Hope's Seed

No parent can prepare for the death of a child, and no one can take away the pain and grief that comes with such tragedy.

We try, though, bless us. We try so hard to say the right thing, to offer words of hope or support, to take even a fraction of the pain away from our loved ones who have endured every parent's nightmare.

We try, but we fail. Because there's really nothing you can say to a mother or father who has had to bury a child, especially if you haven't experienced it yourself. There are no magic words that can heal such a wound.

I promise, all of those words we think might help fall woefully short. We can honestly say, "I can't imagine," because we can't. Most of us won't even allow ourselves to try to imagine it.

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Family

Jillian Hollingsworth paid a steep price to stay home while her children were young.

With no maternity leave plan at her job in South Carolina and the high cost of daycare, she had quit to stay home to take care of her babies. But, that job had provided health insurance for her whole family, so her husband, Wesley, found a new state government job that had health benefits. The only problem? It paid about half of what his previous job had, leaving them in a tough situation.

“Our financial situation just nose-dived,” says Hollingsworth.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Following several violent tours in Iraq, Ray Russell was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He had applied for services at his local Veterans Affair office, and after the diagnosis, the VA set up Russell with resources designed to help. But he always felt like he was still missing something.

At the time, he didn't think much about treatment other than what the VA offered. Instead, he spent most of his days working overtime in the restaurant industry.

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All right, real talk: When's the last time you heard a parent refer to their kid as their "whoops, we forgot to use protection" child? What about their "it took a lot of help from doctors to make this happen" child?

No one talks like that! (OK, other than in a Judd Apatow comedy.) They'd sound ridiculous. Your kids are your kids — regardless of how they became a part of your family. Why do we so often forget to apply that understanding to children who've been adopted?

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