March 20th, 2009
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Categories: Random Thoughts

I work for a software company that makes “print creativity software”, including a popular greeting card title. When I first found out I’d be writing the documentation for the title, I was excited. I mean, this was software that people actually use, and that I had always wanted to buy. I installed the new software and went immediately to choose my first project. I searched for the word “adopt”, and found about six cards. Not great, but not bad.

Then I opened one.

“Congratulations on your new addition”, the front panel read.

OK.

I clicked on the inside panel. “And this time, the stork didn’t miss.”

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Yikes!

I went into full-on freak-out mode. I was thinking of a close friend, who had had four miscarriages before having her little boy. I thought of my own son, and thought “Was the stork supposed to have missed by making S pregnant?”. I couldn’t see how any reasonable human being would think that card was a good idea. Even my manager, an older gentleman, was shocked by the “sentiment”.

So I emailed a couple of the managers and freaked out to them. Not really the way to make a first impression, I suppose. I did succeed in getting the card removed, but not before I garnered a reputation.

I still look for adoption-related designs in our products. Most of them are really about adopting babies, and most of those babies are white. One card does feature a little black baby (in blue, but you can change the clothing color). I was happy to find two cards that kind of address older child adoption, but both of those cards feature white families.

When Jack was born, we received hundreds of well-wishes, including dozens of greeting cards. Almost all of the cards were generic (but oh-so-adorable!) baby cards. We received four adoption cards.

My two favorites read:

“A home where a child is welcomed and loved is the happiest home anywhere.”*

and,

“Life has given to you the beautiful gift of a precious child to love, and to your child it has given the gift of a forever family.”**

More and more online resources provide adoption-themed greeting cards. There are specialty services, such as Mandy’s Moon and Adoption Day Cards. The eCard sending sites have a decent variety as well. The first of my favorite cards can be found at Blue Mountain, which currently lists nine adoption cards.

However, you can’t find many pre-printed adoption cards in stores. The only way to get them into stores is to ask for them. I encourage you and your friends to do so. We need adoption-themed greeting cards to express the sentiments we actually feel, instead of the ones that seem like a good idea at two in the morning.

* by American Greetings
** by Giftcard Messages

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