“Do it single are three words I have been reflecting on lately.
So often in life we think we must wait. Wait to follow our dreams. Wait until things in our life are less busy or less messy.
Maybe we are waiting for a bigger house, a little more money in our bank account, a little more time or experience, or, in my case, waiting for our future spouse.
Some of you may have read my story a couple years back about me becoming a single foster mom to twin boys.
In 2019 when I got my foster care license, I knew I could no longer wait for anything or anyone to do what I felt so strongly called to do. To ‘do it single’ and jump into the foster care world as a single 26-year-old.
I had no idea what would be in store for me these last five years, but man I’m so thankful I did not wait. In 2019, I would never in my wildest dreams or prayers know this is what my life would look like today.
And spoiler alert, I’m now married to my husband and have a daughter in addition to fostering and fighting for our now foster son(s).
When I was first going through my foster care classes, to no shock of my own, I had plenty of people ask me, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’
Loved ones were concerned I was giving up my freedom, or concerned I wasn’t going to be able to meet someone if I was fostering.
They knew my heart for wanting to be married eventually and a lot of them prayed I would meet the right person one day. But during the waiting for my person, I felt like I wasn’t fulfilling all that I was called to do in my singleness because of this idea that I’m ‘supposed to wait.’
After all, it’s the ‘normal’ thing to do, right? But one thing I have learned in my 30 years of life is that anyone I have admired or looked up to has always been the furthest thing from ‘normal.’
Since sharing my story a couple years back as a single foster mom, I have had so many wonderful single women reach out and say the following:
How’d you do it?
I would love to do it, but my family doesn’t support it.
I’m scared I can’t do it on my own.
These same single women reaching out to me with these concerns and thoughts were just like me. I’m so thankful for the women who stepped in the gap before me and decided to ‘do it single’ in the foster care world.
Because of them and their encouragement, I felt that last push of confidence to say ‘YES’ to my dreams.
SO, I DID IT SINGLE.
The last almost 5 years have truly been a whirlwind. I have experienced more heartbreak than I knew possible, a lot of unknowns, and a lot of questions of ‘why.’
I have seen and experienced trauma. I have seen addiction, I have seen abuse, and I have been on the bathroom floor crying so hard I felt like I was never going to be able to get up.
Truth is, if I had a crystal ball and saw all the pain I would experience, I probably wouldn’t have said yes. But I’m so thankful I did not! Because I would have missed all of this…
I would have missed the joy of experiencing for the first time what it felt like to love unconditionally as a mother.
I would have missed raising my twin boys for almost 2 years and giving them a safe space to call home. I would have missed their sweet giggles and cuddles.
I would have missed having the opportunity to love these kids’ biological parents. I would have missed taking their biological dad to church and hearing all that he went through as a kid and praying over him for healing.
I would have missed my eyes being open to how much brokenness is right in my city. And how we are called to love those struggling.
I would have missed being humbled to find I am no better than others. That trauma and loss and pain does not make me safe from handling my emotions and pain poorly, or that I have been given the same grace these families have.
I would have missed amazing friendships full of grace, forgiveness, and hard conversations in this foster care world.
I would have missed seeing my loved one’s hearts being changed and how they also have fallen in love with these children and continue to support and love and be there for me and our family during the hard times.
I would have missed seeing the twins I once fostered be adopted by my friends who had their older brother and adopted them all together after 3 years of fighting for them and their safety. And today seeing all our kids have friendships with each other and still being able to have a huge part in the twins’ life.
I would have missed meeting the love of my life. I would have missed meeting my 10-year-old daughter through my marriage who was craving a mom figure in her life after losing her biological mom at 4 years old.
I would have missed my husband’s heart opening up to foster care and seeing him now fight alongside me for these precious children’s lives.
We would have missed our now foster son’s J & D who are biological brothers. They were in separate homes before they came and lived with us almost 8 months ago. And now they get to sleep in the same bedroom together.
We would have missed seeing our 10-year-old daughter grow so much from being an only child and through loss, to embracing her now foster brothers. Today they play Legos together, enjoy sleepovers in the loft, and our 2 youngest say they want to be just like their ‘big sister.’
We would have missed all that God is doing in our family of 5 now. We would have missed this ministry as a married couple if I didn’t ‘do it single.’
We would have missed the healing in the hard.
We know our life is not normal. It is not easy and quite frankly there are days we wish it was easy. There’s many days we still fail, but as we lay our heads down at night, we thank God for the hard and know we would not change a thing.
So, to all my singles out there, your story may not look like mine. It may not be like ours. Your calling does not have to be foster care. Whatever passion or calling you feel like you must wait for because you are single, know God does some remarkable things when we say yes in the waiting.
We are meant for so much more in this life. We are meant for the uncomfortable.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lauren Gavin of Jacksonville, Florida. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Have a story of love, kindness, healing, or overcoming to share? Visit our submissions portal to submit today.
Read more stories like this:
Do you know someone who could benefit from reading this? SHARE this story on social media with family and friends.