Did Toyota Fumble the Ball with its Adoption-themed Super Bowl Ad?

Adoptionland social media sites have been ablaze with comments following Toyota’s Super Bowl advertisement featuring Paralympic swimming multi-gold and silver medalist Jessica Long, who was adopted from a Siberian orphanage with a congenital condition called fibular hemimelia in her lower legs that would require amputation of both limbs and fitting for prostheses at 18 months old.


The piece opens with a striking image of Jessica floating in water, with partial limbs in full view. In a graphically gorgeous sequence, she swims through a pictorial slideshow of her life, as her adoptive mother recounts the phone call in which she learned from an unidentified go-between, presumably an agency social worker, that “We found a baby girl for your adoption.” Her mother’s heartstring-plucking response is the stuff that inspires Hallmark Channel movies.

The ad ends with the words, “We believe that hope and strength lie in all of us.” And Toyota mentions that it is a proud sponsor of the US Olympic Team.





What’s not to love about a beautiful story of overcoming adversity, aided by loving parents, and excelling in an environment in which one’s physical challenges are all but irrelevant?