Not Ready, But Prepared

Kat Rowse

September 16, 2021
5 min read

I wasn’t ready. But I was prepared.

In January, 2019, I became a mom. My foster son, Xy, came to live with me after just two short months of preparation. In what felt like just a moment, I went from being a single, 25-year old girl living carefree, to a single, working mother of an 8-year-old. Never before had I experienced such a drastic change of seasons in my life. Yet time gives us the advantage of looking back, and as I reflect now on the radical shifts that took place both around me and within me, I can say with confidence that I wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything in the world.

My story is a bit unique. I didn’t know much about the foster care system before choosing to become a part of it. I didn’t plan on becoming a mother at that age—and definitely not while single. I met Xy the year before he became my son through our kids program at VOUS church. Xy was one of about ten children that were attending VOUS Kids from a group home specifically for children in foster care. The children had an amazing caretaker at the home who would pack up a van each Sunday and bring them to church.

I’ll never forget the days of serving with those kids. Each one of them stole my heart. Each one had a story of tragedy and pain, but at church, they got to just be kids. They would play, laugh, and most importantly, learn about Jesus. As I grew closer to each of them, I decided to buy them Bibles of their very own. I remember writing in Xy’s Bible, “God loves you so much.”

I grew closest to Xy because of our constant disciplinary hallway conversations. You see, Xy was not the most well-behaved and, more often than not, my role consisted of taking him into the hallway to sit for a moment and talk about why his behavior was not acceptable. I soon came to realize Xy was gifted and his constant attention-seeking was mainly a byproduct of boredom. I also came to learn that Xy had been living in his group home for over a year and before that had been “returned” from a previous foster family. My heart broke for this little boy and when he started asking people at church if they would adopt him, I couldn’t handle it any longer. I knew I needed to take action.

In October 2018 I reached out to the group home where Xy lived to see what information I could get about him. I told someone over the phone that I served at a church and was going to ask some couples if they would be willing to take Xy in. A few days later, I got a phone call that changed my life forever. The woman introduced herself as a foster agency rep and asked me if I would be willing to take licensing classes to become Xy’s foster mother. Immediately I responded with a hard “no,” stating that I was a single girl with a roommate. The woman replied kindly letting me know that I did not in fact need to be married to be a foster parent. It was in that moment that the Holy Spirit convicted me harder than any other conviction I’ve ever felt. I knew deep in my heart that in some way, somehow, I was going to foster Xy.

The only way I could explain my decision to people was through the story of Jonah. To this day I describe my conviction as being so strong that I felt as if I did not obey and take the foster licensing classes, it would be only a matter of time before I’d get swallowed up and spit out by a giant fish—and that I would then have to do it anyway. So, I decided to listen the first time and learn from Jonah’s mistake. I took the foster licensing classes, spoke to my roommate who moved to a studio apartment just a few floors above me, and Xy moved in for New Year's.

It all happened so fast, I barely had time to think it through. I just knew I was walking in obedience and felt a supernatural peace throughout the entire process. My conviction had drawn me closer to Jesus and even in the scary, uncertain moments, there was not a doubt in my mind I was where I was supposed to be. One obstacle after another was resolved and, within the first month of living together, Xy started calling me “mom.” Our bond grew stronger and I was learning to love sacrificially like never before.

The truth is, I wasn’t ready for that season, but I was prepared. Just years before, God had brought me to the city of Miami where I got plugged into the most incredible community. Their support made it possible for me to foster. Just a few months prior to taking in Xy, I had the privilege of leading a medical missions trip, where miracles took place. My faith had been stirred and I was ready to take whatever leap came next. Growing up, I was always a part of children’s ministry and as the oldest child of three, I learned how to care for children from a young age.

Little did I know that these events and countless more throughout my life had been preparing me for what would be a rollercoaster season. Xy lived with me for two years. I had been asked, and decided in my heart, to adopt him. But plans changed and, last August, he left my home to be reunited with his birth mother. It wasn’t an easy journey—from countless court visits, to therapy sessions, to desperate prayers of crying out to God—but I was prepared. My faith was never shaken. My confidence came from Christ alone. My soul was anchored by hope in Him.

Looking back, I now know that every moment of those two years was covered by the grace of God. I didn’t always handle things well, and I certainly was far from perfect as a mother, but I have peace knowing that the story isn’t over. My job is simply to obey and trust in the Holy Spirit to guide. I don’t know when I’ll see Xy again, but I do know that my role right now in his life is to be his constant prayer warrior. I cover that boy in prayers of protection, anointing, wisdom, favor, and so much more. He’s my boy and I’ll always love him.

Looking ahead, I know that no matter what any of us is called to, it’s beyond our comprehension and personal abilities. That’s what differentiates a calling from a career. We are called to take leaps of faith into unknown spaces and trust that He will carry us through. You may not feel ready but, if your foundation is set in Jesus, I promise you, friend—you are prepared.

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