I'm not aware of any person or group who will help you straighten the mess out. Most likely, you'll have to do that yourself.
here are the instructions for re-connecting missing photos in Lightroom to the actual photos on your hard disk: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders
Do I understand correctly, that this *helpful* lady in the Apple store rearranged your photos on your external Hard Disk, in Finder?
And this Hard Disk is now the only copy of your photos, as they have been deleted already from your MacbookPro?
If so, this is pretty bad, as depending on her way of "organizing" it could be a lot of work to reestablish the pointers from LR to the photo files. If she has renamed photos as well as moved them it is next to impossible.
Did you do a lot of work inside LR for your photos, i.e. keywording, develop?
Per your catalog setting, do you save xmp metadata automatically to your files? Or do you do this manually? Which file format do your photos have - jpg, dng, proprietary raw format of your camera?
I am just asking to check out if it would be better to just re-import your photos... if current xmp-data are available, then you would not loose too much (*just* stacking, collection membership, flags, develop history).
Whatever you do, first do a LR catalog backup and store that safely away, so you have something to revert to in any case.
Can you go back to this lady in the Apple store and ask her what she did - which organisation criteria she applied?
Then I'd advise a much more sound backup strategy - 1 copy is never enough. How many GB of photo data do you have?
I do not know if there are any service providers to help out with this, certainly not at Adobe nor Apple.
Where are you located?
(Gutgesell klingt deutsch - ich bin in Darmstadt - ich würde Dir helfen, wenn wir uns treffen könnten.)
Thanks for the input! I know I have a huge mess. I have about 6,000 photos. I typically shoot RAW and JPG together. I did manage to find about 900 and import them by looking in "All my files" under "Finder". What I hate is that I can't locate them in their edited versions! Not yet anyway. UGH. I have them on an external hard drive as well, but can't locate them. I have an additional Ext HD to use as well, but want to get this mess straightened out before loading anything on it. Wish me luck. I'm in the Kansas City metro. I really am not happy with the Apple store here as far as customer service goes.