Dec 24, 2009


We didn't yet finish our Christmas cards before Christmas. Sorry.If you'd like one please shoot me your address as I can't seem to locate our address book! Thanks Alida w5

The Rodriguez Family wishes you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Thank you for your love, friendship and support.
We wish you all a very wonderful Christ centered
Christmas and a HAPPY fruitful NEW YEAR filled with health,
purpose, provison, family and many blessings.

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It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child Himself.-- Charles Dickens

How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments. -- Benjamin Franklin

That the Creator himself comes to us and becomes our ransom -this is the reason for our rejoicing.-- Martin Luther

Nov 30, 2009

My Dream House

I often wonder why many are blessed with huge homes that are selfish don't care about the orphan or the poor, OR ANYONE ther than themselves. People with mega houses without ANY children, or only 1 or 2! Oh that there hearts would be pricked with the sadness and longing of 143,000 million orphan children worldwide that are without anyone to look after them, feed them, clothe them and love them. I also wonder why so many can so easily bear children that they don't want them & abort or will chose drugs and sin over their precious children when many stable Christ loving folks can't give birth at all. His ways are not our ways THAT'S FOR SURE.

I pray that we'd be able to get even a decent home that would meet the requirements for us to adopt a sibling set from foster-care. (they allow no more than two people to a room)

I have ALWAYS dreamed, since childhood of adopting many little ones of all colors and raising them in God's love, truth and peace. ( since my own little dealings in foster care and shelters as a youth) We are prayerfully waiting on the Lord for guidance with this. We want to rescue children from foster-care and also internationally, and from any mother that would otherwise abort her baby. We pray the Lord will bring the right children and /or sibling set to our family. While we are praying we are praying for our dream home as well. We are asking for provision for

* A 12 or 15 passenger van (anyone want to trade)our packed to the gills Kia Sedona for a 12 or 15 seater van? Anyone want to downgrade?
* A preferably single story home
* At least 4, but hopefully 5 or more bedrooms,
* Located in or near Orange County, pretty much any city in or near OC works for me. ;)
* Room enough for a garden, fruit trees, playground, some chickens ( I won't get a rooster and make your neighbors hate me! honest!) and two pygmy dairy goats. ;-)for city goats I believe that means the goats need to be 100 ft away from any neighboring house. Niah is still holding out for a miniature pony, but I'd be thrilled with dairy goats. Why dairy goats you may ask.. do you KNOW how much money it is buying raw milk for a family of 7? $8.99HALF gal.enough said!
* AFFORDABLE for us. How the Lord would meet all of those classifications and make it affordable is beyond me, but since He own the cattle on 1000 hills, He can.
*It would be really NICE if the neighbors didn't steal from my children, but that isn't a requirement, can be overlooked! ;-)

SOOO.. if you know of anybody that wants to sell a home to a family starting out with absolutely NO EQUITY, for WAY cheaper ( yes cheaper) than your awesome home is worth) go ahead and shoot us an email! ;-) Any takers? ANYONE??? Bueller? Bueller?

Nov 17, 2009

The bone marrow biopsy/aspiration went well

I never got back to many of you regarding Josiah, Josiah, who just recently turned 3! The bone marrow biopsy went wonderfully. Sweet Brenda watched all the children including baby Hezekiah. He sees her so often so he was comfortable going to her and she did such an outstanding job with him. Apparently he just smiled the whole time. Josiah did great. He is such an amazing kid. He was perfectly fine! He is such a trooper. Waiting...
And waiting...

It took the THIRD time of the nurse digging around his around trying to find a vein to put the line in before he began to get sad. I would have cried the first second. :-) Apparently he is such a laid back kid they use him to practice on for the inexperienced, I'd assume as most of the other nurses have always been able to put in a line easily and quickly. It was a bit gruesome for me to watch however.
Josiah a bit nervous..
Just give me my sword and I'll be OK!

It was so adorable, when he came too, he kept saying "Mamaaaaaa" and I'd say yes? He's smile still under the drugs.. "Maaa Maaaaaaaa" I'd say yes? He'd look around.
" MaaaaaMeeeeee!" Over and over. Then he turned to me and said " Mommy, you have two eyes! (sort of surprised) " ( his way of saying 4 eyes) I'd say " oh do I? Then he said" Mommy you have two eyes, " (sort of snickering) then he turned to me in horror with a disgusted sort of look in his eye. "MAMA, you have TWO EYES!!!" he kept saying it over and over again. The nurse and doctor and I started giggling. I have NO idea what I must of looked like, but to him it must have been quite trippy/freaky/WEIRD! Afterward they gave him a very cute puppy blanket that volunteers must have made, and let him choose a toy. ( He chose a puppy toy) and sent us on our way. We returned home to well cared for children and a happy baby. Brenda even managed to do SCHOOL with the kids! Is she awesome or what? Thanks for the prayers! Bless you,
Alida & Rodriguez Family

Nov 3, 2009

Josiah needs a bone marrow biopsy & aspiration

I am pretty tired. This has been a long year that I can't wait to be over. Either Jesus or 2010 please come quickly. ;-) We thought we were wrapping up our little voyage down affliction lane ( 6 months don't ya know) with my husband finally finding work. Praise the Lord, He is working, however they just laid off 19 OTHER guys. They just hired him last week so this is truly puzzling.

We thought that our precious Josiah was healed but the last couple labs came back with him having very low platelets. They have thrown the Hematology/oncology team for a loop. The virus they thought was causing this whole thing is no longer present. They were low again today. 39,000 platelets and slowly dropping, In the past they have given transfusions for being that low. So we go in Thursday for a bone marrow biopsy and aspiration and to "discuss our options." ;-( BTW, this is NOT the time to call or write with the whole Jabaz prayer prosperity gospel, telling me that "if "I" just enough FAITH my son would be healed, we'd own our own home and we'd be living a life of abundance and luxury." Save it..PLEASE! I won't get into the biblical inaccuracies of that statement... but it's not very kind or beneficial.

I am a faith filled person, but had a rough day. Even though I have brought him numerous times before, they won't let siblings come into the clinic oncology/hematology clinic for any reason. That was fine, A friend watched my olders but they plainly told me that they will not let Hezekiah in any longer. ( they made exceptions for nursing babies in the past) Well, not anymore. Apparently a couple of children have died from the flu. Keep in mind these are immune compromised patients so please don't panic) My son spends the entire time in my sling, not out about and playing. Most of that time is spent sleeping or nursing under my shirt covered with my sling. "I" am more of a illness threat than he is!

Hezekiah doesn't take a bottle. I'm thinking they don't see the big deal with that because they are working mothers that probably are thinking "just get a sitter and bottle feed him!" I feel that we aren't on the same page with how important it is to keep a breastfed baby close to mother. I don't leave my infants with anyone. I never have. My whole countenance fell. I understand their concern. I wouldn't mind them checking him before hand to make sure he is well before we went in or doing some sort of compromise. A win/win. Afterall "I" too could be sick and they let me in. This makes things extremely difficult for us. I picture having to leave my baby while Josiah gets transfusions( which take along time) or worse, Josiah being hospitalized days or weeks at a time and me having to be away from my baby who probably wonders why mommy isn't holding him. ( awful to think about, and pretty dang unnatural) I can already hear him crying for me in my mind. I rebuke hospitalization for Josiah in Jesus name.

I tell myself to let tomorrow worry about it's own troubles and we'll cross that bridge if and when we get to it. I need to pump and pray for Thursday's bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. I pray Hezie either sleeps the whole time I'm gone or miraculously takes a bottle. I'm also praying against the really bad feeling that won't leave.. depart I say! depart! I wonder what is in store for our family and what the results will be and what it means for us. I am moment to moment trying to trust and follow my Father and trying to run to Jesus . I am trying to show my CHILDREN how to run to Jesus during all this uncertainty. ;-) Bless you all.

Matt6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Oct 26, 2009

I Peter 1:7

Good LORD! This is beautiful. "that the testing of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." I Peter 1:7

Oct 22, 2009

Praise the Lord! Huatzin is Working!!!

