Rachael born 1/20/93.
Tommy born 4/7/96.
Julie's last photo. Their
current location is not known.
Ryan born 2/7/01.
Jordan born 11/9/99.
Photo from Zach's adoption file.
Current location is not known.
Jason Jr./Zach born 2/28/02.
Lives with adoptive parents.
Reunited with Julie in 2008.
Elyssa born 4/28/08.
Lives with Julie & Jason in Alaska.
My initial motivation for Julie’s story was to document one woman’s struggle, to
live with poverty and AIDS.
After losing custody of Rachael, Tommy, Jordan, Ryan and Jason Jr., it made me think
about them. I wondered if Julie’s children would understand the depths of her poverty,
the decision of their mother to give them up for adoption.
Julie’s children are going to be adults someday. Who are they going to ask about what
happened? I want to be able to tell them her story in case Julie is not alive.
I do not think Julie has much time left.
The purpose of the project is to take the disparate arguments about welfare, poverty,
family rights, AIDS, drug and sexual abuse by looking at one person’s life, Julie.
My hopes for the project is not to just tell her story for us to understand but for
Rachael, Tommy, Jordan, Ryan, Zach, and Elyssa to hear, someday.
Julie’s story matters and should make a difference to us the viewer in our
understanding of the fractured world that many poor people struggle to exist in.
As a friend said, "I realize this type of story plays out constantly in the world for
many, many families. The pieces slip away or no one cares to remember the details.
We see the summation of cause and effect in a homeless face on the street every day.
It can be too complicated, uncomfortable and painful to ask why."
I hope you can’t stop thinking about Julie’s story, I hope it makes you feel.
I hope it makes you look at the world differently.