Kelsey & Julie

Dear Birth Mom:

Of course, the value we place on relationships extends to our relationship with you as well. We know (and are grateful) that by choosing an open adoption, we are not only adding a baby to our lives, but adding you as well- in whatever capacity feels good to you. We want you to know that you will have our unconditional support, however you want that to look, even if that changes over time. We are open to phone calls, letters, emails, texts, visits- we want to build a relationship with you that feels good for all of us in whatever direction your life might lead.
We thank you so much for considering us and we wish you all the best in whatever your next steps might be.

About Kelsey & Julie

We’re Kelsey and Julie. We’ve been married since 2014, but we’ve been together since 2010. We met in Denver, where we both went to graduate school. In addition to the two of us, the other members of our family are our cat, Mustache, and our dog, Samantha. Our dog actually got the two of us together- we met when Kelsey was volunteering for an event that Julie was organizing, We enjoyed working together, and Kelsey was due to be out of town for a few days and asked Julie if she’d be willing to dog sit. Julie fell in love with Samantha, and then she decided she liked Kelsey too! We moved to California in 2015, Kelsey grew up in Southern California, and her family still lives nearby. Julie grew up in New Jersey and found her way to Denver when she worked in Americorps after college. We decided to move to California because we felt like we were ready to add kids to our family and we wanted to be a little closer to some extended family for support. We picked California because neither of us was crazy about the snow in Colorado or on the East Coast, but we both love the beach, so Long Beach (where we live now) was a great choice for us.


We both went to school to become social workers, because we enjoy helping people and we both feel like we want to do everything in our power to make the world, and our community, a better place. Julie uniquely combines her social work background and her passion for fitness as the owner of her own personal training and lifestyle company. She loves working with her clients to be their best selves both inside and outside the gym as she supports their fitness, nutrition, mindset, and stress management strategies. She can’t wait to share her passion for sports, weight training, and healthy living with our future child. In addition, the ability to have a flexible schedule that could adapt to a baby or child’s needs is one of the reasons she wanted to go into business for herself. Kelsey works for the courthouse in Long Beach and she helps families develop schedules and figure out ways to make decisions for their children when parents decide to separate. She likes being able to help families when they’re going through a stressful time. When we aren’t working, we like to go for hikes, or try new restaurants in our neighborhood, or have our friends and family over for barbecues and yard games.
Kelsey loves to read and is usually reading a book or two at a time. She’s very excited to pass on that love to our future little ones- reading books to them and later, with them, is one of the things she’s most excited about becoming a parent. She also enjoys baking and can’t wait to make birthday cakes and treats for our kids to bring to their classrooms! Julie loves music, she enjoys finding new songs and artists and she shares music trivia and playlists with Kelsey when we’re driving together. She’s excited to find out what kind of music our future baby enjoys! Julie and her siblings all took music lessons when they were young, and we want to continue that tradition with our kids as well. We also want our children to be involved in sports, and hopefully to expose them to Julie’s interest in martial arts (or soccer, or basketball, or t-ball or hockey- just as long as they’re getting to move and have fun!). In the future, we’d love to travel more. We usually travel to visit family on the east coast, or our friends who live outside of California, but it’s a priority for us to expose our children to international travel and we plan on taking advantage of the ‘portability’ of having small children to explore new-to-us parts of the world together.
As we mentioned before, we live in Long Beach. We moved into our house almost a year ago. We chose this particular house for its big front and back yards- we wanted to have a space for our babies to be able to crawl around in the grass and dig their toes in the dirt! Our neighborhood is very walkable, we see lots of families walking their children to the elementary school in the mornings, and on the weekends we like to walk to the restaurants in the area, and hopefully sit on the patio with Samantha. One of our favorite restaurants has a huge patio with games and a sandbox, and we often see other families eating while their kids all play together more or less peacefully. We chose the neighborhood because we thought it would be a good fit for our growing family and there are lots of kids on our street so our kids will have options for nearby friends to hang out with.

We wanted to become parents because we think we’ve built a home and family that is warm and loving. We feel like one of our strengths as a couple is that we’re a good team who actively support one another and we want to share the unconditional faith we have in each other with a child. It’s very important to us to invest time and energy in our friends and family spread out across the country, and we find tremendous value in knowing that we will be bringing a baby home to a tightly knit network of people who will love them however their life unfolds. We have friends with young children saving baby gear to give to us, and friends who can’t wait to take a ‘niece’ or ‘nephew’ backpacking or to a Broadway show. We know the people in our lives will be there during years when our child or children need to grow and build independence and develop identities separate from their parents and we are grateful to have people to help us guide our kids as they grow. We want to instill values of dedication and follow through in our kids- whether that’s helping them to stick with activities they’ve chosen, even if they aren’t as fun as they thought they might have been, or by taking the time to show up for their people, both in the community we are sharing with them and the one they will build themselves as they grow. We also try to model this belief at home by prioritizing family time with Friday night dinners with Shabbat candles and prayers and observing holiday traditions like Christmas Eve pizza and a sleepover at Kelsey’s parents’ home each year. Life can be hard, and while we will always love and support our kids and do everything in our power to make them feel heard, we know enough to recognize that sometimes we all need someone who cares for us other than our parents. We are so grateful that our children will never doubt that they are liked and cherished- even during the times they don’t want to share their struggles directly with us.

Kelsey and Julie Shiller

To learn more about a family,
Call Vista Del Mar

(310) 836-1223 ext 281