Rodriguez Family update.
Isaiah 58:8 Your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

Many of you have covered us in prayer. The Lord in His faithfulness and His timing answered us. In the 11th hour don't ya know. ;-) God is His goodness provided Huatzin with a job out of the 100 plus men still searching for work.. Finally! I still can't believe it. Almost 6 MONTHS to the day of being let go from his job he is now working again. He is so thankful! I can't begin to imagine how hard this must have been on him. I could CRY telling you that him losing his job was the beginning of a VERY LONG SEASON of meekly trusting in the Lord for His EVERY provision.. From guidance, to our daily bread, two hospitalizations, trusting for the healing of our son, the birth of our baby and everything else in between. Huatzin getting a job was the first and last piece of the puzzle the last 6 months of tremendous adversity. It's hard to believe, but I am so grateful for all that has taken place. I never in my life fully comprehended that the Lord could provide for us for such long a time without our help or my striving. He is truly Jehovah Jireh! My Abba Father came through. It causes me to weep, my own earthly Father never provided and I at times would struggled trusting that my Heavenly Father would. I knew all the scriptures and had all the head knowledge. He lovingly patiently coaxed me to trust Him with the same assurance as my own children trust my husband and I. He loves each of us and like Matthew says , even the hairs on our head are numbered. We are His precious little children and He delights in us as a motherly tenderly cares for her child. I thank Him for not giving me all the things I wanted, but for providing all the things that we needed, in the timing that we needed them.

We have grown closer as a family and have grown so much. My children were able to pray for and see God's miracles as we came to the end of ourselves and ALL of our self efforts failed. They will always remember the great and mighty things the Lord done. We are grateful for friendships that deepened and even the ones that faded as they were a bit more superficial. Adversity is the best tester of friends ;-) ) We will always remember and be grateful for you many saints that were the hands and feet of Christ, Jesus with skin on. We learned that the family of God is BIG!! That we have many brothers and sisters that we've never even seen or met but that pray with us, help us and care for us. Thank you for little odd jobs for Huatzin, friends that brought over groceries, gift cards, and the unexpected monetary blessings that some felt led to give. We enjoy GIVING way more than receiving. The hardest thing for me to do EVER is to accept help. MY WHOLE BEING felt like I dying to self accepting assistance. The thought of inconveniencing someone, or being a burden terrifies me. We are one body and when one hurts we all hurt. We have learned that the Lord answers prayer in His own special way. It has been so humbling. I could go on about that, but enough said.

At times the difficulties were just like ocean waves beating against me and rolling over me. At the most difficult times I have felt such gratitude and supernatural peace. I have learned so much about myself and who I am In the midst of the great and mighty God that tenderly cares for us and orchestrates even the tiniest details of our lives. I have also learned that the Lord loves me too much to let me to be comfortable or become lazy, apathetic, mediocre and stagnant. He will chip away and chisel and heat things up around us until we are brightly shining and glorious for His good works. If you pray to be used mightily of the Lord He will first need to cleanse, refine, break, humble and purify you first. He'll make sure that you mean what you ask and if you are willing to endure and overcome various trials to get to the place of being usable to Him. You will probably wonder why you prayed that prayer. ;-) It is said that everyone desires the mountaintop experience, but not many want to make the agonizing climb to reach it. But, the view and perspective from up here is amazing! I have learned that things will often get guttingly and painfully worse before it gets better. But that often when the palpable darkness of affliction is hardest, deliverance is close at hand.. (Luke 21:28) "When these things come to pass, then look up, and LIFT UP YOUR HEADS; for your redemption draweth nigh." "Weeping may endure for the night, but JOY comes in the morning." Thank you for praying with us, loving us and carrying us in our brokenness. We look forward to blessing those as we have been blessed. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." Alida, Huatzin & Rodriguez Family.

Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The LORD will command His love in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.(Psalm 42:7-8)

Oct 8, 2009

Counting my blessings Part 2

I once heard a sermon about the staff. Thy rod, Thy staff they comfort me.. Whenever a shepherd overcame an attack or trial or felt the Lord spared them from something, he would carve it into his staff. When he would sit alone and begin to grow weary, he would lean on his staff for strength or look at the markings and remember all that they Lord delivered him from. I am going to give thanks to remember all that the Lord has done for us. Other than the OBVIOUS of helping Josiah improve healthwise...

The Lord answered our prayers a few months ago in an amazing way. We were checking out alternative ways to heal Josiah and the class I took and all the literature I read mentioned a certain product that would greatly help our son. I wanted to get it before but could never afford it. I asked my Husband and showed him information on how it helps aid in healing and he hesitated as we couldn't afford it. He said pray about it. I did, I felt really strongly that we were being led to get it as it as a natural way to heal Josiah. I went to check the mail, and behold their was a certified letter! ;-) I opened it up and it was a LARGE sum of money from Vineyard La Habra. I thought we were mistaken and was astonished as we looked at the pile of money. It was a true miracle and answer to prayer.

1) the fact that God used a CHURCH body that we didn't even KNOW existed, that somehow heard about us and God laid it on their heart to meet a financial need in our family just blew me away. The other MIRACLE is that it actually got to us! For some reason our mail always gets delivered to our neighbors! CONSTANTLY and vice versa. We are forever running mail back as it's constantly delivered to a wrong address. The fact that that HUGE envelope untouched is just a testament to God's mercy! We were so grateful at that timely gift for our family and our kids were SO AMAZED that they got to SEE God answer a prayer for provision so immediately an obviously. I am not sure who passed our information on but you are in our prayers and we thank you, all of you!

One time that I mentioned was when I was so weary at the hospital and feeling so low. On the way to shower a nurse stopped me and asked me if my son was Josiah and I was Alida. I replied yes. She said " well we have been praying for your family. I go to CCEA! " It was at that same timely moment that I was feeling overwhelmed and completely weary that HE sent someone to remind us that we were loved and not forgotten and that He cares for us. I cry just thinking about how that encouraging word blessed us. Sweet lady, I was to tired too get your name but I thank God for you!

Another blessing was that we finally went to the park for the first time since being hospitalized. I was a bit stressed and exhausted. I came home and people from a group I am in came by and FILLIED my home with FOOD while we were gone! We could hardly store it! I could hardly believe my eyes, it was ALL foods our family eats. and if THAT wasn't blessing enough, they left a check too. sniff sniff. Nurys, food fairy, you are an ANGEL, so are all you sweet sisters from Pizza Nights, and Contenders and Keepers of the Faith group that ppitched in. Some of whom I didn't even yet know. You have NO idea how overjoyed we were! THANK YOU!

THANK you also to my amazing mentor mama Rhonda V that brought us food over as well, TWICE! I look forward to being able to bless you back someday! Thank you also to the precious Lynch family that gave us gift cards. Your kindness is so appreciated! Dear Hersey family thank you for inviting us out and paying for us to go to the Basic Life Institute Seminar! You were an answer to pray for guidance, wisdom and direction. We were SO abundantly blessed beyond measure. We learned so much. Thank you also for ALL the ways you've blessed our family, especially with your friendship! Words cant express our gratefulness. Truly Thank you doesn't seem enough. Thank you also to our tiny little home church that blessed our family in such a great way with the unexpected financial gift for our family and the many many prayers for Josiah and odd jobs you've given Huatzin! May the Lord repay your kindness! Thank you also to Lydia Sheer ( sp?) of the families of South Coast Christian Home Educators that I guess partnered with the Mount of Olives Church that blessed us with a financial gift! What an unexpected blessing that came in such a timely close to the wire moment! I can't believe you would think of of family and wish to help us!

This has been such a long season of uncertainty for us, and total dependence on the Lord. Thanks to you many sweet people that have looked around your home and found things for my hubby to work on to put his skills to work. Men love to work and they can feel so defeated if they feel like there aren't doing something productive. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! We feel so cared for and appreciative. We hope to be able to comfort those the way we have been comforted in the future. May His peace, presence and face shine upon you all. Thank you for caring for the least of these! Even more so, thank you to all that prayed with us and for us. In Jesus, Love the Rodriguez family.

Oct 6, 2009

Praise in the midst of the storm/Counting my blessings

Our family is experiencing quite a severe hardship right now. I won't into all the details. If you happen to think of us, please pray for Josiah's healing and for a job for Huatzin and the Lord's immediate provision. I will say that when times like this happen it is so good to meditate on the Lords goodness. Job said " do we accept only good from the Lord and not evil?" The Lord said in this world we will have tribulation, but that He has overcome the world. Sometimes my spirit feels drained and totally sapped of all strength. I am at a loss. I can't think of my circumstance because I immediately feel a sense of panic and dread. At those times I take my eyes off of my situation and focus on all that the Lord has done. All the ways He has showed His self mighty and strong on our behalf.

I was just thinking of what a blessing it has been that we seemed to be spared this terrible fate with Josiah. Doctors were certain he had cancer and God in His mercy and his goodness removed that yoke from around his body and from our family. He was cleared of it while many we spoke to while we were there were diagnosed with it. Thank you Lord for your mercy.

