Season 3, Episode 9: Julian - Their History Was Not My History

Today I welcome Julian Kelly to share her story. Julian and I talk about her search for identity, what she’s done to build stronger attachments in adulthood and how her music and songwriting allow her an amazing outlet for those feelings which can otherwise build up in us. She is wise and incredibly talented.

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Show Notes


Topics We Discussed

  • Julian was relinquished and moved around between foster care and orphanages until her adoption placement at age three.
  • Even from a young age she understood that “their history was not my history”, as she searched for identity and wondered where she came from
  • Her search was complicated. Files were lost, including letters and tapes her birthmother had left for her to receive at age 18; her date of birth had been changed, she didn’t even know if she was born in France or the US.
  • Julian’s feelings of not being attached to her adoptive parents, and ways she’s worked on that to build healthy attachments in adulthood
  • Ways music and songwriting has been helpful to process emotions
  • How to sit down and just write song lyrics for ourselves, and what to do with them if we want to craft them into a song
  • Adoptee suicide and the deaths of young adoptees at the hands of their adoptive parents
  • The importance of family preservation
  • Calls to the adoptee community for unity in moving forward


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