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Marriott’s Little Guest: Jack

Residence Inn Chicago Southeast/Hammond, IN

Today, rather than relay a story to you about our culture in action, we’re going to let one of our recent guests, Jenny, explain her unforgettable week while staying at the Residence Inn Chicago Southeast/Hammond, IN, owned by RLJ Lodging Trust and managed by White Lodging Services Corp.

“I’d like to tell you how the Marriott became part of our family and how their kindness helped get us through the most exciting, overwhelming, chaotic, stressful, and wonderful week of our lives. They’ve become part of Jack’s adoption story.

My husband and I applied to adopt a baby which we and our daughter Ella (four years old) were so excited about. We were just finishing up the paperwork for it in early April.  We had to submit an adoption book that profiled our family which arrived on Monday, April 10th. Coincidentally, this was the same day that Jack’s birth mother called about making an adoption plan. That Thursday, our loan was finalized and we were up on the website that night. In our minds, that’s when we were officially in consideration.

We finally had time to relax and wait, figuring the process would take time. However, we got a call the very next morning saying that we were chosen and that the birth mother was being induced that afternoon. Oh, and we needed to travel to Gary, Indiana that weekend. We didn’t have anything ready for a new baby.

After a lot of running around that day trying to get everything together, we received a call late Friday afternoon to say that Jack was born at a whopping 5lbs. 7oz. Chris, Ella, and I were Indiana-bound the next day on Saturday. Before we checked into the Residence Inn in Hammond, my friend had called and let them know we were adopting and wanted to send something to our room. Everything was closed, but she was told to leave it to them. When we checked in, we were greeted with friendly smiles which is just what we needed. Little did we know that there was a card, some wine, candy, and more waiting for us in our room. Wow! That would have been more than enough but it doesn’t end there.

Jack was still in the hospital for a couple of days and we were in and out visiting. The staff was so encouraging, asking about Jack and being so kind to Ella—it really meant a lot. Being out of state without family and friends around was hard. We were so overwhelmed with everything and they made us feel like we were right at home.

Finally, Jack was scheduled to be released and they were so excited to hear that Jack was coming home. When we walked through the door, they had made a ‘Welcome Home, Jack’ banner and had left us flowers, a Marriott onesie for Jack, toys for both children, a balloon, candy, and a big sister shirt for Ella in our room. The most touching was the card that the whole staff had signed with such beautiful wishes for us. I’m crying as I type this because it was just so unexpected from a hotel and it meant so much to us that they cared.

After a few days, we had to go to Indianapolis to sign some papers and decided to stay at the same hotel. Everyone there was friendly, but there was one person who stood out—a housekeeper named Jacqui. She had come in to tidy up our room and her and I got to talking. She fussed over Jack and was so nice. Just before she left, she asked me if it would okay if she dropped something off the following day (her day off) for Jack and Ella. The next day, there was a knock on the door with someone dropping two bags off and a card. She had gone out and gotten Jack a cute little outfit and Ella a couple of toys. She signed the card ‘The staff at the Residence Inn,’ but it was her. Her boss didn’t even know she had done that. What she did just shows how kind she is.

Over the course of the week, it felt like we were living in a Marriott commercial—one of those sappy ones where you cry. Everyone is amazed when I tell them how well taken care of we were and how above and beyond the staff went for us.”

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