Thank you Lord for your provision. The thought of trying to pay for banking the cord blood with a husband unable to find work was so overwhelming. I had no idea HOW we could pay for that every month. A sweet friend encouraged us to sign up and to trust God to provide. My sweet friend Erin posted my situation to everyone she knew. I put it on my Baby registry.. In fact, it is the ONLY thing I registered for. I knew that friends would probably want to donate in lieu of a gift for our baby, but I was so unprepared for the WHOLE AMOUNT to be payed off! In only about a months time! Praise God. What's more many of the names on my registry were names of people I didn't even know! People who felt led to pray for OUR family and to help! Can you believe it! Who is God that He should be mindful of ME? Thank you so much, each of you that helped us with the Cord blood banking. I've said it once, but I'll say it again, we literally couldn't have done it without you!

Another way we were SUPER blessed is when Stacy Richards gathered snacks for our family for when we were at or visiting the hospital. People from our Homeschool group pitched in. Its little things like that that made the load a little lighter. Thank you. Sweet Stacy went on to do a raffle for our family. I get tears in my eyes when I think about all the effort she put into it. I was so horrified/embarassed at the thought. But we asked for God's provision and I realized that when you ask of the Lord, you should rejoice at however he chooses to answer, even if it totally humbles you to accept help. I was so blessed with all those that donated items for the raffle. Some I knew some I didn't even know and probably wont meet this side of heaven. Thank you ladies. (My THANK YOU comment was deleted on Stacy's site, so I'll put it here) I thanked Stacy profusely but words didn't seem enough! All of this while she is going threw a pretty severe financial hardship herself! One day we spoke and she told me her dryer died, her ipod was stolen along with her computer, her toilet cracked, her iron died and a bunch of other things. All this while helping out OUR family. Someone even donated the hair bows that they won. They wanted them to go to Anaiah. She wears them EVERYDAY!

STEFFANY thank you for all of your prayers and encouraging words and your help. Thank you Stacy for all you have done to bless our family and for sharing our story with so many! We have been so encouraged by you and all of your sweet friends that have emailed us, prayed for us. The adoption community is a passionate Christ serving caring group of people that are so used to reaching out to others, your love of Christ and His people BRIGHTLY SHINES! Thank you all that donated to our family for the raffle, both the items that were raffled off and the donations! I don't know everyone that donated but we THANK you for thinking of us! It is encouraging to know that the body of Christ is there for us! We can't wait to be able to bless others back when we are able. Just thinking about our answered prayer has blessed me. Peace and JOY in Jesus! Alida w5

Oct 2, 2009

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Oct 1, 2009

How Sad/Average length of Sponsorship.

Wow! This is so tragic. I had no idea. The average length of sponsorship in Thailand is 1,024 days; in Ghana (where our girls are from), it's 239 days; and in Brazil, it’s 875 days. You can check out the sponsorship length for the other countries we work in this blog post comment.

How sad. As broke as we have been, we will not let our two little girls down. Our sponsorship could be the only thing keeping them educated, fed, sheltered and clothed. It could be the last thing standing in the way of a life of poverty, disease, prostitution, unemployment and death. We'd rather be without electricity in our house than to leave God's beloved to fend for themselves. If we make sure WE are fed, we can spare a little change for those that are starving. I hope others can make the same commitment.

If the roles were switched and it was our children in need, sick, malnourished or dying we'd want people committed to helping our children. Let us not hear of mothers watching their children starve to death or die of curable easily treated ailments while the body of Christ stands by and does nothing. If we can continue our sponsorship despite VERY severe hardships, than others can too. It is all perspective. Matthew 6:21 "because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.""Thy treasure-thy heart" I believe anything worth anything comes with great sacrifice. I heard of a little 13 ear old Haitian orphan girl that often had to decide which sibling would eat that day and had to listen to her young siblings cry in anguish from hunger pains ask "Why does God only love Americans.?" The better question is "Why do many Americans love only themselves. ?" The poorest person here at least has access to medical care, food, and education. Your bleakest financial hardship is NO WHERE NEAR the hardship of most of the worlds poor. Even the US poor is privileged here.

James 2:16 "If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

1 John 3:17 "But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?"

Deut. 15:7 "If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother."

1 John 3:17 "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?"

Sep 21, 2009

A bit of a setback with Josiah

I like to always start with good news first, so here goes. We took our little Josiah in to get his monthly labs done. We didn't hear back and took it as a good sign. Days later we received the call. The doctor said his red blood count is fine. His red blood count is normal or very near normal. a great plus. He is no longer anemic! YAY! The virus that they thought was causing his illness, EBV is no longer positive in his system. Apparently this is the second month in a row it has been negative. I asked if this ruled out Aplastic Anemia, a very dreadful condition, much to my relief she said yes! So no Aplastic Anemia for our little guy.

Unfortunately his platelet count dropped a bit and isn't going up steadily as it had been. I was also told that his white count had dropped and something else called his nutrifill. He should have fully recovered by now for it being a virus, or at least the one they thought it was given the amount of time since his first admittance into the hospital. His platelets have not recovered the way they should. They are at 99. I believe it was 101 or 122, the month before so there should have been a least a steady increase. His white count is low and it is concerning to them as it was near normal range and has dropped. He doesn't need a transfusion at this time. But she said it could be that he has "a slow evolving illness" that is taking a long time to fully present itself. Maybe just the very early stages of something serious? Only God knows. I wonder my nursing him is what is holding it the sickness at bay? Acting as a sort of shield if you will, against an invading enemy in his body. That and God's mighty hand of course..

His belly is a bit distended and that could mean an enlarged spleen. We go in on Tuesday for an ultrasound. It is all a mystery. We go back for labs on Oct 13 and hopefully everything will be resolved and his blood levels up, if not they'll want another biopsy and aspiration. I am praying against him needing to be hospitalized. The thought sickens me. There are so many details of difficulty that we'd have to endure that I just don't want to even go there. We are also praying for the Lord to bless Huatzin with work. We are really waiting on the Lord with His provision. This has been a rough stretch for us unlike any other we have ever faced with him out of work so long. I know it's taking a toll on him a well. Please pray he gets hired soon as our insurance is only available about another month. We couldn't possibly afford all his out of pocket expenses without our insurance. However the Lord is on the throne and I take comfort that from everlasting to everlasting He is God. That The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. (psalm 34:10)Thank you for all the prayer and encouraging words. I want you all to know that like Romans 1:9 "I make mention of you always in my prayers." Peace and JOY in Jesus, Alida w5

Dr. David Jeremiah-"You have been placed in the cul-de-sac or allowed to be there for reasons known for now only to Himself. The same God who led you in will lead you out. Our trials may seem more than we can bear. When we can't fight for ourselves, the battle belo...ngs to Him When we can't swim, He will part the waters. "

The prayer closet is the arena which produces the overcomer.-- Paul E. Billheimer

A gem cannot be polished without friction; the child of God cannot be perfected without adversity.-- Author Unknown

Faith enables us to move through the storms carrying our calm with us.-- J. Holmes

Sep 4, 2009

Please Watch! Ethiopian Orphans

This amazing video was directed and edited by Simon Scionka on behalf of Children’s HopeChest.
Ethiopian Orphans

Aug 20, 2009

August Update on Josiah

I am sorry for how much time has passed without an update! Especially since so many of you sweet sisters and brothers were praying for our family. Josiah is doing so much better. I really feel it is due to the intercession of all of you wonderful saints. We went in with an almost certain Leukemia diagnosis and now he seems fine. He still has a bit of a heart murmur and has the pale anemic face but still a huge improvement from when we first brought him in. I'll never forget the day they told me he may have cancer, and they day they made us sign form saying we understood the treatment options for Leukemia. I will also NEVER forget the day they handed it all back to us saying they were certain that is doesn't have the disease! You need a bit of the rain to to really appreciate the Sun.

His platelets have steadily gone up each time we have gone back. He is now at 101,000 platelets, so still low but way higher than the 8,000 he went in with originally. It's now been two about 2 1/2 months since my sweet son last received transfusions. When this whole thing began I feared many weeks of it. God is so gracious and merciful. Normal is around 250,000-450,000 and 150,000 is the norm for some people that naturally have low platelets. We have gone from weekly hospital visits to biweekly and now on to once a month. Most times the whole ordeal seems like such a distant faded memory. Other times it's as fresh as yesterday. It was such an uncertain time. Ladies, this is why we aren't to worry and fret. Now what seemed like an endless situation is all but over and worrying or panicking wouldn't have helped us one bit. Putting it in God's hand' will give you peace and joy when nothing else will. I DO wonder when I'll be able to see a bruise without thinking he's ill. Or, when he acts a little out of the ordinary, if I'll always think of Aplastic Anemia. This has opened my eyes to see each day as a gift, each child of mine is so loved and cherished by my husband and I.

