Monday, February 4, 2008

The Gladney Caregivers

For all you adoption-blog fans out there, I'm sure you've noticed here and there the pictures of the wonderful women who work at the Gladney foster home. These women are remarkable. For one thing, they are all drop-dead gorgeous. For another, you can tell by their facial expressions that they adore these children in their care. I've heard so many parents say that one of the most difficult parts of the trip to Ethiopia was watching these ladies say goodbye to the children they'd grown so attached to. Some of these ladies continue to ask about certain children and even send gifts to them after the children have gone home to their families.

Through this stressful period, there have been two things I have not even once worried about. The first is the competence and dedication of the Gladney staff. The second is the care that Abenezer is getting right now in the Gladney home. Another adoptive mom told me a while back that when she took their child the first day from the Gladney home to the guest house where they were staying, she felt a little guilty. What a gift to know these children are being taken care of so wonderfully!

In that batch of photos we got last week of Baby A, I was struck by the kind face of one particular lady who always seemed to be holding Abenezer, tickling him, cajoling a mile out of him, or simply looking at him adoringly. Who is this lady and what can I ever do to repay her for the attention and love she has been giving to this boy we hope will be the next Rooney?

Well, I know that nothing could ever be truly enough, but small tokens of thanks that are appreciated by these ladies are cosmetics, especially lotions from Bath and Body Works. So here's what I did this morning. It was quite an experience.

I made little cards with my name, email address, blog address, and phone number and took off to my personal hell-on-earth: the mall. I was asking for free cosmetics. I started at the Macy's fragrance counter and made my way to Bath and Body Works, the Body Shop, Gap Body, and finally the Nordstrom's counter. At Macy's they gave me the phone number of a manager who was out today. The manager of Bath and Body was the friendliest but they didn't have any samples to give me. She said she'd call me if they got some. I think I believe her too.

I could tell the nice folks at Gap were freaking out a little, wondering how to navigate corporate policy to be able to give me a few samples. The friendly manager ended up giving me a corporate phone number. I'm not too hopeful for success with that one.

Nordstroms was an afterthought. When I finally got the manager's attention, she furrowed her eyebrows oh-so disapprovingly at me and was not at all interested in my cute little contact info card. She listened to my spiel, sizing me up the whole time, and grudgingly walked off saying she'd see what she had. She came back with a bag chock-full of perfume samples! And I don't mean those chintzy magazine inserts--I mean those small glass sprays that can actually last a while.

And then Lady Curmudgeon Perfume-counter Manager with a Heart of Gold gave me a great idea. Once a year, she organizes a party where she invites all her buddies to go through their cosmetics and collect all their unopened "free gift with purchase" items or any other unopened item like lotions, perfumes, body sprays, etc. They have their party and donate all they collected to local womens' shelters. What an awesome idea!

So I may try to get it together enough to do this in Portland, but since a lot of us are so spread out, I'm asking here if any of you with unopened "free gift with purchase" items like this you have laying around your house would be willing to mail them to me to bless these lovely lovely women who love these children. You could even organize your own get-together to collect your friends' stuff! I promise to take photos of what you send and post them here as proof that I'm not keeping it all for myself :)

I put our email address on our sidebar. If you are interested in participating, please send me an email and I can let you know how to get stuff to us.
Thanks so much everyone who wrote encouraging comments yesterday. Today feels better somehow. Mary told us this morning that the court has received all our documents and that the Gladney reps are to appear in court on February 11th to find out if any more information is needed before an official court date is set. Yes, it feels slow, but I'm at least happy to know that things are moving.

So, no official court date yet, but at least a preliminary one. That's something, right?


Jocelyn said...

YAY!!!! A preliminary court date!! I am so happy, I gasped! I am going to see if I have any makeup, doubtful as I buy mine at Wal-mart or the dollar store:-) Yes, I am so goes with my box of wine though:-)

Lori said...

Yeah, I hardly ever have these "free gift with purchase" items either, as I buy all my cosmetics from Target, but Ted splurged this year for my birthday and got me a box set of Lovely, which has a free sample of Covet with it.

mama becca said...

Great post Lori! I'm trying to gather stuff too. I have no money to buy anything that has a free gift... I too am a drug store girl :). But I'll ask my mom... we'll see what she comes up with. Maybe I'll do this too, from over here on the east coast and bring stuff when we go (please God soon).
(oh- love the preliminary court date. very soon- progress!)

Shelly Roberts said...

Yeah!! .... progress! Good for you sweet Lori. Keep putting one toe in front of the other (began to say foot, but sometimes a toe at a time is all a girl can do!). Marked the date for the 11th! Will be praying for a good report! Actually marked the night of the 10th .... I keep having to remember that time difference. :) Keep us updated ... we're all in this with you. Much love, Shelly

Anonymous said...

I felt like a dunce when I read this --what a great and human way to say thank you.

Thanks for passing this on.

You're a smart (and gentle-hearted) one, Lori.

veggiemom said...

So happy about the prelim court date! Fingers adn toes will be crossed that all goes well.
Kerri and Ruby

graceling said...

Love this post! Brave Lori, tackling the mall- good for you!

Will be praying for your court date!

Stacie said...

What a great idea! I get my make-up in the mail (Bare Minerals) but sometimes they send me a free gift too so I'll check and see what I have. I'm glad to hear they like Bath & Body - that is what I took for our nannies and I was hoping they would like it.

So glad for progress- each little step matters so much. You'll be in my prayers as always.

Anonymous said...

Lori: Do you know how many ladies are there total?


Lori said...

Duh, can't believe I forgot that: there are about 20 women in the home for infants and another 20 in the home for older children, which we plan on visiting. My goal is to bring gifts for those in the home for infants, but if I can manage the other half, that would be great too.

Heather said...

What a great idea! I'll see what I can round up and email you when I get a collection. The caregivers are lovely and amazing women. We took a bunch of Bath & Body stuff when we picked up our son. They were so excited it made us wish we had brought more.

And what wonderful news about the prelim court hearing!

Celia said...

Hey, Lori.
Saw Ted's picture in a magazine and thought of y'all. = ) We're still praying for y'all. Hang in there.

m&r said...

What a great idea! Count me in.

And.. congrats on the hearing. Definitely a step in the right direction.

The Soucys said...

The court date is great news! I've been praying for you, and thinking of you often.
I love the samples idea. I know I have a few on the way from Sephora. If you'd like to send your address, my email is


~Laura~ said...

This is a brilliant idea! I have a makeup addiction so this might be something I can help with. I'm friends will all the makeup counter people. :) I'll go see them next week. :)

YAY for a preliminary court date!

Praying for you guys!