Three Months of Loving and Learning!

Today marks the third month that we have had the privilege of caring for Baby E! ❤
And what a JOY it has been!

Rather than sharing my thoughts about these past months, I collected the thoughts of the other seven Eastmans by asking them the following question.
What are three things you have
- learned about yourself
- learned about foster care
- learned about sacrificing
- learned about serving
because we have Baby E in our home?

Their thoughtful responses encouraged and inspired me, and I hope they do the same for you!

- Caring for kids in the foster system not only invites you into the “why and what” of their lives but also requires you to ask “how” can I reflect the love of Jesus to serve them most effectively.
- Serving is never easy, cheap, or convenient, but it is ALWAYS necessary, and best when shared.
- Each family member has an opportunity to exercise their gifts toward Baby E in a way that is unique and impactful, but the common denominator is an attitude of willing service.

- A team effort is the only way to do foster care correctly.
- Sacrificing even the smallest bits of time to help out provides a huge blessing to the ones carrying the heaviest part of the load.
- Caring for Baby E has given me more patience and a kinder heart.

- I can always do more.
- Giving anything requires sacrifice. These kids need much, so we should sacrifice what we have.
- Service is the Gospel in action. Jesus served. We must serve.

- I discovered that I really like working with kids, especially little ones.
- I can't be a hypocrite. I can't tell others to serve if I'm not sacrificing in order to serve someone else.
- When it comes to foster care and taking care of children in foster care, no one can keep the boat floating by themselves … everyone has to do their part.

- Instead of thinking about myself I should think about others.
- While Baby E is with us I want him to have the best life until he can go home to his mom, so I need to serve him instead of myself.
- Taking care of babies has taught me to take care of what they need before doing what I want to do even though I really want to do it.

- Foster care is important because there are more kids than homes and the kids need a place to go.
-Taking care of babies is better than doing what I want to do because it is more fun, and I am serving someone else.
- Babies in foster care are just like every other baby. They are cute, fun to be with, they make you laugh, and they teach you something new about yourself.

-Taking care of babies is hard work.
- I learned that I have to stop doing what I want to do so I can take care of the baby by feeding him, changing him, or playing with him.
- I love Baby E because he makes me laugh, and I like feeding him because he copies all of the silly faces and sounds I make while I feed him.

Lord, make us a family that honors You by living out what You command, no matter the difficulty, the pain, the sorrow, or the sacrifice. Teach us to forget Self so we can serve one another willingly - and - with joy.
It is not natural, it is not easy, but it is right. We are learning how to serve, but we have far to travel to gain mastery. Day by day, Lord, teach us to surrender Self so we can be completely free to love and sacrifice for those You have placed in our care. Without You, we can do nothing. With You - anything is possible.

Let love be genuine.
Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honor.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:9-13

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