We have been so very thankful for all that the Lord has brought us through.. from Josiah's cancer/blood disorder scare, the birth of a new baby and juggling a home with 5 under 8, to depending on him to provide our every need with Huatzin being out at work, and now beginning a new school year with 3 students. "Always something to keep us humble," as a sweet friend of mine would say. We go back in a couple of weeks. I'm sure he'll be fine. Thanks again. Love in Jesus, Alida & Rodriguez Family

Jul 1, 2009

Hospitalized with Hezekiah

Some of you know that we ended up being hospitalized yet again, this time with Hezekiah only 10 days old. ARG! ;-) For those of you that thought I was peacefully recovering at home after my homebirth, well, I WASN'T! :-)

I must have cut a bit of Hezekiah's finger as I clipped his nails. ( be sure to sterilize your clippers in alcohol) His finger got terribly infected. Saturday June 27 the family and I had an enjoyable day out followed by a wonderful homeschooling seminar with Sally Clarkson. ( I LOVE Sally Clarkson's ministry) My friend Erin noticed that Hezekiah's finger looked swollen/infected. She encouraged me to take him in. It was the weekend and I DID NOT WANT TO GO TO THE ER! Especially as Josiah was hospitalized on the 27th. I so didn't want this to be another way they are similar. The thought of returning to CHOC again gave me a panic attack. I wanted to wait until Monday for the doctor, but my hubby didn't feel right about waiting with such a little one so we got the kids in bed and in I went. Yay me. Canaan said " mama your not spending the night again and staying a long time like you did with Josiah right? cuz I didn't like that." I replied " no baby I'll be back really soon." HA! Lord keep my poor child from becoming phobic of seeking medical attention for fear that it ALWAYS LEADS TO HOPSITALIZATION!

Ok, I honestly thought they'd drain the finger give him some antibiotics and send us home. NEWSFLASH, if you EVER go in the ER with a newborn, bring a blankie and a toothbrush "cuz your staying put!" I was SO disappointed. The same sweet wonderful nurse that gave Josiah an IV line effortlessly and painlessly was there and worked on Hezekiah. I believe her name is Karen Andes. She is amazing, LOVES her job and outta win an award for nurse of the year! I was there a while and she brought me a meal and insisted I eat and drink to keep up my milk supply. God's mercy as I didn't eat again for a LONG time! This visit cost us SO MUCH MONEY!! Unlike the Oncology floor there aren't any refrigerators in the room so bringing food from home isn't optional. They give ONE meal voucher for lactating mothers, as if a nursing mother only needs to eat one meal. ( I wouldn't mind that so much except I KNOW how much they charge for the stay ( ended up being over $19,000 for 5 days, so adding meals for the nursing mama would have been great.

I wonder if I'm probably on some list somewhere. I requested a bed as opposed to a crib for Hezekiah as we co sleep. I heard the nurse say "tell her we aren't giving her a bed and having her roll over and kill her baby here on my watch" I told the other nurse " tell her I heard exactly what she said, I'm a nursing mom, I have 5 children all are alive, and what on EARTH did they do before the advent of cribs. People ALL OVER the world sleep with their babies and have for thousands of years." She got annoyed and went and got the head nurse who told me that "you can roll over on your baby and KILL HIM, it's against hospital policy and your not getting a bed." I reminded them that "I was here exactly 1 month ago today and slept with my child the entire time. I'm not a first time mom, I nurse my newborn every 30 minutes or so and am not getting up every half hour to nurse him, fed him, place back in a crib. (to me that seems dangerous to be an exhausted overtired mother)I told her the same that I told the 1st nurse and said look, my baby sleeps with me whether its in the chair, or the bed. A bed would be safer than us crammed in the tiny pull out chair. She told me, if I got the bed I could never shower or go to the restroom" I told her "thanks fine" ( I'd put him in the stroller" she rolled her eyes and in her most condescending tone, told me "FINE! I'm going to write it in your file that you are not complying and going against hospital policy, to which I replied that I'd gladly sign it! ;-)

I am not a first time mom, nor am I easily bullied and know what is best for my child. That doesn't include a mother that is crazy because she's so exhausted from lack of sleep getting up every half hour that her eyes are burning out of her skull! I was irritated to be there in the first place. We have never had a problem with co sleeping at any hospital, or even with Josiah (at the same hospital) a month earlier! Needless to say, I got my bed! Sorry for all the photos, I had NOTHING ELSE TO DO FOR FIVE DAYS!! I had a ton of milk as I am used to tandem nursing. I asked for this...(breast pump not a karoke machine) to this in one sitting... by golly I feel sort of bovine-ish.

Afterward they had a social worker or some hospital worker come and take down the names ages of my children! weird, and seems so very illegal. Not sure what they need that info for. Anyhoo, they kept us 5 long days before they let us go. It was actually kind of nightmarish. I was crabby, hungry, missed my kiddos, postpartum recovering. The funniest most torturous part is that there's nothing you can do while there except maybe watch TV. Only all they ever had playing were those irritating Disney shows where the teens dress like adults and talk about things not suitable for most children, underdog, Spanish TV and MICHAEL JACKSON on EVEY single station. EVERYDAY ALL DAY! This is the same kind of footage the World Trade Center Buildings got! OVER and OVER! Seriously, he's THAT important?

It was also pretty disgusting because every blanket or gown they brought me had hair on it. The bathrooms were pretty unclean, and the floors. If there's one place that SHOULD be clean, it should be the Hospital. I am still recuperating from all the germs and dirt and hair now that I'm home! I'm so twitchy and phobic from the whole ordeal. I think it was the floor I was on. When I was there a month ago, it wasn't that bad! I keep cleaning and washing as the CHOC adventure #2 was so gross. I'm not sure what the purpose was for our being there. I didn't get to share the Lord with anyone like before, the nurses may have seen tiny glimpses, but nothing that stood out to me, so not sure what God had for us there. Sanctification? the nurses? Rest ? I stopped feeling dizzy after my stay there. Anyhoo, I pray NEVER EVER to need to go to CHOC again. (other than for Josiah's check ups)
Wanna hear a funny joke? Knock Knock, Who's there, Guess why we paid to have a homebirth...Why? Well because I didn't want to spend all that precious time of the early days of being poked and prodded by nursing staff! hahaha guess what happened the whole time we were there? We were poked, prodded and woken up every hour to give antibiotics or to be asked "gee sorry to wake you AGAIN, how long did he nurse? which breast left or right, how many minutes total? When did he have a bowel movement, when did he last urinate? It's 3 am, you weren't sleeping were you? We just wanted to ask how long he nursed opps, time to check his vitals? ( why, i have no idea, he's hooked up monitored anyway, they can see them on the screen just fine!) The funny thing is on the VERY last day they drained his finger and it cleared up really well, enough to send us home. It would have been GREAT had they done that when we first got here. Here we are in this pic leaving CHOC yet again! This time Hezi is out of the womb. Isn't he cute? Farewell, goodbye, may we never meet again inside these walls!

Jun 23, 2009

Bone marrow biopsy CANCELLED!

Praise the Lord for what God has done! Your prayers are working! Right as we were ready to leave this morning, the doctor called to inform us that Josiah's numbers went up DRAMATICALLY!!!
His biopsy is no longer needed! We are so thankful! I honestly think it is the prayer, the homeopathic things we've tried, and... BREAST MILK!

My milk recently came in and he has been nursing up a storm. I think all the
wonderful nutrients in good ole fashioned mamas milk has been the cure for
what ails him. ;-) I used to always feel God' leading to do extended nursing with
each of my children, that if they got sick it would be a great source of comfort
for them, lo and behold it is true. God gives us everything we need. I've always
figured, if it was good enough for JESUS, Moses, Samuel and Isaac, it's good
enough for my kiddos. Thank you faithful saints. To God be the glory.
We go back next week, hopefully we will continue to see improvement!

Jun 22, 2009

Another Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy tomorrow/Please pray

Today Huatzin took Josiah in for labs! Hooray, daddy toughened up to do it. ( He is typically pretty squeamish) I would have but I am still feeling pretty weak, which is so unlike my other deliveries. This ole gray mare, she ain't what she used to be! ;-) lol. The bummer is that two doctors told him information about Josiah and the procedure that will be done, and results of other tests, and you know men are not big on details. ;-( I have been trying to pry the specifics out of him.

