Caterpillar's older sister came along for a doctor's appointment today. Caterpillar's grandma has guardianship of the sister, but they live in town and Caterpillar's mom spends a lot of time with her. She stares at me with big eyes. She didn't want to answer my lighthearted question. She plays and giggles some at Caterpillar, but there's an air of sadness. My interactions with Pterodactyl's brothers, including my visit to her home with her grandma had a similar tone. I wonder how they're doing with their new twin siblings, who will never live with them. Caterpillar's sister isn't as direct as they were to ask if her baby sibling can come home, but I see it in her eyes. I heard from Beetle's sister's parents and current foster parents that she had the same confused longing for her baby brother.
Recently Caterpillar's mom called and said his sister was upset about Caterpillar not being there, so she wanted to call and report that he was doing well. I usually let her calls go to voice mail and text or call back when I get a chance, but for some reason I answered this one right away, and I'm glad I did. I think of the sadness that Rhinoceros (and Dinosaur when he was younger) gets when he wakes up to find that B already left for work. We don't call him at work, but we have B leave orange juice out for the boys if they're not awake as a sign that he thought of them and did something for them.
But Caterpillar is a baby and can't do much to reassure anyone. I can give pictures that can be passed on, but that's about it. It breaks my heart that these little ones who are so little themselves are worried about their younger siblings, unable to picture that they're all right if they can't see that they're all right.
Sometimes the weight of sadness of broken families just sits on my shoulders.