In a move that shocks nineteenth-century Philadelphia society, wealthy widow Laina Brighton turns her grand house into an orphanage for homeless children. Staid and stuffy teas quickly give way to peals of happy laughter echoing through the stately halls. With the support of handsome doctor Thaddeous Allen, Laina is determined to give these waifs a better life, despite the malicious gossip that surrounds them. As these two crusaders, bound by honor and courage, create a future for the forgotten, they change the course of their own futures in ways they never imagined. Along the way, they make a felicitous discovery: that sometimes people become a family in their hearts.