Hello, my name is Julia (but I go by Julie). Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about me. I realize that if you are reading this, it means you are facing an enormously difficult decision. I hope you see something in my story that gives you some kind of comfort that I could be someone who makes this journey even the tiniest bit easier for you. I don’t know who will read this, but I do know, whoever you are, you are coming to me from a place of strength, bravery and love. The best way I can honor that is to try and express through my story all the love I can offer in return. Thank you for considering me.
I am a successful filmmaker living in a safe, family-friendly neighborhood in New York City. I don’t have any children but I very much hope that you can help me change that! I do have a huge family and a network of close friends who I see often. I live a pretty healthy lifestyle – I like to keep my mind active and my body moving, preferably outdoors, in the sunshine.
I was born in New Haven, Connecticut and grew up in a town on the shoreline. I am the youngest of six children: four boys and two girls. My two oldest brothers were adopted, so my family and I are more than comfortable and happy with the idea of adoption. My parents adopted because my mother thought she wasn’t able to have children – and then she had four! To this day, my family still calls me “Boo”, a nickname I got when I was a baby that has stuck for all these years. My siblings Peter, Chris, Sarah, Joe and Tom were (and are) my teachers, my protectors, my supporters — and as adults we are still close.
My childhood was filled with love, laughter and lots of outdoor activities. My parents, Vincent and Sally, were both scientists and dedicated to their work, but they were also very engaged as parents. My mother especially always wanted us outdoors and playing sports, often with her. Soccer, tennis, baseball, swimming, rowing, basketball – you name it, she played it. She wasn’t like other mothers, and I loved her for it.
Education was extremely important to both my parents, and they were always encouraging us to think and be curious about the world. I would make every effort to give your child an upbringing that was as nurturing as mine was.
I believe that human connection is what makes this life worth living. Once all basic needs are met (food, shelter) the most vital thing to a fulfilling existence is that we feel love and connection to other people, whether they are friends, spouses, or children. My life has shown me that love can bloom in the most unexpected places – between people with different backgrounds, or interests, or belief systems. To me, adoption represents a beautiful kind of human connection: a love generated by people coming together to help each other, to prioritize a child’s well-being, and to give that child the best possible future.
Growing up with adopted brothers as well as biological siblings, it never seemed to matter that we weren’t all blood-related. Our parents were our parents, and loved us all equally. In fact, I think my parents felt a responsibility for Chris and Peter that was in some ways even greater than toward their biological children. I spoke to Peter recently about it, and he says he feels gratitude toward our parents every single day for the life they gave him, and he feels an equal amount of gratitude toward his birth mother for the sacrifice she made on his behalf. It moved me to hear him say that, and it made me feel that this is the right path for me.
I have spent my adult life in New York City, working as a film producer/director. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have found a profession that I genuinely love. I spend my time reading, writing, interviewing people, and collaborating with other creative minds and it really does not feel like a “job”. One of the best things about living in a city as diverse as New York is the collection of friends I’ve made over my two decades here. I have lived alone for most of that time, yet I have never felt lonely. I fill my time with small dinner parties, long walks, film screenings, museum outings, park picnics, and in the past few years I’ve been taking cello lessons. I’m not great, but getting better! When the city starts to seem too crowded or I just need some fresh air, I am fortunate enough to have lots of family members close by. I spend at least one weekend a month at my Dad’s house by the beach in Connecticut, and Sunday nights usually find me at my brother Joe’s in New Jersey for a backyard BBQ. But my home in Brooklyn is my true refuge. I bought an apartment in 2021 and spent awhile making it comfortable and cozy. I love coming home to it. I specifically chose it because it is large enough for a child to grow up in, and is located in a family-friendly neighborhood with great schools, and lots of parks and playgrounds.
The number one most important person in my life is my dad. My mother died in 2006 after a long illness, which was difficult for me because I was pretty young when she first got sick. But my dad filled in, and was (still is) my rock. My dad is a scientist and he’s a very smart man, not just about science but about life. One of my favorite things to do is to sit by the fire on a winter night after everyone has gone to bed and talk to him about what’s happening in the world. He is the kind of father who expresses his pride and love for his kids almost every day, and his belief in me has made me who I am. He also loves being a grandpa, and is an excellent teacher; it’s not uncommon for him gather the children around for an impromptu lesson on cell biology. He is very excited about my adoption journey and would love to have another grandchild in the family.
My sister Sarah is my greatest champion, and is probably the other most important person in my life. Because she is ten years older, she always has wise advice and offers me perspective on life that has helped me in so many ways. Sarah and I took many long walks during the pandemic, and it was in those conversations with her that I knew I was ready to pursue adoption. She and her husband Kevin have raised three extraordinary boys, and I think she inherited the natural parenting abilities of our mother. I consider her to be vital to my adoption journey because she has committed to helping me with every step of raising a child. (And I believe her because she often will go pick up our brothers’ kids and babysit them for the weekend, out of the blue, without being asked). My brothers are also always there for me when I need them. They help me out with the practicalities of life: Chris helped me navigate buying an apartment, Tom puts up shelves and does repairs, Joe gives me business advice. Older brothers can be very useful! Your child would have many loving and capable uncles, ready to solve any problem – and provide a lot of entertainment in the process.
