: No! (They usually go, he he he while the extend their hand to touch them and I firmly repeat -NO, really, you can't touch them. Long silence...- I am sorry.... and they go. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Getting the Job done

It has been 73 days since my life have changed for ever. I am so tired and sleep deprived that I can only remember what happened between April and June because I keep posting every single thing i do in Facebook, which by the way, since Lorenzo was born, I declared my scrapbook.

I look at my scrap book and I can see how fast our triplets has grown, how much fatter and older I got and how smoothly my house become more chaotic and unexpectedly warm.

My job is to mainly take care of the triplets during the day and late night and to work from home for Graff3D, managing new projects and creating job proposals. Thank God my bosses are super flexible and I can do this in the remaining time.

My job description as a triplet caregiver is as follow:
I feed, I burp, I change and I put them back to sleep.

Same damn thing every 3-4 hours in the same order, from Monday to Sunday. I expend most of my time in franela short, bare feet and stretched Tshirts. If I go out I add a pair of Yoga-mat flip flops to my uniform. Thank God we live in Florida and short fits in all dressing code. 

Even if my job is always the same with my newborn, the joy and emotions are always growing making my life so full and dynamic. 

This InfoGraphic can describe better than words of what my life has become