An adoptive mother recently introduced us to a children’s book called There’s NO Such Thing as a Dragon.
“Billy Bixbee was rather surprised when he woke up one morning and found a dragon in his room. It was a small dragon, about the size of a kitten.”
Billy goes downstairs to tell his mother, but she insists that there’s no such thing as a dragon! Billy goes back to his room to get dressed and the dragon comes close to Billy wagging its tail. Billy doesn’t give the dragon any attention, because, if there is no such thing as a dragon, then it is silly to pay any attention to it. As the story progresses, the dragon continues to grow larger and follow Billy around wherever he goes, all the while growing at a rapid pace. The mother insists the dragon does not exist, but has to make accommodations to clean the house around the dragon because it has grown so large that there is nowhere in the house the dragon isn’t. The dragon eventually outgrows the house and when it takes off running down the street, it takes the entire house, Billy and his mother included, along with it. When Billy’s dad comes home, he of course notices that the house is gone. He immediately goes looking for it and when he finally finds it, he has to climb over the dragon’s head to make a way into his own home. He asks Billy and his mother what happened and Billy says, “It was the dragon.” His mother starts to say “There’s no such thing….” but Billy interjects and says, “There IS a dragon! A very BIG dragon!” Billy then pats the dragon on the head and even faster than it had grown, the dragon shrinks down to the size of a kitten again. The end of the story reads…
“I don’t mind dragons THIS size,” said Mother.
“Why did it have to grow so BIG?”
“I’m not sure,” said Billy, “but I think it just wanted to be noticed.”
You can probably infer the symbolism here – the dragon in Billy’s room represents our struggle while the rapid growth of the dragon is our shame. Shame grows as a result of our ongoing struggles. Sometimes, shame can knock us down hard enough to trick us to believe that we will never overcome our pain. By acknowledging our shame and sharing our stories with one another, we can begin to experience freedom, healing and victory.
That said, BraveLove’s hope is that by recognizing the bravery and love that motivates women to place, the shame of “giving up a baby for adoption” will be erased. BraveLove exists to change the perception of adoption through honest, informative, and hopeful communication conveying the courage of birth moms.