Posted in Personal Stories

Angel’s Mom (Kandiance)

My mom flew back from Haiti yesterday and we spent today at Angel’s house. I have to tell you that I have never seen Kandiance in so much pain. It was all my mom and I could do to hold back the tears – and there were a few times where we just couldn’t. Her rib is starting to stick through her skin and the pain is almost unbearable. She has no mobility in her arm and yesterday while receiving radiation her arm fell off the table and basically it feels like her shoulder is broken. Her shoulder and her arm and now her rib just radiates with pain. My mom read the 91st Psalm and then began to sing to her – in hopes she might be able to sleep. She didn’t sleep at all last night.

I listened to my mom sing about a dozen different songs but could not find the strength to hold back the tears through I SURRENDER ALL.

All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In his presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me Jesus, take me now.

Kandiance drifted to sleep hearing those precious words. She slept for nearly two hours. After she woke she was in tears and in MAJOR pain. The pain was so much that she began about an hour  straight of vomiting. Every time she did Р her rib would just hurt her so bad. Barely able to catch her breath we felt so helpless. Angel has taken off from work Рand today they admitted her into the Hospice Care Center in the hospital. 

Mom and I left Kandiance today but our hearts and our minds are still there. Today I make a PLEA to everyone to pray for Angel and her mother. While my soul has always held out for a miracle Рmy heart is begging for the pain to be gone Рwhatever that might mean. Peace and freedom Рcomfort Рthose are my prayers on her behalf. 


Posted in Mission Stories, NW_Personal Ministry Update

This Is What Happens When I Can’t Sleep….

I’m laying in bed and watching the clock,
I’m wondering if this pain is ever going to stop.

My head is pounding and I feel so sick as I lay,
Tears and frustration are how I begin each day. 

Regardless of the reasons of why I black out, 
It can be scary and frustrating to not be up and about. 

It’s not just a song – God’s still working on me,
But how long does it take – I want to be done already.

He’s forcing me to rely on him each and every day,¬†
And I don’t really like it when I don’t get my way.¬†

I know it’s His desire to fill my heart with pure joy,
But it’s not going to be easy if he keeps giving me all boys! ūüôā

I really want to pout and cry – woe is me,
But there are so many blessings – why can’t I just see?

Now with 7 little kids – I’ve been blessed in abundance,
And I’ll never find anyone who could be a better husband.

I’m surrounded with people that I know love me and care,
I get notes of encouragement and am lifted up in prayer.

So I want to thank all of you for your outpouring of love,
It keeps me focused off myself – and on things from above.

This is what happens when I can’t fall asleep –
I start writing poems – better that then to weep!

SO – I don’t want to hear if this poem doesn’t really rhyme,
It’s 3 in the morning – the sun hasn’t even started to shine!

Now I’ll start working on one of my famous Top 10 Lists –
Just pray you’re not on it – or you’re going to get dissed!! ūüôā

Posted in Personal Stories

Rosie’s Note From School

We all know how little Rosie can be – she’s a wonderful little hard-headed kid! Much like me! I have always wondered how she does at school ¬†– if she listens and interacts well. ¬†Last week she took something to school that probably should have stayed home – and I was worried the note was about that! (I won’t share what she took- although it was really funny – it’s kind of embarrassing too!). ¬†HOWEVER – I got this little note today from her teacher:

Mrs. Castillo,

Rosie is doing great in school! She listens and follows directions very well.  She loves to sing at circle time as well as painting and doing puzzles during center time. Rosie is a sweet, sweet girl. I am so happy we have her in our class!

Ms. Peddicord

¬†– — – – – – – – – –

It’s not often we get sweet little notes about my kids!! LOL!! I just had to share with everyone how well our little Rosie is doing! She loves riding the bus and cannot wait to tell us what she does at school every day.¬†

As much as I wish I was in Haiti – it’s times like these that I’m grateful for the blessings I am experiencing here . We just signed Mikela up for T-ball! Between dance, t-ball, school, and homework – we feel like real “American” parents!! ūüôā

Posted in Personal Stories

Angel’s Mom (Kandiance)

Several of you have emailed and asked about how Angel and her mom is doing. She’s actually not doing very well. She’s been in a lot of pain – she’s getting radiation on her arm because it feels like her arm is broken. The cancer, as you know, is all over her body and has really attacked her lungs. She has had them drained but the fluid continues to come back and it’s becoming harder to drain them. She gets out of breath easily and is on oxygen at all times now. Angel’s mom went from helping host Malaya’s birthday party to being unable to go upstairs to her bed or walk around much without being in severe pain. It seems like everything is happening so quickly – it’s very scary.¬†

Please continue to keep this family in your prayers. This has been a very difficult time for them and all of us who love them so much. I find it amazing as some of us are beginning to lose hope – Kandiance’s spirit still remains as upbeat as possible. I find myself in tears ¬†– thinking of her and how brave and simply beautiful she is. I have never met someone more into the Word – more in love with God – especially during such a difficult time.¬†

If you would like to be kept up to date – Angel has started a care page. She updates it a few times a week to let everyone know how they can specifically pray for their family. Here is the link below if you want to sign up. They will send you an email every time Angel updates the care page.

