The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
I am crushed. My family is crushed… and as I cry out broken before my Lord, I selfishly ask you, my friends and family, to pray on our behalf.
I have just come from a very sad and frustrating Castillo family meeting. All were accounted for: Gigi, Malaya, Mikela, Rosie, Gabe, Asher, Levi, Isebelle, Jose, and myself. I listed all of them because to the outside world this crew of every skin tone from rich mahogany to porcelain pink may look like anything but a family unit. Unfortunately, on paper, we are not recognized as family either.
Over the years, we have been able to navigate through the red tape in Haiti and America and live as a family. Our Haitian children have been with us since they were in diapers. We never invested in bricks and mortar. We have no home in Haiti or America. Our interests have always been our children and the mission. We have treated all our children as full family members. Sometimes to the sacrifice of Jose and my own birth children, we have gone to great lengths so that our Haitian children would never feel like they were different. Believe me, there has been more than one occasion when it would have been easier and cheaper to just send the “white” kids back to America when we took our trips to visit family. Now, it seems like we are faced with such a heart wrenching decision – I can barely get my head around it.
We’ve spent the last 4 days in Port-au-Prince and the Social Service office just denied the ability to bring out our Haitian children. There is a new regime in leadership and they have none of the prior paperwork we have filed year after year since we began loving these children as our own. Something routine is a nightmare.
Now, within my home, I have little Gabe (who is just a normal little brother trying to get one-up on his big sisters) teasing them saying, “We get to go to the states and you don’t”.
We have Rosie physically hurting herself afraid we will just leave her here all alone. Mikela has been sobbing for hours asking why God didn’t make her my real daughter. Malaya’s heart is poured out empty – not understanding any of this and afraid she will not see her Mamita.
Jose says we absolutely will not leave the girls behind even for one week. And yet, I have ALL of my children crying that they want to see family and be in the states for the holidays!
This might feel trivial to the world’s problems but in a missionary home in the northwest part of Haiti – hearts are shattered. My heart feels pulled thin and tied into knots. I remember the Bible stories of Abraham and Isaac and Hannah and Samuel. I know they laid down their children before the Lord. The thing is I know too much. I know Abraham gave up Isaac but he was given back on the altar. I know Hannah gave up Samuel, and Eli took him. I know how this works. I know God gave up His son Jesus and had to turn His back on Him on the cross. Still not helping me…
I know I know I know… but I can’t do this! So I need you to pray strength into Jose and me–that we would allow God to be God. (Right now, I feel like I have such a death grip over each of my children that I can’t imagine ever letting go of them.)
Pray for God to work through this and for the minds of those in power to be understanding. Pray for my children who are too young to understand the complexities of this family that God has molded together. Pray for Rosie and Mikela who now realize they do not have the equal rights of their other brothers and sisters. Pray for Gabe and Malaya to not feel they are being mistreated and kept from their American family because of their Haitian sisters.
We’ve already spent thousands of dollars on this process– hired a lawyer and judge and several others to get the paperwork we need. Depending on what we accomplish in the next few days – the Social Services should advise us of their decision by Tuesday.
Our plane tickets are purchased. Plans have been made to visit with our precious family and friends. Just like every other Christmas…
Please, please pray for our family.
We are broken and in need of fixing from the King.