Dorothy Urch always knew she had been adopted. Born in New York in 1911 and later raised by a loving, hardworking farmer and his wife in Iowa, hers was an idyllic childhood. The days she spent as a student in a one-room schoolhouse became some of her favorite memories.
Decades later, when she was in her eighties, she heard of the “Orphan Train” movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and she began to wonder if she might have been a passenger on one of those trains. She remembered a tearful goodbye with her mother and a days-long journey across the country. With that, she embarked on a second journey – this time not away from her family of origin, but backward in time toward her parents and siblings and a fuller understanding of why things might have happened the way they did. She was also on a quest to discover what became of her baby brother, Charles, who left town on a different train all those years ago, out of her life.
Join Dorothy on an odyssey. Stand beside a five-year-old on the loading platform of Grand Central Station as she clutches her suitcase and gathers the courage to board a train for places and people unknown. Hold her hand as a question billows up in her, like steam from a locomotive, obscuring all other thoughts: Why?