Separated six weeks ago in Arizona, Yeni Gonzalez finally saw her children Tuesday, if only for a visit to the East Harlem foster care facility where they were brought.
"This has been the worst thing that happened to me in my life," Gonzalez said through an interpreter.
It's a story repeating across the country. Of the more than 2,000 separated children said to be in the United States as of last week, few if any are thought to be back with their parents, despite a court order requiring the federal government soon make it happen.
More than 200 children have been brought to the city after they were separated from their families detained at the border due to President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy towards illegal immigration.
"All I can say is we're not yet aware of any children, who have been placed in New York City, who have been reunited with their parents in this country through the federal government," said David Hansell, the commissioner of the city's Administration for Children's Services
The court order requires the separated children talk to a parent by this Friday, July 6.
By July 10, kids under five must be reunited with a parent.
And by July 26, all children need to be back with a parent, even if in custody.
The federal agency in charge didn't return our request for comment.
City officials also say the Trump Administration is giving them the brush off. "We have been reaching out for several weeks now," Hansell said.
Instead, the city is getting information from the foster agencies.
It's also announcing help in the form of psychiatric care, health care, training to deal with trauma, legal assistance, field trips, art supplies, and toys.
Once just images, the traumatic stories are slowly emerging in a lawsuit filed against the federal government from a coalition of state attorney generals, including New York's.
In one sworn document, a Honduran woman said "death threats" prompted her to leave with her six-year-old.
"My son Jelsin and I were separated. I was not told where he was being taken," she said after their May 18 border crossing.
She is Washington state while her son is in New York, although it is unclear where.
She said they've since talked once, over the phone: "I was able to talk to my son but he was only able to say a few words. He was just crying. Upon hearing his sobs, I told him everything would be all right, that he should not worry, that God would help us."
It's a story Yeni Gonzalez knows well. "I don't want to ever leave their arms again," she said Tuesday.
As for Gonzalez, she's staying in Queens, applying for asylum, visiting her children as often as she can, as she tries to get them released from foster care.