Julie Mamo’s story begins with a pair of concerned grandmothers chatting at church in Kent, England, in 1955. One grandmother confided in the other that her granddaughter, Lillian, had become pregnant out of wedlock at the age of 17. The other mentioned that her granddaughter, Mavis, had been looking to adopt a baby. And so it was decided: when Lillian’s baby, Julie, was 9 days old, Mavis adopted her. No one in Lillian’s family knew about baby Julie aside from her parents and grandparents.
Julie was raised in Kent, unaware of the secret transaction, and enjoyed a happy childhood.
A tale of two Julies
When Julie was 12 years old, her adoptive parents revealed to her that she had been adopted, and that same year, the family moved to Australia. Meanwhile, Lillian continued living in Kent and went on to have another daughter and 3 sons. She named her new daughter Julie, too, and when she was 12 years old, Lillian told her that she had once had a baby, also named Julie, whom she placed for adoption. Lillian passed away in 2019.
Julie M. grew up in Australia, married, had 3 children, and eventually divorced. In 2021, her daughter Louise bought her a MyHeritage DNA kit as a Christmas gift, but neither of them paid much attention to the results.
Then, in August 2022, Louise received a message from someone named Jason in the UK. He had just received his MyHeritage DNA results and was surprised to find that Louise and her mother Julie were a close match. He had asked his aunt — Julie Ansell — if she knew anything about family in Australia, but at first, she hadn’t been able to recall anything about it. Then, it clicked: the half-sister her mother had told her about many years ago! Jason found Louise on a Facebook group and told her what he knew. From there, within a very short time, Julie M. and Julie A. spoke for the first time.
Jason, the Julies’ nephew who lives in Dover, says that he originally bought the DNA kit on sale, purely because his sister had taken one and he thought it would be cool to find his ethnicity estimate. He never expected to find a long-lost aunt!
‘This discovery has opened a whole new world for me’
The similarities between the Julies are staggering. Aside from sharing a first name, they both describe themselves as tomboys; they both love the color black; they have the same fashion sense; they both create art with wood as a hobby. Both were told at the age of 12 about the adoption. Both were divorced and remained friends with their exes. Jule M has 3 kids; Julie A has 4. They even look and act very similar: both of them are free, creative spirits.
Neither Julie had a sister before and they’re both over the moon to have found each other. They are in touch almost daily. Everyone tells Julie M. that she has been positively radiating since she’s connected with her sister — she’s on a constant high. She says that talking to Julie A. feels like talking to herself. “This discovery has opened a whole new world for me,” she says. She is so grateful to have found her sister and feels a sense of completion in her life.
Julie A. says that Julie M. is “an absolute spitting image” of their mother. “It’s like talking to my mother,” she says.
She describes her new connection with Julie M. as easy, natural, and instant: “It’s like she’s been in my life forever. I don’t need to put any effort into it.” She says she’s never experienced anything like it.
Knowing how important this new connection was to her, Julie A.’s son purchased a ticket for her to fly to Australia to meet her newfound sister and her family. The reunion finally took place right in time for Mother’s Day and Mavis’s 90th birthday.
The sisters met at the airport in Adelaide and celebrated Mavis’s 90th birthday together, and after spending some time with Julie M.’s family, they flew to the U.K. so Julie M could meet the rest of her U.K. side of the family.
“My mum has found her other half,” says Louise. “Mum has found her home, her village.”
For Jason, the discoveries didn’t stop with the reunion of the Julies. He also found a long-lost great-uncle — a brother of his maternal grandfather’s — living in New Zealand. The great-uncle is 94 years old, and Jason’s family was able to share photos of his brother’s wedding with him. Jason says he had no idea he had family in New Zealand, that this whole thing has been an amazing experience, and that it’s incredible how technology today can bring family flung so far so close together again.
Many thanks to the Julies, Louise, and Jason for sharing their amazing story with us. If you’ve made an incredible discovery through MyHeritage, we’d love to hear about it! Send it to us via this form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: My Heritage