Feel-Good Friday: Sibling Reunions Bring Healing and Hope

Sisters Selling Vegas in one of their YouTube videos. Screenshot credit: YouTube

One of my favorite artists is Charlie Peacock. In the wayback years, he wrote a song called, “Now Is The Time For Tears,” which I hearken to during tragedies like what happened this week in Uvalde, Texas.



As much as the Left loves to mock “thoughts and prayers,” the more information discovered about what unfolded at Robb Elementary, the more we discover that thoughts and prayers, and a time of silence are the very thing that is needed. Not only for the community of Uvalde, but for this nation.

Here are my prayers and encouragement to the people of Uvalde from the words of the Prophet Isaiah:

He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives

and freedom to the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor

and the day of our God’s vengeance,

to comfort all who mourn,

to console the mourners in Zion—

to give them a crown of beauty for ashes,

the oil of joy for mourning,

and a garment of praise for a spirit of despair.

Now on to the Feel-Good Friday story, because we need it now more than ever.

A video went viral this week of two sweet, young boys who were raised together, but for reasons not disclosed, were separated for one year. They were reunited after that separation, and their first time seeing each other just melts your heartstrings:

How beautifully touching that the younger boy elicits tears of joy when being reunited with his older brother. Tears serve several purposes and are of a different nature dependent upon the circumstance:


Basal tears lubricate our eyes, reflex tears form in response to irritants such as smoke and dirt, and emotional tears flow when we’re sad or overjoyed. All are made of salt water mixed with oils, antibodies, and enzymes, but they each also contain different molecules. Emotional tears, for example, carry protein-­based hormones, including leucine-enkephalin, a natural painkiller released when the body is under stress.

Whether it’s grief or joy, the body experiences it as stress, and tears are produced to mute the experience of pain, and to level out our joy. Isn’t it wonderful our tears support us in this way? Even more wonderful is that these young ones can be together again.

This story about siblings reuniting was 48-years in the making.

Michele Dugan and Trish Morgan-Tilley had no idea they were related. They lived in the same city for decades, and they each had children that graduated from the same high school in 2018, at the same ceremony.

Michele Dugan’s story was one that started with foster care, but where she was fortunate to be adopted at the age of seven.

With a mom who was unable to care for herself, let alone others, Dugan was passed around to foster homes and orphanages from the time she was six months old until she was adopted at the age of seven. She is very close with and grateful for her adoptive family, she says — and her biological brother, Michael, was always housed with her too.

But as Dugan grew older and had her own family, she started to wonder where she came from.


Dugan had created an account on Ancestry.com. Though Morgan-Tilley was not on the website, her brother Ken Foster was. Foster reached out to Dugan and informed her she had a sister.

Dugan made the leap in initiating contact. She did a Facebook Messenger exchange with Morgan-Tilley, and the two arranged a lunch date.

But after the two sisters got over their stomach butterflies at lunch, they couldn’t catch up enough. Morgan-Tilley said she knew immediately that they had to be related because of Dugan’s resemblance to their father.

“It was like looking at a ghost because she is exactly our dad’s twin,” Morgan-Tilley said. “The blue eyes, the hair, everything. So I couldn’t stop staring at her. Like, you’re definitely my sister, for sure, 1,000 percent.”

Over time, the sisters put the pieces together on how they shared the same DNA and birth year, but were not twins. They discovered that Morgan-Tilley’s father had an affair with Dugan’s mother, which resulted in Dugan’s conception. There was a break up between Morgan-Tilley’s parents because of this, but they ultimately reconciled.

Their children knew nothing about it. Though apprehensive over the prospect, Dugan ultimately met Jackie Morgan, Morgan-Tilley’s mother.


“The first thing she said to me ever when meeting her for the first time — and she gave me the biggest hug — she said, ‘Michele, I want you to know that I loved your dad. And I want you to know that any daughter of his is a daughter of mine,’” Dugan recalled.

“So that’s my sister’s mom. That’s my new mom too,” she added.

It was an act of serendipity that Dugan had acquired a real estate license right before she met Morgan-Tilley, who was also a realtor. The two formed a business, “Sisters Selling Vegas.” In 2021, the enterprise closed 44 transactions and earned nearly $12 million in sales volume. Talk about a winning partnership!


Now Dugan and Morgan-Tilley do both business and life together, and they love it.

Now that they’ve found each other after all these years, Morgan-Tilley and Dugan are hard to tear apart. In addition running a real estate team together, the sisters work out together in the mornings, they go clothes shopping and grocery shopping, they cook together and feed their families together, and they travel together.

“We say this: We missed the first 48 years, so now we’re just making sure that the next 48, or however many we have, we’re going to do everything we can to make it the best,” Dugan said.

Both women grew up with only brothers in the house — and as an adult, Dugan has two sons with her husband and no daughters — so finding that female kinship after such a long time has been very special.

“I always wanted a sister, always,” Morgan-Tilley said. “I would pray, ‘Please, Lord — I need somebody to confide in, I need a best friend.’”


A living, breathing example of beauty for ashes.

I hope you spend this long weekend with your family and others whom you love, and don’t forget to hug them and hold them close. Tomorrow is not promised.



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