Five decades ago, Kathy Aderhold was told to keep a secret.
The nursing student hid the reason for her monthslong absence from siblings and friends. She couldn’t bring a camera where she went, she says, let alone her full name. The other girls called her Kathy H.
The secret weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces when she opened her eyes to the world in the hospital wing of a Salvation Army maternity home in Omaha, Nebraska, in January 1972. For a few days after the birth of her daughter, Ms. Aderhold recalls being allowed to sit in a storeroom for one hour, away from the other mothers, and hold the soft-haired wonder she named Jessica Ann.