I know you will once again be blessed by this month’s “My Story.” Katherine is a remarkable young lady, always willing to help in any way she can. We are so proud of her. Enjoy her story as told by her, only translated. Enough from me, but let me just warn you that you might want to have the tissues close!
Hi. My name is Katherine Nicole Castillo Escobar. I am 20 years old and my birthday is June 1.
Let me tell you my story. I will start from when I was little. My biological mother couldn’t take care of me and so she gave me to another woman the day I was born. My adoptive mother’s name was Marlene Jaqueline Castillo Escobar. I loved her as if she was my biological mother, and she cared for me until I was eleven years old. During this time, she had a boyfriend. He was a part of a gang in Honduras and was in jail. My mother sold drugs as part of her job and also her boyfriend’s friends would come to our house because of this. Several times the police came to search our house. Because of this, we had to move.
I remember very well the day we moved. It was a Tuesday in June. My mom sent me to go and buy boxes and we started packing up all of our stuff. We didn’t know where we were going to move, but my mom’s boyfriend’s friends were going to take us to a new place. We woke up really early in the morning, and two big trucks came to our house and we loaded up all our things in them. My mom and I went with one of the friends in a car. He took us to a house. We were going to wait there for the trucks to arrive. While we were waiting at the house, I got really hungry. My mom told two of the friends to go and buy food. She said it was ok if I went, too. I got in the car with them and they asked me where I wanted to go and eat. I didn’t know, and they suggested chicken. They found a restaurant, but because it was so early the restaurant was still closed. They gave me money and told me to get out and wait until it opened and that they would come in when they found a place to park. I got out and waited for the restaurant to open. When the restaurant opened I went inside and bought some chicken, but I didn’t eat it. I went outside and waited for them, because I didn’t want them to come back for me and not see me. I waited outside for hours, and they never came. I started to cry and all the people around started to ask me what had happened. I told them that I was waiting for someone to come get me, but they hadn’t arrived. The people told me that they were going to call Channel 6 (a local news station) so that they could help me find the people who were going to come and get me. I was very emotional, my eyes were filled with tears and I asked them not to call them, so they didn’t. They did tell me that I should go inside the restaurant and wait, so I did. I waited there until 11 o’clock at night. They were closing the restaurant and the people who worked there called the police. The police came to pick me up and they asked me how to get to my house. When we got to my house no one was there. One of my neighbors was a woman who took care of me when my mom went to visit her boyfriend in Tegucigalpa. The police asked me if I wanted to stay with her or go to INFA (the government run orphanage). I told them that I wanted to go to INFA. I had this idea in my head that at INFA everyone had their own room and that it was kind of like a normal house. They told me that there were other girls there. So, I decided that I wanted to go there. They first took me to the police station, where they began to interview me about my family. It was after three in the morning when I finally arrived at INFA. I slept for a couple of hours before they woke us up at 7:00 a.m. The other kids woke up and they called me the ‘new girl’. That was what they always called the new kids who arrived. Then everyone circled around me and asked me my name and why I was at INFA.
At first, I cried every night, but after a little while, I became accustomed to being there, and I actually even liked it. However, I was always thinking about my mom and asking myself where she could be.
Later, I began to understand that things just don’t happen without reason, but that God is always working in my life to make everything work together for my good. I realized that God was protecting me and caring for me and that is why nothing bad had happened to me.
After I was at INFA for about 8 or 9 months, I went to live with Heart to Heart. I remember when the people at INFA told me I was going to move, they told me, “Look, there it is prettier and close to the beach, you will get to go and experience more things and go to new places. Take advantage of this opportunity that you are getting.”
A car came and got us and took us to Tegucigalpita. I was 12 when I arrived there. I started school, I was in 5th grade. I started to have a new life, new brothers and sisters, and new aunts and uncles.
God continues to bless me and keeps putting me on a path that I never imagined. My whole life changed when I was brought to this marvelous home and I accepted Jesus when I was 13. It was not easy, but God won the battle.
I have spent about 8 years with Heart to Heart. Everyone has helped me in such big ways. I don’t even know how to say thanks for all that the ministry has done to help me. You all are my family and nothing will change that. God chose you guys because He knows that you will continue to fight for His glory and justice and that through it all you will continue to trust Him. I have also learned many things since I have been here. I have learned to speak English, I went to Salon School, I can cook, and I have also had the privilege to go to the United States two times with wonderful and loving families there.
Right now, I am 20. I am studying at the University and I am in my second year of studying medicine. I chose this career because I would like to be a Pediatrician. I know that with God’s help I will be able to do it.
To finish, I want to give thanks to God for all the times He has saved me. I know that His plan for my life is big and that nothing will be able to get in the way of His work in the lives of His children. I hope that I can make a difference in my country. Don’t forget that God is Ruler over all the land and He is also the Ruler of your life.
Thank you so much Heart to Heart for being a part of my life and for helping me be the person that I am today.