The Story of the Willows Maternity Sanitarium and the Adoption Hub of America.
For the readers of Orphan Train comes the true story of a second wave of humanity that traveled to the Midwest by train. Not well documented in American history, over 100,000 pregnant, unwed young women traveled mostly by train to Kansas City – known as the Adoption Hub of America – in the early- to mid-1900s.They would live in one of several maternity facilities before giving birth, signing their babies over for adoption and returning home empty handed and heartbroken.
One of these facilities was The Willows Maternity Sanitarium, known as the "Ritz" or "Waldorf" of the maternity hospitals. It truly was a Mansion on a Hill and one of the largest of such facilities in America, this is the incredible, true story of The Willows and the compassionate family, yet savvy business owners, who started and operated the seclusion "home" from 1905 until its closing in 1969. With over 35,000 girls passing through its doorway, tales abound of Willows' children questioning the "who" and "why" as they search for answers to their separation. Changed laws and DNA testing are sparking reunions to happen more and more every day. The second part of the book "Voices of The Willows" includes moving stories of those whose lives were touched and changed forever by The Willows.
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About the Author
KelLee has enjoyed many different careers. He is a former agricultural and literacy missionary in Guatemala, county extension agricultural and 4-H agent, third grade teacher, and adjunct professor. He has worked for publishers of academic materials in mathematics and science in both management and sales. Currently he helps with writing science curriculum for elementary students. KelLee is a graduate of Kansas State University and is an ardent K-State sports fan. From his rural roots, he loves the beauty of the Flint Hills and resides in Manhattan, Kansas. He is co-chair for the Manhattan Walk to End Alzheimer's Disease in honor of his grandmother Emma and father Lee who both passed from this terrible disease.