Here is the problem with becoming a parent, if you waited until you were even 99% ready to raise a child to legal age, you'd never be ready.
I had a girlfriend back in the nineties who had a phrase she liked a lot: "fake it 'til you make it". She applied to almost any situation, mostly because she was one of those people who liked to jump in and have adventures. Me, I'm not so adventurous, and it's where we clashed, I like the feel of ground under my feet.
However, just because I'm not particularly good at living my life by those words, I still think there is some deep wisdom in doing just that. There are occasions when you can try all you want, and still fail, oddly enough, the tale of Ben Franklin and humility comes to mind ... he just didn't have it in him. Most of the time, however, you can get yourself where you want to go. I really have no clue how to be happy, unfortunately I lost the instruction book to myself, but I know it's what I want to be, and most of the time I manage to get a smile on my face or a have good laugh. Those people who knew me earlier in my life as a gloomy, mean spirited boy would find it hard to believe how peaceful I have become ... just ask my brothers who I recently saw for the first time in a decade and a half, they had no idea what to think. I have a long way to go still, but at least I can conceptualize now what it is like to be kind to someone else.
You can argue about the sincerity of my actions if all I am doing is faking it, I've heard it before, and I understand the point people are trying to make. However, if you dive in below the surface, and you see how much I desire to live a life worth living, then I'm unsure how you argue with what gets you there. A priest once told me "Intentions count to God." He said. "If you are angry with someone, tell God, 'Lord, I know I'm not sincere, but I would like you to bless ________ the same way you've blessed me." His point was that in time, whether you meant it at all when you first said it or not, it becomes your reality. I know I have at least two friends who dislikes the prayer of St. Francis, but the first line is all about living a changed life "Lord, MAKE me an instrument of your peace..."
So maybe you'll see me from time to time with a forced smile. Maybe I'll be gossiping when I could be looking to help. Regardless of what is on the surface, regardless of what you think I'm faking, with God's help, I'll be making it true. I have a deep and intentional love for all of God's creation ... including you.