Basically they told him more of the same, that they are hoping it's a virus but that the Bone biopsy and aspiration will tell us if he has improved or gotten worse. They also said they are sending his new results to a "special" Specialist! Apparently he or she specializes in Aplastic Anemia and other blood related disorders. They must be really expert in their field, because from what I understand, CHOC already has 7 doctors that are trained in both oncology and hematology and 4 that are strictly hematology specialists that are looking over his file. Praise God we are here in the US and so near to CHOC and not in the bush somewhere. We count our blessings) I am positive we won't get the results back right away. It took days to get the other results back so I expect the same. I will take Josiah as I really want to be there for him.

Lord PLEASE do not let it come back Aplastic anemia. Lord you came for the sick and we ask you to heal Josiah and that the results would come back as just recovering from a virus. Regardless of what you choose for us, We ask that you'd be glorified in everything we do and that your glorious light would be reflected in every situation. Anyway, that's the update for now. When we have more info, we'll post it. Thank you for all of your love and support. I am so sorry I haven't been quick to thank you individually, but we are so encouraged by your kindness and concern for our family. Huatzin, & Alida, Canaan, Elijah, Anaiah, Josiah, Hezekiah Rodriguez

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

Jun 19, 2009

An Exhausted Mama/ A 9 pound baby!

Many people have asked how we are doing. We are fine. I will say this has been one of the hardest recoveries for me. The birth went fine, I labored peacefully. Pushing was very hard for me this time around. I don't know if it's all the stress or if I was emotionally tired from all that is going on, or not getting rest beforehand, but it was very hard.

This is a little embarrassing.. Afterward I tried to do too much too soon and passed out. I actually lost consciousness and couldn't stay awake. It was scary for me. I have never experienced that before. Recovery has been slow, I feel weak and light headed. Thankfully I can rest in my home in my bed without being disturbed they way I would be in a hospital. Huatzin has been amazing, of course. God blessed me with a WONDERFUL husband! I took Hezekiah to the doctor's yesterday and my midwife's scale if off. Hezekiah weigh 9lbs 3 oz. Babies don't gain right off the bat, so he was born 9'3! So that explains some of the difficulty! I couldn't believe I had such a hard time pushing out an 8 pounder! Come to find out he was a tad bigger. ;-) So, yet another similarity between the two boys. Both are born on the 17th, both were 9 lbs 3 oz. and both are good old testament kings. Both names have one of the meanings being " The Lord is my strength/Strength of the Lord. and hopefully, if needed they'll share the same cord blood. ;-) There you have it. Rodriguez Family trivia for you.

We are so in love with this new gorgeous babe. Nothing smells sweeter than a little snuggly sweet baby. Ahhhh God is so good. OK, I'm off to rest. Alida

Monday at CHOC/ our very LONG day (from 6/15/09)

Monday we went in at 10:00 am to get Josiah's labs done. I KNEW he'd need a transfusion. About a month or two before this whole thing happened we started getting really concerned. Josiah began to display behavior that we were actually praying over and seeking help for that we thought was mental illness. He would get really unreasonable and freak out and have huge meltdowns that were so different than that of anything our other children had ever done. Looking back now I think it's just that his body was so ill he would go into overload not knowing how to deal with feeling sick. I think of what his poor little body must have felt.. did he feel dizzy light headed? Did he have heart palpitations? He didn't know how to verbalize the icky way he felt. At the time we struggled with whether or not it was a discipline issue or mental illness. Now we know it was neither. Now we know the signs.

We knew he was going to need a transfusion as he started the meltdowns and irrational behavior again, got more bruising and started sleeping alot more than normal. I was annoyed because his white count was only 25,000 on Friday and they didn't call us in for platelets so we were concerned all weekend about how he would do. We left the hospital around 11:30 am. We received a phone call around 12:30 saying he needed to come in, this time for blood AND platelets as both were low. His platelets were 19,000. They should be much higher.

I was disappointed. I had hoped he was getting better. He isn't. That was hard to hear. I kept hoping this whole thing would be wrapped up before I delivered. The thought of going back to the hospital weekly with a toddler and newborn makes me so weary. The Doctor that we spoke with pointed out that some of the things we've noticed are due to him being ill. Josiah has a very tan little body but his face is really pale. That is caused by anemia. He also has developed a heart murmur that comes from not enough hemoglobin that carries oxygen to his body.

I took him back at 3. It put the numbing cream on him earlier but his arm was bruised from the earlier drawing so they had to put the IV in an unmedicated area. He was very sad about it, but they had a sweet child specialist come in and blew bubbles while he got the line put in. CHOC is so wonderful in that way. I felt so grateful that Josiah does so well. Especially when a little boy the same age as him came in and screamed for 30 minutes while they put his line in, took his temps etc. poor little guy. He had a brain tumor removed. :-( I'd scream too. God is so merciful. I'm not sure if my other children would fair so well. The nurses spoke about how fearless and brave he was. I am thankful we named him Josiah Valor. He lives up to his name. I became very overwhelmed. We were there for what seemed like forever. I started picturing in my mind and endless cycle of doing this week after week. I started feeling contractions and wanting to go home.

I was REALLLY hoping this baby would NOT come anytime soon. Not now anyway, maybe next week or better yet, the week after. Putting on the happy face for my little man. It's so easy to smile when I look at him. We left around 7:30pm. I called ahead and asked Huatzin to make dinner because I knew we'd get home late. I got home and he made grilled cheese sandwiches for the 3rd day in a row. My countenance fell.
:-) Called up my friend Tina and asked to go to dinner with me at an Indian Restaurant. We head out for some really yummy Indian food. ( no one else in my family eats it) All is well with the world. :-)
Sometimes God sends the brilliant light of a rainbow to remind us of His presence, lest we forget in our personal darkness His great and gracious promises to never leave us alone. -- Verdell Davis

What is it to serve God and to do His will? Nothing else than to show mercy to our neighbor. For it is our neighbor who needs our service; God in heaven needs it not. Martin Luther

God does not lead His children around hardship, but leads them straight through hardship. But He leads! And amidst the hardship, He is nearer to them than ever before.-- Otto Dibelius

Faith is not only a commitment to the promises of Christ; faith is also a commitment to the demands of Christ.-- William Barclay

We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another. -- William Law

Salvation is free, ... but discipleship will cost you your life.-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jun 18, 2009

Bartering with the Lord...

On Sunday at around 3 in the morning I awoke to a terrible dream about a family member and felt the Lord wanting me to get up and pray. I thought about the word of knowledge that I received from a sweet praying woman about how the Lord was going to start answering Salvation prayers for those we’ve been praying for, for years and opening up opportunities to share the gospel than I had been able to before. I started to intercede for the many people dealing with sickness addictions, and bondage to sin, the many with financial and health troubles. There is such peace that comes when you take your focus off your circumstances and pray for the needs of others and look to Jesus. Suddenly the impossible seems possible.

I heard the verse of giving thanks in every circumstance. It occurred to me that I had thanked God when Huatzin lost his job. I even thanked God when we ended up not getting the home we were about to close on, all those things seemed easy enough to trust in God’s leading and provision for. I felt a nudge saying “but you didn’t thank God for Josiah’s medical issues.” (Here it gets more personal; we tend to cling tightly to all things regarding our children) I have been feeling the struggle regarding that area and just could never bring myself to do it. How can I thank God for my little boy being ill? I heard the songs “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, his love endures forever.” I thought of the song “rejoice in the Lord always.” I thought of all the uncertainties of what lies ahead. Finally and very tearfully I got to the place when I could PRAISE and THANK the Lord for Josiah’s illness with sincerity and gratefulness, Knowing that He sees the WHOLE picture. Knowing also that He'd be near to help and lead me through any circumstance, no matter the difficulty.

I thought about how we make deals with the Lord. “Lord use my children, but please don’t let them”(fill in the blank) Oddly enough we were recently discussing the mother of the disciples that asks Jesus if her sons could sit on his right and left side in heaven. Jesus told her "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?" We all want incredible little beacons for Christ, but we don’t want the work, toil and pain that come with getting there.

A while back, I remember saying Lord please don’t let my children get sick and felt Him saying “but what if it’s for my good.” I said then Lord if it’s your will.” I said Lord please don’t let my children become orphaned or let me die before they are fully grown, and He said but what if it’s for my glory, and VERY reluctantly I said, Lord whatever it takes, but I don’t find that at all ideal! I said “Lord PLEASE keep my children from ever turning from you and living in sin,” once again He encouraged me just to trust that WHATEVER happens to my children , He’ll be there for them like he has been for me. He encouraged me to let this whole illusion of control that we think we have over our children’s lives go. He’ll do whatever it takes to form my children into His likeness and to use their precious lives the way He sees fit. That I shouldn’t try to make His will my will, that God is bigger than how I picture Him.

