Saturday, May 10, 2008

Apology Accepted!

Somehow, when I posted a couple days ago about the contest over at the Today Show, in partnership with Teleflora, I missed the breadth of the controversy into which I was jumping. I admit, when I read the description of the "NonMom" Mom category, I was slightly miffed. (This controversial description is laid out in my Thursday post.) I mean, I know I'm a mom because I gave birth to these four who are mine for now. And I know that my pending adoption will only enlarge and enhance my definition of "Mom." What I missed, amidst my tears and total sap-reaction to the moms featured in this awesome category, was that they were lumping adoptive moms into the "NonMom" Mom category. Well, I didn't really miss it, but I was willing to overlook it for my own purposes. Because I loved the way that they (NBC and Teleflora) were choosing to honor these moms from all different walks of life, I assumed it was purely a lack of education about the issues surrounding adoption.

What I didn't know is that this "NonMom" Mom category had been ruffling a LOT of feathers for a couple of days. (I'm pretty clueless about most of these controversies and other world events lately!) But after a couple commenters left their thoughts on my Thursday post and I spent a couple minutes of down-time investigating the whole issue, I slowly began to realize that I jumped headlong into a boiling cauldron of hurt feelings, irritation, and anger at the lack of sensitivity expressed by the contest organizers. Several blogs and adoption boards were lit up with well-thought out comments on this topic. Several of these same sources had horrible, derogatory and mean-spirited comments flaming the powers-that-be at NBC and Teleflora. I waded through it all, and at the encouragement of my new blogging friend over at Happy In The Moment and some of her commenters, I crafted a polite and considerate email to send to NBC and to Teleflora. I got a standard, canned response from NBC, owing to the huge volume of emails that they receive. But I also got two beautiful apologies: one from Teleflora and one from Edelman, the PR group that has been working with Teleflora for this contest. Here is an excerpt from the apology on behalf of the Edelman group:

After closer examination, Teleflora recognized how this may have been offensive to moms who have adopted children… moms who are indeed real moms in every sense of the word. This show of insensitivity was in no way intended and Teleflora offers its deepest apology. It was always Teleflora’s intent to salute and celebrate all moms.

Please know that in response the concerns expressed, Teleflora immediately changed the name of the “Non-Mom” category to “Adopting Moms,” which has already been posted on the “semi-finalist” page at www.AmericasFavoriteMom.com.

I thought you might want to know. On behalf of Teleflora, I hope you have a very happy Mother’s Day.

And from Teleflora themselves, edited to avoid repetition:
In response to your concerns, Teleflora is immediately changing the name of our "Non-Mom" category to "Adopting Moms." After closer examination, we can see how this may have been offensive to moms who have adopted children -- moms who are indeed real moms to their children in every sense of the word. In fact, many of us at Teleflora are "adopting" parents ourselves, including our president and owner. The essence of this category still focuses on a grandparent, neighbor, step mom, or mom to adopted or foster children, each one raising and loving a child.

In closing, all of us at Teleflora would like to offer our sincerest best wishes to all the many women throughout the world who have worked so hard and given so much to earn the name "Mom."
I am happy to report that the boards and the blogs are all lit up now with gratitude for these apologies. I recognize that each of these organizations probably worked extra hours away from their own families to craft these responses and control the damage that was unleashed. I'm sure many of you are working moms, and I want to say thank you for the efforts that you have all put forth toward righting this offense. Your efforts are not in vain. Your apologies are accepted, and I am very grateful that you heard us and understood our thoughts and feelings. Thank you, Teleflora, Edelman and NBC.

I feel better now, don't you?

6 comments:

Kateri said...

Oh my gosh, T, how wonderful is that! I am so glad that we were heard and they did something about it. They could have easily said they were sorry but let it air as is. I am very impressed and feel so much better. I was just getting ready to write something about it on my blog when I double checked yours. So glad that I did. I wrote Marie Osmond last night (as she has 5 adopted children)but never had a chance to write NBC. Thank you for speaking for all of us in the wonderful way that you do. I have no doubt that your email was so much better than anything that I could have ever written! Thank you, T. You're the best. And thank you to Teleflora and NBC. I also accept your apologies!!
Kateri
www.thefiveofus.typepad.com

Heidi @ GGIP said...

Well I totally missed the entire controversy.

Salzwedel Family said...

I'm so glad they changed it! I can't believe with all the writers that worked on this that no one thought this might irritate adoptive parents.

Classic MaMa said...

The 25?!! That's the one weekend we won't be at church. You have to be kidding!Oh I am so bummed.

Mervy said...

Ok. So a little controversy is not always bad. I'm glad that they were humble enough to change the category.

WherestheBox said...

I guess I didn't really pay that much attention to the category, especially when the first one was a woman who was working in an orphanage. I am glad they responded so well when it was pointed out to them.

BTW, thanks for the author recommendation!