Fall Family Update – August 2022

It’s been a fast moving & travel-filled  month for our family.  Here’s a peek from our latest and greatest adventures!

I finally found now a “new” hand surgeon… (apparently my previous surgeon left the practice). I’m trying not to take it personal! 😳 😂
My initial injury (from last year) required 2 separate surgeries on the palm of my hand. I had the first one earlier this year.
My second surgery was scheduled for this summer and involves removing a tiny bone at the base of my thumb. My hand would need to be casted with my thumb completely enclosed in that cast.
HOWEVER- A few weeks ago I managed to rip tissues & nerves on the upper-side of my thumb. (I was gripping a brush at the time). ***In order for this area to heal – I need to wear a brace that splints my thumb outward! 🤚
In typical “Castillo Fashion”- my procedures are complicated and cannot be performed at the same time – even though they are less than an inch apart.
So I’ll be wearing this brace for the next 3-6 weeks. Once they know for sure it’s fully healed – I’ll have the surgery on the palm of my hand which will require 3 months of casting & several more months of therapy.




We drove to Liberty, MO for a short 4-day trip. We needed to meet with the school officials & submit paperwork for Marla to be Malaya’s temporary power of attorney. It was a quick trip – but LOTS of fun! The kids got to hang out with old friends they hadn’t seen in years.  Even Jose & I got to meet up with dear friends for a hilarious evening of fellowship!


We are excited to announce that Malaya finally got her wish! She will NOT be driving the big family bus to school! Instead, she now has a 2008 Hyundai Santa-Fe! I personally think it’s a missed opportunity for fun & fellowship by NOT driving our big white van! 🙂

As many of you know, my best friend, (Diane) traveled to Haiti multiple times a year for her wedding ministry. Her sister Kathy often traveled with her. When Diane passed, Kathy & I began to develop an even closer friendship.  She even came to Ohio to help me organize my sister’s Celebration of Life Service.

Her son had a vehicle from when he was in school, and she no longer had any use for it. SO…she donated it to Malaya!

Jose flew down to Louisiana a few days after we returned from Missouri, to pick up her car! He then drove the 12 hours back to Kentucky! Though the vehicle is older, it’s in EXCELLENT condition.  We have no concerns with her traveling from Missouri to Kentucky for visiting.


After Jose came back from LA – we headed to Michigan to spend the week with Tom & Sharon Snivley!

We were able to meet new friends & reconnect with old ones at their special cookout! Abbey was also able to spend a few days with us before she flew back into Haiti! Malaya was SO happy to have that special time together, knowing she won’t see her for several months.

On Sunday – we spoke at my brother’s church in Garrett, IN! The congregation fully embraced our family & also shared funny stories about my dad from when he went to high school there. As always – It was SO nice to connect up with Bud’s family too! We’ve really missed them. Rosie especially grew close to them during her scoliosis surgery. It’s still really hard for her knowing she’s stuck in Haiti waiting for her visa.

We left our boys in the very capable hands of Tom & Sharon – so that Jose & I could drop Malaya off at school in Missouri! They have already traveled to ball games, camps, & other various fun spots!

Now that Malaya is gone….we asked them to teach our boys how to do laundry and get them back on track with daily chores! We encouraged them to run a mini boot-camp …where they also have to participate in daily exercise & have a routine. YOU KNOW – do all the things that their “legit” parents should make them do! HAHA!



Sadly for us, the time has come – for Malaya to begin her new journey as a Senior at North Liberty High School.  

We met with the school counselor last Friday. Malaya got her class schedule at that time too! We toured the school, paid for her parking pass,  met some of her teachers, and were invited back for a more “official” orientation this Tuesday.  School officially started yesterday. The school is HUGE – over 2500 students! It’s a big change from being in class with just siblings!

There was a Senior Sunrise event yesterday morning. All the seniors were invited to bring blankets and meet at the school early to watch the sun rise together.  Though she recently made some friends from her small group at church – she’s starting her social life from scratch. She didn’t have to go – BUT she decided to experience it anyways!

That girl… she doesn’t let anything hold her back! When we left Kentucky in her car, she said she wanted to drive the whole way. It’s an 8 hour trip (plus all the bathroom breaks). We told her that we should rotate driving –  so that she can rest some. But of course….she wanted to prove she could do it! AND SHE DID!

WE COULD NOT BE MORE PROUD! Jose & I will fly back to Kentucky on Saturday. Then on Monday – Tom & Sharon will drive the boys down with a u-haul full of boat supplies! We will spend the next two weeks packing crates & packing suitcases as we prepare to fly back home!

Please keep Malaya & our family in your prayers! My heart is not ready to fly back home without her!

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