Isaiah 64:8 but now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand.

Isaiah 45:9 Woe unto him that strived with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioned it, what makes thou? Or thy work, He hath no hands?

He knows how this will all end; He is the author and finisher of my son’s faith. I don’t need to barter and beg and manipulate the Lord. (He sees through it all anyway) It was wonderful that this whole striving/surrendering all happened to prepare me for the very long day we’d have on Monday. ;-) Alida
The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is. Patrick Morley

Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee, O Lord. John Baillie

When God turns away from us because of selfishness, it is not rejection. Rather, it is an invitation to follow Him to a place we would rather not go. Brennan Manning

If ye keep watch over your hearts, and listen for the Voice of God and learn of Him, in one short hour ye can learn more from Him than ye could learn from Man in a thousand years. Johannes Tauler

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot

Jun 17, 2009

Our newest addition!

Hi Family and Friends,
The Rodriguez Family just gave birth to their newest addition to our little tribe... At 3:39 pm 6/17/09 to a
A beautiful bouncing baby BOY.

That is 4 mighty Knights of Valor and 1 Princess for the count. After many hours of labor, Our newest little manchild/arrow of our Quiver, joined us via waterbirth peacefully in our very own home.

We had an amazing midwife (Geeta) (from the Living Well Clinic) and our very own wonderful Brenda that was the nurse assistant. ( Her sister came all the way down from Long Beach to be our own personal phelmbotomist. THANK you! They were incredible and very patient. A special thanks to Le Leche League Leader and Doula Sue Christy for watching our children during the birth.

Hezekiah Lysias Rodriguez weighs 8 lb 11 oz (tiny for our family)
Hezekiah (nicknamed Hezeki) means The Lord is my Might and Strength. Also means He is the might and Strength of the Lord. Lysias means- One who has the power to set free. We pray that this little one will be used mightily by the Lord and that he will be used by God to set people free from bondage and sin into new life in Christ Jesus! I didn't feel ready to have this little guy, but he is a welcome addition. He is born the same day as Josiah, different month... the 17th. I thought it was so neat that his cord blood may be used to heal Josiah and he is born on the same day. Bless you all, THANK you all. Now a very exhausted mama and daddy are off to bed.

Jun 14, 2009

Another Doctor visit.

We went back to CHOC on Monday and they told us Josiah was low on platelets and blood, but not enough to get a transfusion and to come back on Friday. Friday's appointment went much smoother because they gave me a topical numbing cream to put on Josiah an hour before that numbs the site and makes needle work ( blood being drawn) less painful! I was VERY grateful and he didn't cry at all while getting his labs. I feel for people in countries where such care and treatment isn't available. Here Josiah is showing the cream and the plastic covering that holds it in place.

We waited all day to hear back from them. (it is hard to plan activities for our family as we never know if we'll get called in or not) Finally it got late and I called and asked what the results were. The nurse said his platelets were low ( only 25,000 but that the doctors didn't tell him to come in. We thought that was strange as when he was only 15,000 they said he needed to come in and that anything below 50,000 was too low. This led to a somewhat stressful weekend for us. He has been lacking in energy a bit and taking more naps. They also mentioned because his white count is low, he is easily susecptible to infections and to try to keep him from sick people. This is hard as I am not the mom that is paranoid about my child being exposed to illnesses. Generally, so long as it isn't someone vomiting we typically don't mind and I consider it building immunity to be exposed, but it's a little different now. Something in his blood, (sorry can't recall what) was only 550 and that if it drops to to under 500 then he could be ill. I feel silly for not remembering the specifics. ( pregnancy brain you know) I am not sure if him sleeping more is because he needs a transfusion, is a growth spurt or his body is just recovering.

Quite a few people have called me asking if we've had the baby and NO, no baby yet. Truthfully the thought of having a baby with all this going on sort of overwhelms me and doesn't sound pleasant. I know I can't be pregnant forever, but just a little longer is fine with me. :-) It's not that I don't trust the Lord to help us in our time of need, it's just that it's so much easier to have baby in than out. ;-) The thought of schlepping two kiddos to get labs and transfusions doesn't sound appealing to me. I do promise to post when baby does arrive, now whether the baby will have a name or not, I cannot guarantee. :-) Thank you for asking and praying.
There is no situation so chaotic that God cannot from that
situation, create something that is surpassingly good. He did it
at the creation. He did it at the cross. He is doing it today.
-- Handley C. G. Moule

Jun 11, 2009

New Update/Healing Josiah through diet and natural Methods? Holistic doctor? Email address change

Our email address has changed to please change in your address book, effective immediately.

Hello Friends,
Yesterday we went in to get labs for Josiah. He is such a great easy going kiddo. The nurses check his blood pressure and usually they get a bad reading on his arm so when he saw the monitor he immediately pulled up his little pant leg. He hands his arm over even though he knows they'll draw blood, he doesn't like it but he seems to sense that it is for his benefit, even though he sheds a few tears,
he obeys.. I pray he is as trusting in His walk with the LORD. We are often times asked by God to do things that we don't like and even that are painful but we know it's for our own good. He is SO sweet, friendly and the nurses and doctors are so smitten with his happy disposition and sweet personality.

He didn't need a transfusion, but he is low so we go back for testing again on Friday. Now every little fever or small bruise has me on alert and more prayerful and I have always been a very laid back mama. I did get to speak with a doctor. From what I understand, his cells/blood are aplastic but they hope it is just his body recovering from a virus. (so do we) They did mention something that gave me cause for concern. They will monitor him continuously until June 27th. if at that time his bone marrow doesn't heal and kick into gear, they'll give him another Bone Marrow Biopsy and Aspiration and likely diagnose him as having Apalstic Anemia.;-( From there we would begin treatments which include drugs and possibly bone marrow transplant. ;-(

We are PRAYING to the Lord Jesus that this is not the case and he is just recovering from a virus. This is actually the illness that one of the doctors said is worse than leukemia. Silver lining... God's timing for this is incredible. If this ends up being AA, He planned it all perfectly that I would be due at this time, that Josiah would get sick right before birth to warn us to bank the cord blood, and that Huatzin would be home to help me with the children.

We have been praying about Josiah's situation and really wanting to take a more proactive role in seeing our son healed. I have been looking into Hallelujah Acres , juicing, supplements, and other raw based nutritional type of things to try to heal my little boy. The doctors don't seem to know what is causing his platelets and blood cells to decrease or what is making it so that his body isn't producing all that it needs to, and I have until the 27th to try and kick start his marrow before more invasive and serious treatments. These are treatments we desperately want to avoid.

As I was praying about this, God recently provided funds for us via a GENEROUS gift by Vineyard Christian Community Church of La Habra that has allowed me to purchase items that will help me try to heal his body naturally. ( more on God's AMAZING provision next post! )

Can you please email me if you have information on healing through nutrition for toddler age children? I'd love to hear from families that have done this successfully. Please contact us if you have cured yourself or a family member with Aplastic Anemia or similar blood disorder naturally.

Also I was checking into holistic type doctors in or near Orange County. I am not quite sure what to look for. I am guessing I need someone that has experience with blood type /platelet disorders. If anyone has experience with dealing with or choosing Nautropathic/Holistic type doctors, can you please assist me? What is at
I should look for? What type of questions should I ask? I know quite a few that I have seen online seem to be rooted in New Age, evolution, and eastern medicine. I am trying to avoid new age type of treatments. Thank you so much for your prayer, support, advice, and encouragement. Love, Alida and the Rodriguez Family.

Jun 10, 2009

A way to help...

From a sweet friend/sister in the Lord Stacy. She asked me to post this.

As the news of Josiah began to spread to all of our friends, many emails and calls started happening. Everyone wanted to know how they could help. As I prayed and ask the Lord how we could help, this is what He continually put on my heart...go here to check it out :) The first and foremost way to help is pray and spread the word but if the Lord is leading you to help in another's one option :)
Blessings, stacy

Jun 5, 2009

Another Transfusion/ no results. ;-(

Yesterday was a day that didn't go as planned. we got the family up really early, dropped off the kids at a friends house,(Thanks Sue) went to the hospital to get what we thought were the results of Josiah's medical issues. I didn't sleep much that night as I kept tossing and turning anticipating the following day and being uncomfortable being so huge in pregnancy. I figured the Lord wanted me up and praying/ reading His word, so I did. I was really blessed over and over by
Psalm 94:17 Unless the LORD [had been] my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul."

