Siblings and shared childhood

April 2024 · Adoption, Forward in Hope, Foster Care / Adoption

Perhaps author Clara Ortega describes the relationship between siblings best: “To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were, we know each other’s hearts, we share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.”

There’s a lot of truth in her observation. Or, as another writer, Ann Hood says, ““A sibling is the lens through which you see your childhood.”

Yesterday, April 10, was a special day for siblings. Although it’s more of a social media phenomenon, National Siblings Day has grown in popularity over recent years.

A woman named Claudia Evart conceived of the observance, in memory of her older brother and sister who tragically died in separate accidents. Her sister, Lisette, perished in a car accident at the age of 19, and her brother, died 14 years later at the age of 17 when he hit his head in a fall.

Despite the tragic origin – or maybe even because of it –National Siblings Day gives us the opportunity to remember the people who probably know us better than anyone else – warts and all. At least, they’ve known us the longest.

Siblings are important to kids in foster care, and that’s why Saint Francis Ministries works so hard to try to place them together, and if they need a forever family, to adopt them together.

As Ortega and Hood confirm, siblings share a childhood specific to themselves. When that childhood is particularly tough, siblings need each other because no one else knows exactly what they’ve experienced.

That’s why it’s important to keep them together. Unfortunately, though, that’s not always possible.

Over the years, it’s been a delight to watch siblings placed in separate foster homes reunited (if only briefly) for Christmas parties or for our summer KidzKamp. In fact, campers at KidzKamp have often remarked that the best part of the event was spending time with their brother or sister.

The happiness they feel should also inspire us as we think about our own siblings. After all, none of us will be around forever. Just ask Evart.

Sibling relationships are a complicated affair … fraught with old grudges and complicated emotions. But they are ours, and they make our lives richer.

After all, “our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.” Susan Scarf Merrill. To learn more about foster care and adoption, visit and