When visiting (meeting) birth mother at the hospital, it is customary and appropriate to bring a gift. I was initially hesitant, it felt awkward on our part. “Thanks for the baby, here’s a gift bag!” Our social worker pointed out that it is always done, and it is a sign of appreciation. It’s a highly emotional time for her, and she needs to know that we are caring.
We were given some ideas of items that make sense for her given her situation and location. A few of the things we decided on were lotion, slippers and a teddy bear. The lotion and slippers are for the hospital (and beyond). The teddy bear can be therapeutic. It can be a remembrance of the child, or just be there for when their arms feel empty. Knowing this, it was essential for us to find the perfect bear.
The lotion was easy. We found what we needed at Bath and Body Works and it was on clearance! This gift works for a pre-meet with birth mother, so we’ve had that for a while. With 70% of our agency’s placements from the hospital, we decided we needed to get out and find the slippers/bear, just in case.
The slipper requirements were simple. Slippers with a closed toe, soft, not ugly, and a medium size (since we’re not sure). The bear requirements were similar, soft, not ugly, good huggable size, and what should be the easiest, a bear.
It was supposed to be easy, hit Bed Bath and Beyond for slippers, and Toys ‘R Us for a bear. Fail. No slippers (but bath sandals) at BB&B. The stuffed animal collection at ‘R Us was disappointing. There were few bears, and what they had were either tiny or giant. On to Target. No closed toe slippers, and no bears! No Bears?! They had stuffed elephants, frogs and dogs, but no bears.
We stop at Tuesday Morning. Slippers…small and large, no medium. Bears…not soft, not cute. Steph has a good idea. How about the Flower Factory (for those not in the Dayton-Centerville area, Flower Factory has everything, including a larger collection of bears that easily can be sold with flower arrangements). They have a few slippers, but all were made poorly. That’s not exactly what we want to say to birth mom, “Here! These are the cheapest, crummiest slippers we could find!” They also have tons of bears, but many are themed (America, blue, Valentine’s day, mother’s day, etc.), which with our requirements filters the 50 or so types of bears down to two. One is cross-eyed, one is balding. Sigh. Pass.
We’re in Cincy to visit family. We stop at one of those stores that has a little of everything (Garden Ridge). Except for those pillow pets, we are shut out again. Who will save us from our bear/slipper fiasco?! A grocery store, of course! Meijer saved us by having both items, and both were perfect. Check and check. That’s one less thing to worry about after we receive, “The Call”, but did it really have to be so difficult?