I have thirteen nieces and nephews, ranging in ages from 2 to 30. I’ve loved watching them all grow up, and have spent many weekends babysitting. My sister Sarah’s three boys Rafferty (16), Finn (18) and Max (20) are incredibly thoughtful, talented and lovely guys. They always greet me with a hug and a “what’s up Jules!?”. Joe’s daughters Sally (13) and Orla (11) are super smart and sassy. We have a tradition every year where I treat them to a Broadway show and they can buy whatever they want at the gift shop afterward. And as for my brother Tom’s two cuties Lockwood (3) and Coco (2) – they are extra special close to me because their mom is one of my best friends!
When my family is all together, we number 25 people. It’s a lot! But we do gather, around multiple tables, several times a year. Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are usually our biggest gatherings. We celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with big dinners and group gift giving. My mom instilled in us all a love of music, so sometimes I play Christmas carols on the cello, or my sister-in-law plays the harp. Ever since I was young we’ve had a tradition of reading “The Night Before Christmas” all together, passing around the book so each person reads a page (or sometimes my brother Tom will read the whole thing in a funny voice to make the kids laugh).
Summer holidays we often spend at my dad’s house which is right by the beach – and most weekends in the summer you’ll see a few of us out on the patio, chatting in the sun or taking a paddle board to the beach. This last summer I spent some time teaching Lockwood to swim. I think it’s really important that kids feel comfortable around water, and we spent a lot of time at the beach, with me holding him in the water while he splashed around, or rode on my back into the waves. Here he is on the left walking to the beach from Grandpa’s house with a giant cactus raft!
I have always been someone who puts a lot of time and energy into my friendships. I’ve known Mandy since I was 5, Molly since I was 12, and Coco and Valerie are two friends I made in my twenties that became like surrogate sisters. The three of us are as close as friends can be, which is remarkable because we are each so different. Valerie grew up on the Upper West Side of New York with Panamanian immigrant parents, Coco grew up in Harlem and her parents were bohemian artists, and I grew up playing sports in Connecticut. And yet, we formed a bond that feels like family. In fact – Valerie is actually IN my family. Four years ago, she married my brother Tom and they now have two kids: Lockwood and (baby) Coco. (Big) Coco is a really important person in my adoption journey. She lives in Florida but I speak to her on the phone nearly every day. She is a single mom herself, and she is the one who has told me for years that she believes I should be a mother. Her eleven-year old Charly is my goddaughter, and their mother-daughter bond is one that inspires me. They are always cracking each other up! Charly is really into the card game Uno, so whenever I see her we play many rounds of that. We also like to paint our nails together, and whenever I let her paint mine I end up with paint and sparkles all over my hands. She is a smart, independent kid and her mom has done a great job.
Locally, I have a group of friends that I love and see regularly. Sandra the writer who is an amazing vegetarian chef, Alison the businesswoman who loves dogs, Harriet the journalist, Kathleen the medieval literature professor, and Sharon my fellow filmmaker. All of us are on different journeys through relationships, careers, and parenthood but we all rely on each other for support and…just general joy.
As you can probably tell, I have a pretty full life, and I can expose your child to a life filled with diverse people, experiences and activities. But – I also fully intend to encourage whatever talents or interests your child may develop on his or her own, even if they are different from mine.
My best friends would describe me as: open, thoughtful, communicative, confident, funny, laid-back but organized, well-dressed, and someone who surrounds herself with good people. I am a pretty even-tempered person and I pride myself on maintaining strong, supportive friendships that are reciprocal. I always love it when a friend repeats advice back to me that I gave them; it makes me feel like A) they are listening to my advice and B) my thoughts and ideas are helpful to others. And yes I also like to help them pick out clothes :)
I told my father recently that he has taught me how to live a fulfilled life – and that that is the best gift a parent can give a child. For me this has meant blocking out all the pressures of society and the way things are “supposed” to be and blazing my own trail, figuring out what makes me happy, and not worrying about the judgment of others. My father instilled that confidence in me and I want to pass that on to a child of my own. I would tell my future child that what matters most in this world are connections to others, and that love can come in so many forms. Life is not about checking a series of boxes. It is about figuring out who you are, what makes you unique, what fills your soul – and shaping a life that is all your own. Creating your own boxes, as it were.
Since I started this process I’ve come to learn so much about open adoption and its benefits – for everyone involved – that it has come to seem like the most natural way adoption should happen. My two brothers had closed adoptions and while they both say that there are benefits to that as well, I believe that openness makes a lot of sense. I understand that it means navigating what can be an emotionally fraught situation, but I am more than willing to do that work especially if it is in the child’s best interests. Of course, I also understand that some birth mothers may choose not to have an open adoption and I would accept that as well.