Imagine Crocodile's sisters' names are something like Sonya and Sierra. When Crocodile came to us, they had one name no matter which sister he was talking about. Imagine something like Sina. So, Sina was pointed out to us in pictures, and he would talk about what Sina did and we were never sure which sister he meant.
A few months ago, their names became distinct, though still not quite the right pronunciation, so something like Sira and Sina.
Recently, he uses their names, but he is also especially proud and pleased that they are his "stisters." He likes to talk about this after he's seen them, and he just nods his head with a little more energy and satisfaction when he says it.
His "stisters" have not had an easy life, and Crocodile has been spared some of their ups and downs. They recently moved homes, and Sonya asked a lot about Crocodile. In transitions and unsure times, they cling to the most constant things they can: siblings. I think of Cricket. I talked to someone close to her after she moved to be with her sister, and she said she was like a different child. All this hidden joy came out of her, having the security of knowing her sister was with her.
There is hope that if reunification does not happen that Crocodile and his sisters will be together. We are not the family that can make that happen, but there is a possibility. All of that is far ahead, and in the meantime we're going to try to make sure he can have more sibling time than the minimum we've been doing. Where we live, that's once per month (plus they see each other at parenting time with mom). Why not have more time in the first place? It's hard to plan and schedule with busy foster families, honestly. But the new family is eager to plan it and I think we'll make it happen.
The longer the case goes, the easier it is to forget sometimes that Dinosaur and Rhinoceros are not his only siblings. I have to be pretty intentional to be a part of keeping that bond going.
I don't know our future as foster parents, but I hope at some point we're able to foster siblings and prevent separation in the first place. I wish we could have been ready to do that from the start, but if we had waited until we were ready, we wouldn't have been there for the five kids we've had. They would have just been in different homes, still separated from siblings.