Stateside Update Fall 2015…

I just realized it’s been over a month since I’ve blogged. I wanted to give just a short update on our adventures since we’ve flown to the states.

Between doctor appointments, dentist appointments, therapy appointments AND packing up crates/barrels for the boat – it’s been super busy! I can’t believe how fast time has flown by since we came out.


orphan gifts

Thanks to all the dollars you’ve sent my children for their Orphan Ministry – they’ve been able to purchase items to put on the boat! We’ve raised 512.00 towards this ministry. So what did we get? We bought box fans for the dorm where the orphans sleep. We bought soap, shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, & baby powder. We also bought mini-flashlights. We ordered little backpacks with toys to put in each one, nail polish, little buckets to play at the beach, water bottles, dolls, & matchbox cars. 

The kids would like to have a “real slumber party” with the kids. So they also bought glow-in-the-dark headbands, necklaces, bracelets, wands, glasses, etc. They bought candy & popcorn for that special night too.

We should be able to buy a case of peanut butter with the rest of the funds! THANK YOU for giving my children the chance to be benevolent towards their friends! It’s been a lot of fun watching them lead the way!

Facebook Updates:


July 22nd:

Jody Owen Castillo What’s the first thing you guys want to do when we get to the states:
Asher: See nana
Levi: Eat Ice cream
Gabe: go to toy store for my birthday gifts.
Levi: Yeah I forgot me too. I’ll eat ice cream second.
Asher: well I still want to see nana and she can take me anywhere I want
Rosie: see bella & McKenna (neighbors kids)
Malaya: Eat Chinese – no wait pizza. Can we eat both the same day?
Mikela: gymnastics….wait what are talking about again?


Jody Owen Castillo In route still to the states….flying Delta. Everyone is separated on the plane but within a few rows. Went to check on the boys –
Gabe – he’s managed to talk his neighbor into letting him play on HER phone.
Asher is asleep with his head on a pillow on his neighbors lap.
Levi has managed to talk his neighbor into buying him snacks on the plane and is enjoying chips right now.
All the girls are asleep….in their own space.


Jody Owen Castillo This would only happen to us while stopping at McDonald’s with our 12 passenger rental van. Our sliding door will not close. No rental car places are open. Jose sat in the back holding the door while we drove to Walmart and it’s currently roped thru passenger window to keep it shut. We are driving Haitian style right now.

Oddly enough the Thrive song is playing on the radio and we are singing it to the top of our voices in creole. We were made to more than just survive……. We were made to thrive!
Never a dull moment.



Jody Owen Castillo It’s 4:40am and we have just arrived at our final destination! Today was one for the books…..after the door breaking and having a semi-truck run us off the road towards incoming traffic – God went before us and after us! We drove 7 hours with the rope around the door. Malaya thought it was like an airplane and if the door came open it would suck them out of the vehicle. We seat-belted everyone…I told her at best it would be more like a drop and roll. 🙂
We did have to tighten the rope throughout the trip though. I like to think the violent wind coming through the side door was a reminder of our tap taps and eventually soothed the children to sleep.
As I was passing through Chattanooga I was between two semis – one behind and one in front. We were in the passing lane.

Out of nowhere a semi in the slow lane decided to get in our lane nearly clipping our vehicle. We laid on the horn but he didn’t stop and we were forced to the median heading towards the oncoming traffic…stopping just before hitting the guard rail on the oncoming traffic’s far side. We went across their two lanes over to their side median.

It was 1am and so traffic was light or we could have easily had a head on collision.
The semi behind us stopped to make sure we were ok but the guy who ran us off kept driving.


July 30

Jody Owen Castillo  As a family we are learning to be more mindful of the things we say to each other…..and NOT say things like “shut-up” when we’re frustrated – which can be difficult with this many kids.
Asher has been driving Gabriel nuts all day. It’s midnight and I just heard Gabe yell – Silence You Peasant! (I’m pretty impressed).


August 1st

Jody Owen Castillo My very thoughtful and apparently FUNNY friend made a massage appointment for Momma Gigi and me! It’s Momma Gigi’s first time.
-That awkward moment when you realize your funny friend booked a couples massage with rose petals, chocolate-covered strawberries, and Champagne ‪#‎happyanniversary‬
-That awkward moment when you are asked about same-sex marriage in Haiti since Momma Gigi told them we are married (but meant to other people). ‪#‎lostintranslation‬
-That awkward moment when you hear Momma Gigi keep saying “yes. Oh yes. Is good. Is good.” ‪#‎illhavewhatsheshaving‬ ‪#‎keepittoyourself‬
-That awkward moment when Momma Gigi has to go pee and tries to walk outside the room in just a sheet. ‪#‎modestyisforwimps‬
-That awkward moment when your massage therapist is shaking hysterically because Momma Gigi has now fallen asleep and is snoring like a freight train. ‪#‎sleepinheavenlypeace‬

‪#‎icanttakeheranywhere‬ ‪#‎best90minutesever‬ ‪#‎laughingtillithurts‬



August 6th

Jody Owen Castillo  At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital early this morning to see our neurologist… trying to figure out what’s going on in the little minds of several Castillo kids.

Already seen Asher’s mind at work this week. While at the restaurant I asked the waitress if drinks come with kids meals? She said no. So I said water for everyone.

Asher: Umm Lady. We are missionaries in Haiti … and we don’t get to drink any sprite there… so this is really sad news for me and my family.

5 minutes later the waitress came back with Sprite for the whole table!!

 — with Jose Alexander Castillo at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.


Jody Owen Castillo Wanted to give a little update…
Asher’s EEG showed some activity. The doctor said it seems like he’s just having a flare-up. They ran an EKG too but that one was normal. We’ve got him back on medicines now to help deal with the seizures. 

Rosie has had too much time pass to understand her zombie-like state from last month. Though her tests are essentially abnormal – they’re normal for her. She’s started having some full-blown meltdowns though since we’ve been out. We are looking to add another medication to see if that will help her.

Mikela had a great appointment! She’s just her crazy normal self!

August 8 
Jody Owen Castillo  Asher, Rosie, and Gabe participated in the Fastest Kid In Town Race with their friends! — with Jose Alexander Castillo and Becky Host at Dowtown Lexington.
Jody Owen Castillo They race by ages. Gabe & Rosie got 3rd and Asher was too busy waiving and looking sideways he didn’t place. 
So Gabe made the paper! Yeah he’s the off-centered little boy in the yellow (beside the boy with his shirt off)….you know that you can barely see. He wanted to get a copy of it to take to Haiti to show everyone he’s a celebrity now!


 August 11th
Jody Owen Castillo  All the kids saw the dentist this past week! Asher is the only one who has to come back for a cavity! He said it’s because he’s so sweet!

For the first time in 5 years Rosie had no cavities! WAHOO!! It’s probably because there’s no teeth left that aren’t already filled or pulled…but just the same we’reTHRILLED!! It’s a real circus when she has to have work done- often taking 3 people to hold her down & lots of valium. We all feel like we need to be held & medicated after those visits – even the dentist!


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