When we got to the hospital, they wanted new blood work for Josiah and told us that no doctor was scheduled to see us or even there. We explained to them how we were told that we'd get the results for his illness. They mentioned they'd have someone call us. You should have seen Josiah's face when they took his blood. He didn't flinch at all but then turned and pointed to the needle looking confused as if to say "WHAT! i thought we were DONE with this!" It was pretty cute. After we left from picking up the kids they called us to go back as his platelets were low and he needed a transfusion.

Josiah was sleeping as we checked in so I BEGGED them to let me keep him sleeping in my sling while they put in the line for the transfusion. He stayed asleep for several minutes while they dug all around his veins but the couldn't get it in properly, (it was nauseating to watch) before he woke up pretty peeved with all of us! CHOC is very neat at all that they do to keep the children comfortable and happy. They had two volenteer dogs come in to say hi, which thrilled Josiah. They mentioned he has platelets of 16,000 not the original 15,000 and that normal is 100,000-150,000 so I'm thinking the original nurse must have been speaking of adults not children when she mentioned normal being 200,000.

I asked the doctor what they thought he had and they said he could just still be recovering. I asked if they ruled out Aplastic Anemia and they said no. They also mentioned maybe having to do another Bone Marrow Aspiration and biopsy. ;-( I honestly don't think they have a clue, or at least they aren't telling us until they know for certain, maybe for liability reasons? I'm guessing we'll be going back to CHOC for labs and transfusions every 5 days or so, until they figure out what's wrong... A sweet mama in one of my groups offered for me to have her father ( a doctor at UCI) give a second opinion. We are praying about it. I am starting to think we may be in this for a long haul. I got sort of down about it today as I started thinking about how this all is coming at our family at once. When will God help Huatzin get a job? Should we try to move to a smaller home in the meantime or stay put? Will I have to bring Josiah every week to the hospital for constant transfusions and testing all while holding him and a newborn? Will I have to constantly ask friends to watch my other 3 children while he gets treatment? Or bring them with? I reason that I need to not worry about tomorrow and take each moment by moment as it comes, sort of cross the bridge when we get to it...

I am feeling weary and need to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and not the circumstances because I get so overwhelmed when I look at the situation or try to figure out solutions on my own. God needs only to speak the Word and my baby would be healed and because He hasn't then the purpose he has for this has not yet been fulfilled. My happy little guy ( we call him Joyful Josiah) has been crying lately and I'm sure it's because he doesn't understand all that's going on and this is scary for him. It breaks my mama heart. It must break God's too. I don't even pray for the when of when everything should happen, Huatzin getting a job, giving birth, and answers for this health issue because I trust that His timing and plan is going to be better than mine and He sees the whole picture. Now it's just Help us to be in your will. Show us your will for us Lord. May His purposes prevail. Alida w4

I am always content with what happens; for I know that what God chooses is better than what I choose. -- Epictetus

I have held many things in my hands, and have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess. -- Martin Luther

I may no longer depend on pleasant impulses to bring me before the Lord. I must rather respond to principles I know to be right, whether I feel them to be enjoyable or not. -- Jim Elliot

The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us.-- Author Unknown

We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts. -- A. W. Tozer

Jun 4, 2009

URGENT! Please read- RE: Josiah Rodriguez

From my friend Erin at Erin Jones Photography! God has been so gracious to surround us with such caring compassionate friends! We are so blessed.
Please feel free to forward this to as many people as possible...
Hi Friends!
Many of you have been in a prayer loop/update for one of my best friends & her family, especially her 2 year old Josiah "JoJo".

Last week, Josiah was hospitalized with a sudden onset of an unexplained case of bruising all over his body, nose bleeds, vomiting & fever. He was immediately admitted into the care of the CHOC Oncology ward, who performed extensive tests for numerous known diseases, including Leukemia.
Although he has been in the care of the outstanding staff at CHOC, we sometimes learn that despite the amazing advances of medical technology these days, some things are still left undiagnosed or excused as a mysterious "virus."
They discharged Jojo on Monday, saying he appears healthy enough to go home, but still with no clear explanation or diagnosis of the symptoms.
A few options have been floating around as far as diseases go, "Aplastic Anemia" being one of them (for more information go here,) but they remain unclear, at least until Thursday, when they will have more test results.

In the meantime, Alida, (amazing mother of 4, including twins) is pregnant with their fifth baby, due this Friday.
To add fuel to flame, Huatzin (incredibly devoted husband/father to this quiver) has been laid off of a union job as a plumber.
As you can imagine, this has (and continues to be) a scary time in their lives.
This incredible family has had to face a hard decision to bank their unborn child's cord blood as a "life insurance" policy for their family. If the diagnosis for Jojo is in fact Aplastic Anemia, it is treatable with a cord blood transfusion! (For more information go here

Therefor, they has prayerfully decided this is the smartest decision for their family, but is in need of financial assistance...
The full cost of the Cord Blood program is $2195. Alida signed up during a special month and received a discount of $500 already! They need to raise only $1695 to offset the total remaining cost, but any amount they raise will help ease the financial burden.
If you are at all inclined, please read this message from Alida below (in RED) & feel free to donate ANY amount, even small donations will help immensely when added up! There is a link to make a minimum donation of $25 directly with Viacord Gift Registry on line with a credit card, however if you prefer to mail cash/check/money order or give an anonymous donation of any smaller incriments, make checks payable to Alida Rodriguez with "cord blood donation" in the memo section and mail to me:
Erin Hagemeister

I will collect all the donations & present them to her on Monday June 8, 2009...Thats only 5 days away!
Thank you & God Bless!

Cord Blood for Josiah!

We are thrilled about the upcoming birth of our baby.

As you know, we had quite a health scare with Josiah recently. After much prayer and deliberation, though we pray it isn't ever needed, we thought it wise to do cord blood preservation with Viacord. We believe this potentially life saving option is the right thing to do for our family.

Many of you have asked if you could bring us a meal or groceries, or help out in some way to support our family, and what our new baby needs. We already have everything needed for this new precious little one. We ask instead of a meal or baby items that if you feel led, (please do not feel obligated in any way)
we invite you to contribute to our Viacord account as a truly unique baby gift – one that could last a lifetime.

To view our announcement online or to make a contribution, click here.

Going back to the Hospital

We took Josiah to CHOC this morning for a blood test and were hopeful for the results from last weeks tests, but no results were given. I was relieved to have them draw more blood for Josiah as he has a couple of new tiny bruises. Not at all as big as the others, much more faint... We also got to drop off food for my old "roommate." Since starting treatment little Jasmine looks MUCH better, please continue to pray for her.

Well shortly after we left we were called and told that Josiah needs to come back ASAP to the hospital as he is once again low on platelets. I ASKED HOW MANY AND SHE MENTIONED 15, (I'm assuming she meant 15,000) I asked what is considered normal. She mentioned 150,000-200,000, but in his case, 50,000 is good.
We are going back at 1pm. So, once again we ask for prayer. We are standing in faith that he is going to be healed. He tested too low this morning, so something is going on, they just don't know exactly what. I am just thankful that it is outpatient. I am due tomorrow so I PRAY we don't have to be admitted. Thanks for reading this and praying.

Jun 1, 2009

We are HOME! Josiah's been released!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! We are so blessed! They FINALLY let us leave!!! We are HOME SWEET HOME!!!!!! They said they won't know for SURE until Thursday specifically what was or is wrong with him, but since he seems very energetic and healthy, that we might as well wait at home, especially with me being pregnant and due any day. They did confirm that it is not leukemia! PTL! Most of the kids we saw on oncology were very tired, seemed to be in pain, but Josiah has been very energetic from the get go. They gave us back all of the paperwork regarding leukemia that we signed. My son won't lose his beautiful curls!

