Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Starbucks, "The Way I See It"

Starbucks has started a campaign to get people talking. "The Way I See It" is a collection of thoughts, opinions, expressions, all printed on the Starbucks cups. Some quotes come from notable figures, some from customers.

I belong to a board that I joined a year ago, back when we were trying to conceive. It's for folks who are going through infertility issues, and have been trying 6 months plus. There are a few of us who have moved on to adoption, others who are still facing treatments. It's interesting to see how and what people will do to build their family, as well as how they view others.

We are completely comfortable with the path our family is following. We know it is the right way for us. Unfortunately for some of the folks on the board, they think that a biological child is the only way to build a family. They become bitter when it's not happening for them, and when treatments don't work. They also judge others who are seeking alternatives to building their families.

Anyway, back to Starbucks. One of the girls and her husband recently went to Starbucks, and got one of the cups with the quotes on it. This is the quote that was on her husband's cup:

"The Way I See It #208
I wish couples who desperately take every means to concieve a child would realize that adoption is a wonderful alternative. A child who becomes your child through adoption completes a family. Just as when you commit to your spouse or partner there are no biological ties, yet a family was formed. This child enters a family the same way! It is not blood and flesh that form a family, but the heart.
--Michele Johnson
Starbucks customer
from amego, Kansas."

Wow, did that cause a ruckus on the board. Many of the people on the board said that she was being judgemental. They called for a boycott of Starbucks. They started a letter writing campaign to complain about the quote on the cup.

Well, wasn't that the whole purpose of the program? To initiate conversation? I think they did a good job in getting conversation to flow.

I honestly am not offended by the comment, I thought it was well written. From the way I read it, "Michelle" was stating that adoption is a wonderful option, as it is. She wasn't telling them to stop trying to concieve, or to stop their treatments. She was just stating her opinion.

I applaud Starbucks for starting this program, and hope that they don't drop it.


Barely Sane said...

I think that was a great quote!

Some people just take a longer time to come to the realisation that no matter HOW a child comes into your life, you will love them. What a shame that it had such a negative reaction on your board. The really sad part is there may have been someone leaning towards giving up on A.R.T. but now feels they'll be judged poorly. Very sad.

Lawfrog said...

Sounds to me like some of the women on that board are overly defensive. Adoption does not negate the choice to try and conceive naturally nor does TTC negate adoption.

It's funny how people always think the choice they are not making invalidates what they are doing. Everyone builds their family in a different way and there is nothing wrong with that.

Tracy said...

Wow - I did not take that comment offensively at all! I thought it was a great quote. Wow - some people are so overly defensive. Makes no sense why they were offended. Adoption IS a great way to build a family!

SuperMC said...

I completely agree with the sentiment on the cup, but I also think it is needlessly provocative. A very close friend of ours is working through a very harrowing doctor-assisted conception effort (so far not successful). Right or wrong, the last thing she needs when getting her morning coffee is to stumble into this. If she wanted an opinion, she would turn on the radio or read a blog. Have a heart.

deedub said...

“I wish couples who desperately take every means to conceive a child would realize that adoption is a wonderful alternative.”

If this part of Ms. Michelle’s little tidbit of wisdom was removed from the cup, I’m sure that none of us would take the time to disagree about her quote. Why was it necessary for her to lead off with that statement?

“Sounds to me like some of the women on that board are overly defensive. Adoption does not negate the choice to try and conceive naturally nor does TTC negate adoption.”

You’re correct; however, you use the word “naturally”. Most of the folks who are offended by her quote are not able to conceive naturally. We have to pay $10,000 or more just for one try, while the rest of the world gets to do it the fun way.

Have a heart and realize that infertility is something that many people have to battle with. Now we have some girl from Kansas passing judgment on us for our reproductive difficulties?

What’s most surprising is that Starbuck’s employees are given Adoption assistance, but not IF assistance. Go figure…

Demented M said...

That's great that you've moved on to adoption, but what snide commentary on people struggling with infertility. Wow.

The Starbuck cup is exclusionary. Adoption is a great option for everyone not just infertile people.

Nor is it appropriate to target a group based on a medical condition. Again, exclusionary and full of bias as well.

That is the issue that most of us have with the cup. It is another version of the trite 'just adopt' chorus we hear all the time.

The cup judges those of us who choose to pursue treatment as if we are doing something wrong. It implies our choices are wrong and worse, it does it on a national scale that perpetuates negative stereotypes of infertility.

And completely ignores the fact that any responsible adult, fertile or not, has a social obligation to the thousands of children who need a loving home.

That cup has missed the point completely and so have you.


Sara said...

For many of us infertiles who ARE open to the idea of adoption, pursuing technological solutions is simply much easier (logistically, emotionally, or financially) than adopting. For others, adoption is a really complex decision, due to e.g. issues within the extended family, their own experience as adoptees, etc. This cup is just one woman's opinion, and she's entitled to it, but I personally think that the first sentence undermines the rest of her message by making her come off as unimaginative and judgmental. I'm glad that she's happy with her decision, but I wish that she would consider the fact that adoption is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.