Happy Birthday, Baby L!

You were fearfully and wonderfully made by an amazing God who CHOSE to create you, sweet baby girl!
He designed the color of your hair, the shape of your toes, the dimples in your cheeks,
the length of your eyelashes, and the beautiful golden hue of your skin.
He made you uniquely YOU, and you are precious and valuable because you are a reflection of HIM!

It is hard to believe we have only known you for sixteen days, for it feels like you have always been a part of our family. Your smile has captured every Eastman heart and your energy, laugh, and over-the-top personality brings us much joy. Caleb cannot look at you without smiling and declaring, "Oh my goodness, Princess, you are so cute!" before he scoops you up in his arms and makes you laugh until you are out of breath. Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie literally fight over who gets to hold you, feed you, play with you during your bath, and sit next to you in the Thunder Bus. They cannot get enough of you, Miss L!
You still aren't sure about Micah and Luke, but they cannot look at you without smiling because they are taken in by your cuteness. And Mr. Eastman told you just yesterday how much he is going to miss you.

As for me, sweet baby, I am awed and overwhelmed by the love I feel for you after such a short time.
As I prayed for you yesterday, emotion overwhelming me at the thought of saying goodbye,
the Lord reminded me of our son Matthew. I never saw him smile, I never heard him laugh,
and I never felt his little arms around my neck. But he changed my life, forever.
Baby L, I have seen you smile. I have heard you laugh. I have felt your little arms around my neck
a hundred times. And you too, have changed me, forever.
We prayed the Lord would choose the right foster baby for our family. We prayed He would give me opportunities to minister to the mother of the baby. And then - He sent YOU!
You showed me that I can love someone else's child with as much passion and commitment as I love my own. You showed me that all of the training, the paperwork, the appointments, and every demand of the foster care system are absolutely worth it because those pieces are only a means to an end.
The end? Welcoming babies into our family, loving them, protecting them, providing for them, and caring for them until they get to go home. There is nothing that matters more than serving babies and their families who need healing, forgiveness, and grace because we all need healing, forgiveness, and grace.

You may not read this until you are fully grown, but no matter when you do I want you to remember the truth that you are valuable. You are precious. You MATTER. Not because of what you do or how you perform or how others perceive you. You are precious and valuable because you were created by a loving, faithful, gracious God who decided that this world would be better with you in it!
Seek Him, sweet one. Seek Him every day and never stop until You find Him. And when You do, respond to the offer of forgiveness and the free gift of eternal life by exclaiming, "Yes, Lord! I surrender all, and I will follow You all the days of my life!" For Baby L, you were not made for this world. You were created for eternity! My greatest prayer is that you will spend that eternity with the One who designed you, with joy, in the secret places of the earth before you were born.

❤ Happy 1st Birthday, little one! ❤
How thankful we are that the Lord chose to give you LIFE!
May you live it the way He intended. ABUNDANTLY!

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