I love that quotation! It’s so true! Everyone grew up on fairy tales full of dangerous foes and arduous adventures. As a child I was always worried the hero would not make it. That the battle was too hard, enemy too strong, or mountain too high to climb. But in the end they always did.
That’s such a good moral of the story. That the good guy wins. Such an uplifting and happy thought. In the real world we know that that doesn’t always happen, but fairy tales tell us that it is possible, that fighting the dragon and winning is within the realm of possibilities. You may need to do thing different, work harder, get help, ect but it is possible.
The idea that dragons can be beaten is something that I have been reminding myself a lot lately. Things are hard.
Let me explain… In foster care adoption there are some huge freaking dragons breathing fire on our family all the time. The dragons of attachment, grief and loss, effects of numerous traumas, behavior, safety, expectations, relationships, differing levels of ability, different ideas on what the best thing to do is, ect. If you are a gamer you know the boss levels. The levels that you have to beat a very strong, very powerful enemy before you can advance in the game. You often die many times before finally being victorious and moving on. The dragons in my life now are like bosses in video games. Except that you don’t fight them one at a time. It’s like there is a boss of boss level where you must fight every boss in the game at the same time. Imagine that!! It would be insane. You would feel like you could never win! You may even get frustrated, throw the controller and quit. Imagine then that in this insane level the boss’s health and shields recharge at twice the speed of yours and their weapons do more damage. Imagine all of that in one crazy epic insane level. Then imagine having to play this level over and over again, and when you think you have beaten one (or more) of the bosses they simply come back stronger than ever.
That’s what life is like right now. I end the day drained to the core from fighting the dragons in our family and my children’s lives with every waking minute, yet when I get up the next morning the dragons are still there and just as strong (if not stronger) than they were the day before but I don’t feel like I am any stronger.
It would be tempting (and some days it is) to call it quits and throw the controller. But this is not a video game. This is my children’s lives. Every day Joel and I are fighting against every dragon trying to pull my kids back to the life they came from. Back into lack of safety and poor decisions. Trying to cancel out all the positivity and unconditional love Joel and I have spent every waking moment of the last year pouring into our kids. Every calm redo, every assisted choice, every late night. There are nights where I go to bed and feel confident. Like I have finally beating one dragon, only to wake up the next morning and see it rearing its ugly head again. Giving up is not an option. If the dragons win in real life you don’t just start the level over, lives are forever changed for the worse. So we keep getting up and fighting, even when we have no strength and feel like we aren’t doing anything positive anyway. Even when we didn’t sleep at all and kids are not making safe choices. Even when we argue and disagree about what to do. Even when the outside world doesn’t understand.
Fighting wears us down and we are so thankful to have people in our lives to help us refill our energy. People like our PCA who comes and watches the kids so Joel and I can take a walk and have a breather. People like amazing family friends and former foster/respite providers that will take the kids for a night or a weekend and give Joel and I a MUCH needed break. People like family that we can call and vent too without judgement.
But we have more in our corner than I remember most days. We have God. The God who placed these kids in THIS family for a reason. Who guided me through countless jobs and classes to prepare me for taking care of these kids. The God who formed both them and me in his image. The God who so wants to fight the dragons for us and with us if we only ask. I forgot all that for a bit and thought we were on our own. I felt more discouraged and defeated until I remembered that I have never been called to do this alone. Called to adopt, yes. Called to many things but always called to do these things WITH God. I’ll be honest, the dragons are still there. Even when I call on God to help and fight for me the dragons still rear their heads (sometimes even more so), I still get tired and defeated. But I seem to recharge quicker, I’m able to see the positives and areas of growth. God never promised us an easy and care free path. And when you are trying to change lives for the better it will definitely take more than everything you’ve got, but God will be there fighting for you too. I’m sure that I will forget this again sometime and have to come back to this post to remind me. But that is what this blog is for, to offer reminders and glimpses into what does and doesn’t work.
Everyone has a dragon in their life. An illness, relationship, situation, or event that they worry will overtake and beat them. Whatever your dragon is know that you can beat it, eventually and with lots of fighting, with God’s help.