Kandiance’s Care Page

Posted in Personal Stories

Neurologist Visit

I saw the neurologist today. God certainly puts the right people in my path. This lady was actually pregnant with twins just last month. She miscarried though a few weeks ago – when she was 15 weeks pregnant. Kind of scary. But the great thing is that she had experienced some of what I’m going through and really talked/examined me for nearly an hour and a half.

She said that the migraines are probably aggravated by this stage of pregnancy and the problem is there is no daily treatment that is safe to take during pregnancy. She gave me some strong narcotics – and told me it was safe however to take those? ¬†I don’t like them because they put me in my own little world – but I guess it’s better to have that then to be in pain. Her concern is that the babies might have to be given anti-seizure meds when they’re born if they were to become dependent on the meds. That didn’t bless me very much to hear. So it’s okay to take them yet I have to be careful so that my babies don’t become addicted. Which basically means I’m not going to feel like I can take them and hurt my boys –¬† and I’ll just have to live with the headaches.¬†¬†Frustrating..

She is calling my blackouts Vasovascular Syncope – which is probably brought on by the twin pregnancy.¬† Basically the blood doesn’t circulate to my brain and I get low blood pressure as the blood pulls downwards ¬†and that’s what causes the blackouts. She doesn’t like it that I can be sitting and it happens – but it’s basically a blood circulation problem.¬†

She said she had something simliar herself and blacked out 25 times before she miscarried. The thing that is good about my blackouts is that i have signs they are coming on. I get light-headed, nauseated, hot, and feel dizzy – then I immediately have to sit down where-ever I am – even the middle of the floor in the bathroom or WALMART for that matter. She said the fact that I can feel it coming on makes it less serious than someone who just blackouts and has no warning. She felt like it probably¬†wasn’t my heart or a tumor or something like that because of having warnings when I pass out.

In order to really get a good look at my brain – I need an MRA which is an MRI with dye. I can’t have that during pregnancy. So after the babies are born – if I continue to black out – then they will do more testing. She thinks the blackouts will stop after delivery however.¬†

So what does that mean for me? Still on bedrest because of the vasovascular syncope. She wants me to take my blood pressure every time I feel the blackouts come on – to see if I’m severely hypotensive when it happens. She said it will always be worse when I’m standing up so bedrest is really the only way to help treat it. ¬†However – she did tell me a trip to Walmart here and there would be okay as long as I go in the powered wheelchairs! For the¬†Migraines – I ¬†have tylenol with codeine that is safe to take every day and loratabs to take when it’s really bad. ¬†

The neurologist was really good to me and I could tell she was still a little teary-eyed from having experienced her own loss. She understood the physical pain I was feeling and yet I could tell she’d go through fire if it meant she could have kept her own twins. My visit with her just puts a little perspective on things. Pain or not – it’s a blessing that God has given me the priviledge to carry twin boys. In a minute they can be gone and even though their kicks make me want to cry sometimes – THANK GOD FOR THEIR KICKS! THANK GOD FOR MY UNCOMFORTABLE AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS. THANK GOD FOR ALL MY PELVIC PAIN. Because just like that – in a blink of an eye – it could all be over.

Posted in Personal Stories

Not A Good Day..

I have had the worst headache now for two days. Last night I felt completely out of it – almost like I had taken a bunch of pain pills – which I didn’t. My mind was sluggish and I couldn’t sit up straight. I was burning up hot and felt like I couldn’t breathe. Sort of like a panic attack and a black out combined. ¬†It was miserable but I guess around 2am I finally knocked out.

Around 4am I woke up and just had this horrible feeling that something was wrong with the babies. I hadn’t felt them move since early yesterday afternoon and I felt so weird and out of it. I thought maybe it was a side effect to something horrible that was happening. I laid there for 30 minutes- poking on the sides of my belly – trying to get them to move or do something. Nothing. I woke up Jose as I was crying – and he immediately wanted to take me into the ER.¬†

We compromised and he called the OB doctor who felt like I needed to see the neurologist right away – not sometime next week. He told me that it’s still early and not to worry about not feeling the babies move – but they don’t understand that it’s like a jungle gym in there. I feel them moving – have felt them moving – for weeks. So I knew something wasn’t right.¬†

We ended up doing doppler heart tones and the babies are okay. There is certainly not a worse feeling than thinking that something horrible is happening and there is nothing you can do about it. I was told to stay in bed all day today (until I see the neurologist). We called the neurology office and we were able to secure an appointment with them on Friday and are supposed to call in the morning to see if they can fit me in at all. 

