What Is Adoption Medicine? (by NCFA)

Adoption Medicine: Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Adopted Children

By Dr. Emily Todd

http://barnimages.com/ First, let me answer the question on everyone’s mind: What is adoption medicine? Children who join families through adoption may have special health, behavioral, and developmental needs. Adoption medicine addresses those needs with the family in all phases of the adoption journey. Those of us in adoption medicine are typically pediatricians, but we have a variety of additional training beyond pediatrics, in areas such as genetics, infectious diseases, global health, and developmental or behavioral pediatrics. We apply our skills in all phases of the adoption journey – both before and long after an adoption to help children adopted via all types of adoption.

Within the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there exists the Council on Foster Care, Adoption, & Kinship Care (COFCAKC). This is a group of pediatricians with a special interest in adoption, kinship care, and foster care. These pediatricians are dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of children and youth in foster care and kinship care, as well as those who have been placed in permanent adoptive families.

Read more (PDF)


FREE to Hopscotch Adoption Families: Your Adoption Finance Coach News and Tips

News and Tips from the Coach

Happy 2016!

Welcome to News and Tips from the Coach, a new monthly newsletter which we will be bringing you every month, filled with financial tips and news to share with your clients and staff.

We realize that putting together the financial side of the adoption process is complicated and confusing.  Our experienced coaches work with families everyday helping them to work through some of the complex areas such as the Adoption Tax Credit, updated loans and grants and how to create a financial strategy that doesn’t wipe out their savings or put them into debt! 

There is no simple answer, as we tell most of our families, but it’s a lot easier if you have a plan — and that’s where our team of Adoption Finance Coaches come in! Each family is assigned their own Coach who has expertise in helping them to create a comprehensive plan that fits their budget 

We hope you’ll find this new resource helpful! We look forward to bringing you each month the most up-to-date adoption financial information, tips and tidbits to share with your team and your families!

Enjoy our first edition and here’s to a prosperous and healthy New Year!

Your Adoption Finance Coach Team
Kelly, Brandi, Elicia, and Cathi

Your Adoption Coach Radio

Even though our radio show is no longer doing LIVE broadcasts we still maintain the content on the show in replays each week.

Each month we’ll be highlighting one of our favorite broadcasts to share with you! 

This months highlight: Adoption Tax Credit, with Becky Wilmoth. Becky and the team at Bill’s Tax Service continue to be a valuable resource to us for information about the Adoption Tax Credit.  Becky as appeared several times on our show to share updates and information about the tax credit.  Click on the image to hear Becky talk about this important topic!

It’s January…start thinking about your TAXES!

Probably THE most asked question that our coaches get is how does the adoption tax credit work and how much is it?  We sponsor twice a year, Becky Wilmoth from Bill’s Tax Service who does a live webinar for our families.  It’s a very popular session, Becky is one of the experts in this area.  If you are a current affiliate agency then your families can register via the agency portal.  All of our webinars are FREE to our families and agencies.

For completed adoptions in 2015, filing in 2016 the Adoption Tax Credit amount is $13,400.  What most do not understand is the fact that it is a credit not refundable and that trips most people up.  A credit reduces the overall tax liability and may or may not produce a refund but in most cases it does.  If you expect your adoption to be complete in 2016, then the credit goes up to $13,460.  This is a small increase compared to previous years, but an increase nonetheless.  If you’d like to learn more about the Adoption Tax Credit, here are some valuable websites and resources for you: 

    Don’t forget to check your State — many have additional tax credits that can be applied to completed adoptions! 


Source: http://emergingmama.com

neglected-child-brain We were well into the third year of our family’s new normal, before I had come to the realization that things really were different for us. That no, all kids really don’t do this-whatever “this” may mean at the moment-and that we were not imagining the stress. We were not imagining the frustration. It took nearly four years to accept that the challenges we were facing couldn’t simply be dealt with by working harder or doing more. It took nearly four years to come to terms with the fact that living in a family with children who have experienced early childhood trauma(s) can be an isolating, lonely, and oddly enough traumatizing endeavor, with very unique and difficult challenges. So few on the outside can understand what it’s like to live inside our walls. That is not to suggest whatever is inside our neighbor’s walls is more or less difficult, just different perhaps. Below is my imperfect attempt to give words to some of our family’s daily struggles.

Read more.

We’ve Got Your Back: Lilit In America!

Source: http://lilitinamerica.blogspot.com

The Green Light – January 22, 2016

_62A6622 After reviewing all information, Dr. Caridi and his team decided that Lilit is, indeed, a candidate for spinal surgery that will significantly enhance her quality of life as well as prevent additional health problems in adolescence.

