Sarah and James Berrington are unable to conceive a child. They have tried everything, including in-vetro fertilization. Nothing works. When their final pregnancy test comes out negative, Sarah weeps, devastated. On the other side of the world, a Chinese woman staggers down a dark road with a small bundle in her arms. Finally she comes to the gate of a building and lays her bundled baby against it. As snow starts to fall, and the woman walks away from her child, she cries out in anguish. Back at the gate, Gloria cuddles the baby in her arms, waiting for morning.
In New York, at the home they share with his grandmother, Lady Penelope Berrington, James and his wife consider adoption. Though they know that Penelope will react poorly to decision, they decide to visit an adoption counselor. Everything seems to be in order, but they will need to be evaluated in home by a case worker. They take a series of pamphlets about adopting from various corners of the globe and return home to look them over. Penelope is not thrilled about ending her noble bloodline with an adoption, but she realizes that this may be the only way for Sarah and James to have a child. She gives her consent, and after they are gone she looks at the pamphlets. She freezes on the pamphlet about adopting from China, and tosses it into the fire.
When Tess, the adoption case worker, arrives, Penelope gets stand-offish and makes a scene which may hamper their chances of being approved. James confronts her about it, but she holds her ground.
Back in China, Gloria watches over the baby, Rose, as she is admitted into the orphanage by a kind Matron. Gloria tells Rose of the parents that are waiting for her in America. But the adoption may never happen. Tess returns to tell Penelope that the adoption was not approves, and that she is to blame. She gives Penelope the opportunity to tell James and Sarah. She admits to them that she has been lying about her identity all these years, that she is not a noblewoman, that she started her tea company with a stolen identity, and when it became a success, she used it. She tells them about her upbringing in China, where she lived with her missionary parents. She tells how she and a friend, Li Na, were separated from her parents during an evacuation, and how she never saw them again, returning to England on her own. When the truth is out and accepted, Tess clears the adoption and they head to China to meet Rose, and to allow Penelope to come to terms with her past.
At the orphanage, the family is finally formed, and another miracle takes place. Though Penelope will never be reunited with her parents, she discovers that the Matron that runs the orphanage is actually her childhood friend Li Na.