Love Is On The Line – Tracie Loux


UPDATE 2/22/16: Priceline official statement:
 
“In light of recent conversations surrounding priceline.com’s Baby ad, we’d like to clarify that we certainly didn’t mean to offend. At priceline.com, we are committed to being there for our customers, no matter what life journey they are on. The humorous scenarios depicted in our new advertising campaign are not meant to reflect reality. We took a comedic approach to dramatize the “go/no go” travel decision moments many of our customers face daily. Based on your feedback, we have decided to pause the use of the Baby ad to evaluate messaging. Thank you for reaching out to us.
 
Rest assured that we have heard your concerns about the message and content of this ad and we are taking them seriously.”
 
As of Sunday night (2/21/16), Priceline’s distasteful adoption ad will no longer be playing on TV networks or digital streaming channels.  We have chosen to allow the following open letter to Priceline to remain on our website not to defame Priceline, but rather as a tribute to their rapid response to the adoption community’s concerns, and as a reminder to the adoption community that we have a powerful voice.

 

Dear Priceline,

I’d like to introduce myself. I am a mother of 7 beautiful children, 4 of whom joined our family through adoption. I am an adoption advocate and educator and have worked with hundreds of families to coach them on their adoption journeys. I’m not easily offended. I’ve learned to have tough skin over the years. But this!! This just sent me over the edge.

I am stunned that people actually sat around a table in some marketing meeting and thought that making a mockery of adoption would be a great way to promote your company. If you were trying to reach out and offer your services to the adoption community, you have sorely failed. I can assure you, no one will be utilizing your services anytime soon.

Let me tell you a little bit about what is really “on the line” when couples pursue adoption both international and domestic. Adoption is a labour of love, not an act of conveniently adding a child to a family. Though much goes into the matching and selection process, there is a whole lot of blind faith and unconditional love that goes into it as well.

Families put their HEARTS “on the line,” Priceline. How dare you mock that?

And guess what sometimes it’s hard. It’s really really hard.

Sometimes things don’t work out the way they were planned.

I’ve seen heart broken families come home empty handed when things out of their control changed. Countries shut their doors after children met their parents and were told “We’re coming back for you.” Those families are still grieving.

Matches with expectant mothers don’t always go as anticipated, and I’ve seen prospective adoptive couples fly home empty handed with hearts that needed time to heal and even begin to hope for the “next time.”

And you know the child featured in your advertisement? I know families that have had to make the decision to come home empty handed in situations like that and they were not “relieved”, no Priceline, they were devastated when they realized they weren’t able to meet that child’s needs. They felt like failures. They were broken hearted.

Yet I know hundreds and hundreds of families who have said yes to love in spite of the unexpected, in spite of the unknowns, in spite of how hard it would be, in spite of feeling overwhelmed and unsure that they would be “good enough”, and I’ve watched them take the hard road of loving a broken child back to life with a love that is bigger than most people have ever experienced.

These are two of my children. We took two international flights, spent nearly two months living in a foreign country so that they could be part of our family. We faced many unknowns and were met with unexpected challenges. We were overwhelmed and unsure, we doubted our abilities some days. But we chose to love, there was too much “on the line.”

We flew home with them on a grueling 19 hour flight where they slept for only 45 minutes. They were terrified, they were sick, and they’d never been outside the orphanage walls. We’re pretty grateful for travel services that supported us and offered flexibility with our ever changing travel plans. We didn’t use your services.

Eastern Europe 2009

I’m wish I would have been in your marketing meet that day, Priceline. I would have stopped you. I would have set you straight, and I would have given you another slant. One that would have spread a much more powerful message.

What’s really on the line here, Priceline?

There are babies “on the line.” Beautiful children that need forever families. What a message you could have sent to the world, what a beautiful service you could have offered thousands of families on their journey of love.

Love is “on the line”.

And you dropped the ball.

Our Family- 2014, four adoptions later, crazy and full of love

Reproduced with permission and many thanks from tracieloux.wordpress.com.