Now here is the peculiar part... they think he may have the Epstein-Barr Virus ! One of the doctors seems certain, one of the doctors said maybe. I have no idea how EBV could make Josiah as ill as he was. My only concern is that it could be undiagnosed Aplastic anemia. Huatzin was a bit discouraged that we didn't get a clean bill of health for our son or know the cause. I am standing in faith that our boy is healed! We are still praying guidance regarding the cord blood. Apparently viacord will bank blood for free if a disease of some sort is diagnosed, but we don't yet have a diagnoses and Huatzin has been out of work for some time now. Please pray for work for IMMEDIATE work for him and all his co workers with families to support. I saw a prayer list and laughed. It had 3 different requests for our family. 1) for Huatzin’s job, one for our baby, and one for Josiah. I chuckled. When it rains it pours doesn't it! ;-)

Thank you so much for all the prayer and support. We hope to give more details Thursday. We are home so meals are no longer needed. THANK you to all who signed up and brought us meals or were going to! May the Lord himself repay for your kindness. I got to pray for our roommate and her daughter before we left. I left her Above Rubies Magazines, a book that had all three Stormie Omartian books, "Power of a praying parent, Power of a praying wife, and Power of a praying woman. I also gave her the "Prison to praise" which is about thanking God is every circumstance. I gave her a Message bible (I don't know if she's a believer or not) I also gave her “the Father's Love letter” to encourage her. I pray she reads them. I left my contact info and hope to be able to deliver occasional meals to her as I’m only 10 minutes from the hospital. Maybe watch her daughter while she showers. She lives over an hour away and family hasn't really come by often. We prayed for her and she seemed encouraged. I pray she and her family comes to Christ. I wish I would have done more the last couple days. Another mama was blessed by the Above Rubies magazines. The other mother I befriended had already left before I could pass out any books or pray with her. Please pray for Zoe, Jordan and Jasmine and their families. We pray healing, salvation through Christ, and God's peace, direction, provision, and wisdom. Thanks again for all that you've done. In Christ, our GLORIOUS REDEEMING Savior!

'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus"’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!


Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.


I could get lost in all of Your love for me
Your love and mercy is all that I need
Great is Your kindness, great are Your deeds
And when the world surrounds me, You’re all I see
Hold me in Your arms
Catch me when I fall
Hear me in my darkest hour
Your love flows like Water washing over me
Your love flows like Water washing over me

Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey goodbye! Our farewell photo at CHOC!

May 31, 2009

Josiah/Rodriguez Family update

Hi Precious Brethren in Christ,

I am finally visiting home for the first time in what seems like an eternity. I burst into tears walking into the familiar sights and smells of my home, taking a shower in my own bathroom! I've had friends that have had children hospitalized and my heart hurt for them and I prayed but really you have NO IDEA how it is until you are really there how hard it is! It is truly like another WORLD. There are many sick children (bald wearing masks, hooked up to machines), nurses coming in and out every hour to monitor, you wait for delayed tests, doctors, nurses, and results. It's dark as not much light comes through the windows, hours and days sort of blend into one another, you hear children crying when they get blood drawn, are getting treatment, at all hours of day and night. There is no routine. And not much to do, getting food, showering, and even going to the bathroom can be such a hassle. I can't describe it all, but it is so different. As bad as this is, I think of Haiti, Liberia India, Vietnam, and many other poor countries and how much WORSE it would be having a sick child there. I count my blessings and thank God that as awful as this is, he has us here in such a great hospital. How many mothers don’t have access to this type of care and watch their children perish.

When they first mentioned cancer I immediately recalled a friend Trish from Above Rubies (her son Josiah drowned and was revived, and perfectly restored to health) telling me when we named Josiah a comment about, well, just so you know one of the meanings of Josiah is "God has healed" and how MANY people named Josiah that have had trials, illness or accidents . Just don't be surprised....she said. My mind flashed back to that and I started thinking of the many people I've prayed for with cancer this year that were healed to glory and not here on earth. I cried and the Spirit reminded me to take every thought captive. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 Also felt God was telling me not to “worry about tomorrow” (the what if’s), Matthew 6:27 take it moment by moment, and Matt 6:34. And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? I had to remember that as much as I adore and love my son, God loves my son more than I do and that he isn't really MINE in the first place, that there is a plan and purpose for all of this. I was reminded that those that Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. I remembered that I had dedicated each of my children to the Lord to use for His purposes and that He knew the full scope of my son’s life and how each detail or situation is woven together for His glory. I had to lay my sweet little son on the alter and trust in God’s mercy and goodness. And His word, no matter the outcome.

God has been so good. The love and support that many have shown just astounds me. I wept tears of joy at all that has happened. We feel so taken care of by our Lord and by all of you! He is such a faithful father. He has provided in ways we didn't even think of. From the Meals have been coming for Huatzin and the kids. (Thanks so much) (I know this is so stressful for Huatzin trying to balance visits to the hospital, taking care of the kiddos, running the household, to still trying to find a job, the kids have gone with him to the hall to look for work) This has really been helpful. ALHomeschoolers brought over a huge basket of snacks for the kids and I, as food isn't always readily available at the hospital. Friends have provided childcare for my kiddos when we needed it, visits at the hospital, toys for Josiah to keep him busy, a fan as the AC doesn't work well in our room, prayers and verses both mailed and texted. Offers for doula help if I need to give birth to baby while Huatzin stays with Josiah. It is incredible! Truth be told, I have always felt a bit cheated by not having family but all of you have been brothers and sisters in Christ to us. I couldn't thank all of you if I tried! Praise report- apparently many of you are praying and have passed our situation on to many other prayer boards. People all over the country and the world are interceding for our little family! A nurse came up to me and asked if we attended CCEA church. I said no, why? She said “oh, we've been praying for your son!” She works on the same floor that we are on! You have no idea how encouraging that is. Several of you mentioned the Lord waking you up at 3am to pray for my boy, all at the same time! Other times in the middle of the night I feel overwhelmed with all that is going on and right then I’ll get a text from someone praying for us in the wee hours! My contractions have stopped for now, a real blessing.

I wanted to let everyone know. Your prayers are working. When we went in they seemed pretty certain that Josiah had Leukemia. They had us fill out paperwork about treatment for it and everything. Now, from what they can tell, it doesn't appear to be cancer. Though they want to make perfectly sure that is isn't Leukemia caught in its very early stages (which is still a possibility). We’ll know more tomorrow. They have mentioned various viruses that it could be... they also mentioned Aplastic anemia which the doctor mentioned is actually WORSE then Leukemia. Leukemia has a 90% recovery rate. so we are praying it isn’t that either although the symptoms are exactly what Josiah has. We may be able to leave as soon as tomorrow if all the lab work comes back clear and Josiah might just need occasional monitoring which is what we are praying for. A nurse told me that when we went in JoJo had 8000 ( I THINK it was platelets? ) I asked how many he had after the transfusion, they mentioned 80,000Yikes! So we are so glad we brought him in when we did.

Josiah has done wonderfully. He has charmed every nurse and doctor there. He lets them check him and loves talking to everyone and meeting all the new people. He is so special and sweet. I am amazed at what a great job he is doing! They say he makes their job so easy.

Yesterday they let me unhook Josiah and I took him outside on a small fenced off patch of grass in front of CHOC to get fresh air and sun. He hasn't been out in 4 days. He kicked around his beach ball and laughed and played. I read through the Psalms and felt God’s peace and presence. He stopped playing, got sad and cried. He sometimes doesn't know why or how to express himself and I guess all of the scariness caught up with him. We prayed to Jesus. He told me “mama I scared” and “mama please hold me.” I nursed him, held him and he fell asleep in my arms. I carried him back upstairs. Later on we stayed up really late reading bible stories, listening to worship music with my headphones, him on one ear, I on another and raising our hands and praising Jesus while eating ice chips ( a perk, hospitals have the BEST ice chips) It was a sweet time of fellowship.

Please pray that I can step out of all that is going on and encourage the mothers that I have met and spoken to here. Only God knows how long we'll be here so I pray we are light while here. One mother here has 3 children; TWO of those children are being treated for cancer at the same time! This morning our roommate was informed that her little girl Jasmine has cancer. I heard her crying. It is heartbreaking. A single mother has been here 9 months in the last year! Another mother with a 6 year old was admitted last week diagnosed with cancer. I am going to bring Above Rubies Magazines, Power of a praying parent and from Prison to praise to give to some. Please pray for boldness in sharing the gospel and the love of Christ. If anyone has extra copies of either book or something encouraging, please let me know. We are on a serious budget with Huatzin out of work, and I can’t afford to buy more copies to give out. But I feel there must be a purpose for us being here. Please also pray for wisdom in whether we should pursue banking the cord blood. It is VERY expensive, the doctor doesn't think it's necessary, but the timing seems perfect. Huatzin is hesitant. I'll go with what he decides, so I pray the Lord leads him. We ask for wisdom if it's needed, and time to order the kit for my midwife if we should. The Lord knows our needs and whether it'll be necessary or not. Thanks again, Alida, In Christ, our GLORIOUS REDEEMING SAVIOR!

Atheism-Pull the Plug

Unless someone care's

Unless someone care's

Compassion Verse

"Lifehouse Anything Skit"

Our Mighty Arrows

Our Mighty Arrows