I still feel out of it – but not like last night. I have had this horrible battery taste in my mouth since last night. I feel a little sluggish and dizzy and for the life of me I cannot get rid of this headache. Sometimes I worry that something is really wrong with my head – to have had so many problems since last July – problems that came out of nowhere – it’s a little overwhelming.

So pray I can get into the doctor tomorrow and there is actually something they can do for me. My fear is that nothing can be done till we deliver which will make for an amazingly difficult next few months.

Posted in Personal Stories

Some are Ready to Go Back Home….and Others – Not so much!

So I had Jose bring all the group t-shirts home so I could sort them and mail them out ¬†– on the comfort of my own couch! Malaya came home from school and was so excited! She asked – Are we going back to Haiti today? But your babies aren’t out yet. I told her no – we weren’t going back yet. She doesn’t understand TIME – so I told her when it’s hot outside (meaning summer) then the babies will come. But she told me today was a warm day so they’d be here soon! LOL!

About 10 minutes later Mikela gets off the bus and is CRYING. She said she loves school and she has new friends and she’s not ready to go back to Haiti.¬†

All I was doing was sorting group shirts – but it’s funny how different the girls feel about being here in the states. I’m a little more like Malaya – I’m ready to go back home!¬†

I’m not sure how Eveline feels. She’s made some new friends too! I have a little 8 year old boy and two 12 year old girls who come to the house every day and ask if EVELINE and the kids can come play! It’s precious.

Posted in Personal Stories

Okay – So We Finally Decided On Names…..

After much thought Рwe have decided on names for the boys. 

We already have:

Gabriel Geovanni Castillo (Which is a Bible name followed by namesake). Geovanni is the name of Jose’s brother who died when he was a little baby of yellow fever.¬†

So in keeping with a Bible Name and then a Namesake – we’ve decided on:

Asher Alexander Castillo (Alexander is Jose’s middle name)

Levi James Castillo (James is my dad’s middle name)

I know they don’t quite sound as good together as Landon and Levi – BUT – I think the more we say them ¬†– the better they will sound! ¬†At least that’s what I keep telling myself!

Thanks for your help and for your voting! ūüôā

***Just a side note. Even though the Haitians can say those names – I might have to work on the girls!! Malaya keeps calling Asher – AS SOR – – – it doesn’t sound very pretty!! LOL!

Posted in NW_Special Needs, Personal Stories

Nothing Like A Good Country Song To Make You Cry!

So I’ve been having trouble sleeping at night. My new thing has been to watch HGTV late at night OR CMT (Country Music Television).¬†

So last night I was watching CMT and I heard this song which it’s not a new song but I hadn’t heard it in a while. It’s called God’s Will by Martina McBride.¬†


I met God’s Will on a Halloween night
He was dressed as a bag of leaves
It hid the braces on his legs at first

His smile was as bright as the August sun
When he looked at me
As he struggled down the driveway, it almost
Made me hurt

Will don’t walk too good
Will don’t talk too good
He won’t do the things that the other kids do,
In our neighborhood

I’ve been searchin’, wonderin’, thinkin’
Lost and lookin’ all my life
I’ve been wounded, jaded, loved and hated
I’ve wrestled wrong and right
He was a boy without a father
And his mother’s miracle
I’ve been readin’, writin’, prayin’, fightin’
I guess I would be still
Yeah, that was until
I knew God’s Will

Will’s mom had to work two jobs
We’d watch him when she had to work late
And we’d all laugh like I hadn’t laughed
Since I don’t know when

Hey Jude was his favorite song
At dinner he’d ask to pray
And then he’d pray for everybody in the world but him


Before they moved to California
His mother said, they didn’t think he’d live
And she said each day that I have him, well it’s just
another gift
And I never got to tell her, that the boy
Showed me the truth
In crayon red, on notebook paper, he’d written
Me and God love you
¬†– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

MAKES ME REALLY MISS MY LITTLE GIGI! Gigi has taught so many people what true love is. Just two years old and 7lbs – ¬†she was our first little baby. ¬†I remember the Americans telling us that she wouldn’t make it and we shouldn’t become so invested in her. I remember the Haitians kept asking ¬†– – Why we would take a “broken” baby? How could an American who could have anything/everything – ¬†want a little child like that?¬†

Gigi has done more for my family than we could ever do for her. I cannot wait until I get to see her again. Jose hopes to go get her in March. There is definitely a hole here – it won’t be filled until we have our little girl walking around – throwing all the toys (and anything else that’s sitting in front of her) ¬†to the ground – and giggling at her hand!