Bonita Croyle (she/her) is a transracial adoptee, speaker, writer and legal communications professional. She routinely engages with interfaith communities and individuals on topics regarding racial justice and transracial adoption, and she also works to provide BIPOC farming communities with access to legal resources and education. Bonita is a graduate of Hesston (Kansas) College and Millersville (Pennsylvania) University and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and certificates in Human Rights and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She lives on the occupied land of the Susquehannock peoples in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and serves on both MC USA’s Women in Leadership Steering Committee and the Resolutions Committee.
I didn’t know much about Mother’s Day when I was six. I just knew that it was a day that would often include supervised card-making activities at church or school, during which I would find myself immersing my small hands in alarming shades of psychedelic finger paint with the sole task of creating a Mother’s Day refrigerator-worthy masterpiece.
And I would start forming stick figure characters with fixed smiles, holding hands underneath a rainbow. But I also knew when I was six that, as an adoptee with four years in foster care, I had complicated feelings about Mother’s Day. And no amount of finger paint, stick figures or rainbows could change that.
Perhaps some of you can relate.
Admittedly, as a 30 year old, I still don’t know much about Mother’s Day. And while I no longer make finger-paint cards, I have found that writing blessings — which I sometimes put on my refrigerator! — continues to be a helpful processing mechanism that allows me to take my now adult hands and immerse them in the practice of writing to the creator God about my continued complicated emotions.
In that spirit, I offer this Mother’s Day blessing for anyone who has felt complicated emotions around this holiday.
Boundless love and peace to those who are mourning a mother. May you experience a caring, loving community that will hold and uplift you. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those who mother those around you. May you experience the deep kindness and care you extend. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those who have painful relationships with their mother. May you experience loving, compassionate relationships and non-judgmental listening spaces. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those who do not know their mothers. May you experience soft and gentle friendships that will hold the deep, unrelenting grief with you. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those who may never know their mothers. May you experience unconditional love and grace as you journey and hold this unknown. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those who have mothers who can no longer remember them. May you experience deep, loving relationships that will hold you through this painful journey, and may your community speak your name even louder to you: Beloved, Beloved, Beloved. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those whom society demonizes and does not recognize as mothers. May you experience safety and be surrounded by co-conspirators that celebrate and protect you. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those who have experienced the loss of a child. May you experience the depths of God’s love and peace today and each day. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those who are raising children alone. May you experience a community that holds and uplifts you. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those who did the best with what they knew and are learning to know and understand new ways of parenting. May you experience an internal gracious fortitude to keep learning and gentle inner and outer voices that do not shame. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those who have not known safety or stability. May you be surrounded by a community that sees you, knows you, loves you and protects you. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those who have made difficult relational decisions in order to provide. May you experience kindness, merc, and deep grace. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to those with estranged relationships. May you experience healing, loving community and reconciliation. And may you find rest.
Boundless love and peace to anyone who journeys today with complicated feelings. To anyone that knows what it is like to contort themselves into a stick-figure with a fixed smile, praying for the promise that comes with the rainbow. May you experience the God that loves, knows and holds you, as you fingerpaint while muttering things like: “Are you there, God? This is complicated!” And may you find deep, gentle, rest.
MC USA’s Women in Leadership (WIL) works to dismantle patriarchal systems in Mennonite Church USA by empowering women to live out the call of God on their lives, increase their capacities, and contribute their wisdom in congregations, area conferences, agencies and institutions.
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