By: Bonnie Sharpe On: June 09, 2021 In: News Item Comments: 0

Maintaining the sibling bond is crucial to child development and adjustment, especially for children who are separated from the only homes and parents they have ever known. Our resource (foster) parents go above and beyond to make sure these connections are nourished and strong. 

Youth enter foster care to no fault or choice of their own. They are separated from their homes, their schools, their friends, and sometimes their siblings. Now add the experience of trauma and family stressors and for any youth, it can seem unmanageable. Fortunately, there is Robert, an extraordinary foster dad.

“Imagine being taken out of your home and not seeing your family anymore – that’s trauma in itself. I believe being connected (to birth family) helps youth through their foster care experience.”

When Robert welcomed Alex*, a smart and self-determined 13-year-old, into his home he seemed well adjusted. Alex was doing well in school, diligent about his homework, and engaging with other youth. Then a month later, Robert began to notice signs of trauma – there were spouts of anger amidst sadness – and Alex expressed missing his older brother and twin sister. Understanding the importance of family, Robert and Extraordinary Families worked together to get Alex reunited with his siblings.

“No matter how much you as a foster parent want them to know you are the one for them on this journey, it is healthy for the child to know their family. Children shouldn’t have to choose either or.”

Soon thereafter, Alex and his siblings began to have weekly visits which turned into occasional overnight stays. After a few months, Alex’s twin sister Anna* expressed to Robert she was ready to transition from her current foster home into his – with one caveat: add a feminine touch. While Robert checked all the boxes to make his home a welcome space for a child, Anna admitted she needed a comfortable space of her own. Robert jumped at the opportunity to make the home as comfortable as possible for her. Once Robert got Anna’s stamp of approval, she moved in. Alex and Anna instantly clicked, doing class projects together, playing video games, and most importantly strengthening their sibling bond. 

“Alex and Anna have been such a blessing to my home, they are kind, intelligent, witty, and teach me new things every day. I was so glad to be able to help them come together.”

In sharing his story, Robert’s smile told us that he was proud of the home he was able to provide for these siblings. Being able to witness Alex and Anna’s contentment when around Robert assured our team that these children were in the right place.

Our favorite part about Robert is that we know we have the freedom to be ourselves.”


*Names in this story have been changed to protect the children’s identity

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