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Adoption: Our History and Legacy

December 22, 2016

As we come to the close of 2016, several items that have come across my desk and computer this past week are a reminder that the adoption stories from Hillcrest’s 120 years have had am amazing impact on thousands of families.

It was the mission of our founder, Dr. Nancy Hill, M.D. in 1896 to help mothers with unplanned pregnancies and their children.  It is with great pride that Hillcrest continues this mission today. This mission was poignantly emphasized through a You Tube video released this weekend. Melissa Link released her unplanned pregnancy and open adoption story.

I had the good fortune to view it late last week, and it brought me to tears.  I thought my emotions were especially high due to my familiarity with Melissa’s family, but all others who have seen the video have been equally as impacted. Hillcrest is blessed to have angels, like Jody Ludowitz, who touch the lives of the women, children, and families with parallel stories.

Hillcrest has so many similar stories. I had the privilege of reading a letter from a mother written to her son, detailing their experience in adopting him from The Hillcrest Baby Fold in January 1951. Just when I thought the coincidence couldn’t be surpassed I discovered a packet of 31 letters from 1953 to 1960 from a grateful adoptive family. These letters detail the hope and love of an adoptive couple for their two children adopted from The Hillcrest Baby Fold. The same emotions and love are expressed in the recollections, down to the smallest detail of the adoption experiences.

Many remember The Hillcrest Baby Fold name, but few understand it. It is based on the various sheep fold stories in Chapter 10 of the Gospel according to John.  Sheep were brought into the fold to be kept safe and protected. You can see that 120 years after the vision of Dr. Nancy Hill was created, this Christian ministry is still alive in the works of Hillcrest angels like Jody.

Gary Gansemer


Hillcrest Family Services