Lilit’s ten-hour surgery will be complicated, removing several ribs and vertebrae and inserting a metal rod to reduce the 120 degree curvature of her spine.  If all goes as planned, Lilit will not need additional surgeries or follow-up care in the future.  Rehabilitation could take as long as two months, however.

Lilit’s surgery is scheduled for January 27.

Learn more about Lilit’s journey.

Ghana’s Big Green Heart!

Click here to see video.


Parents Speak Out a Year After Dad ‘Chose’ Son With Down Syndrome Over Wife

A year ago Samuel Forrest’s life abruptly changed forever. In the span of just a few days he gained a son, began divorce proceedings with his wife and found himself the focus of a lot of media attention.

(Photo: Samuel Forrest)

Now, a year later, Forrest and his wife have reconciled.

Leo Forrest was born with Down syndrome on January 21, 2015 in Yerevan, Armenia. After he was diagnosed, his mother, Ruzan Forrest, gave his dad, Samuel Forrest, an ultimatum: if he decided to keep the baby, she’d file for divorce.

Samuel Forrest decided not to have Leo placed for adoption.

“They took me in to see him and I looked at this guy and I said, he’s beautiful, he’s perfect,” Forrest told ABC News last year. “I’m absolutely keeping him.”

Forrest decided he and Leo would move back to Auckland, New Zealand, where he is from, and his wife remained in Armenia and began divorce proceedings.

Read more.

How do you claim the Adoption Tax Credit? We Know How, Listen Up!

Source: https://creatingafamily.org


How do you claim the Adoption Tax Credit on your federal income tax for adoptions completed in 2015 and taxes being filed in 2016? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Becky Wilmoth, an Adoption Tax Credit Specialist at Bills Tax Service, and Josh Kroll, Adoption Tax Credit Coordinator at the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC).

Click here to listen.

5 Tips to Stay Healthy & Happily Married When Adopting

Source: https://creatingafamily.org

By Dawn Davenport


Parenthood is stressful. We love the little darlings, but they can put a major strain on the marriage. This is especially true if our child has special challenges from being exposed to alcohol or drugs during pregnancy or was adopted at an older age and carries the baggage of abuse and neglect. What’s the trick to staying happily married when adopting or fostering children from hard places.

An all too typical pattern in adoption (and in marriage in general) is for one parent to take the lead in becoming educated about adoption, the challenges, and the type of parenting these children respond to best. Often this same parent has been the “pusher” or “moving force” behind the adoption. Often this parent is the mother. This doesn’t bode well when the challenges of adopting or fostering hit.

It’s not helpful at this point to say that the non-educated, non-pusher parent (usually the father) needs to have been educated and supported before you reach this point. That ship has already sailed. So what to do when you feel your marriage fraying under the pressure of adopting or fostering a child that has experienced trauma?

I asked this question to Dr. Karyn Purvis, author of The Connected Child, and the founder and Director of the TCU Institute of Child Development on a Creating a Family Radio show about Raising and Healing Abused and Neglected Kids. In typical Dr. Purvis fashion she had some very specific and practical advice, with a few comments of my own thrown in for good measure.

Tips For Staying Happily Married When Adopting/Fostering

  1. Make time for each other. It is crucial to nurture your marriage while parenting. Nurturance takes time and it takes intention. You must schedule time to be with your spouse as a spouse, rather than as a parent discussing the kids, the house, life’s problems. I believe a weekly “Date Night” may just have saved my marriage. It doesn’t have to be at night and it doesn’t have to cost money, but it does have to happen. Find time to do an activity you both enjoy and make a point to schedule time to do it on a regular basis. Dr. Purvis suggested taking a walk together regularly. Bottom line: find a way to have fun together again.
  2. Model what works. Rather than telling your partner how to do things, show him. If it works to improve your child’s behavior and lower his anxiety, your spouse will see it. Sometimes our words get in the way.
  3. Who should educate? You do have to talk about the kids, but often the not-as-involved parent feels ambushed by these conversations which are full of what needs to be done or how he isn’t doing things right. Is it possible that someone other than you would be better at helping to educate your spouse? Would he attend your child’s therapy session and hear from the therapist what works best? Would he listen to the many Creating a Family radio show/podcasts on parenting children who have been abused and neglected during his commute to work or while he works out?
  4. Double up on self-care. Parenting is hard work, and worrying about your marriage is even harder. You are under a lot of stress and stress makes many (all?) of us difficult to live with. You owe it to yourself and to your marriage to take care of yourself. What you need is individual to you, but for most of us includes regular exercise, enough sleep, and something to look forward to each day—a good book and time to read, a trip to Starbucks by yourself, an occasional massage, a small tub of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, or a night out with your friends.
  5. Show some compassion. The biology of most mothers leads them to want to nurture their children and figure out how to meet their children’s needs. The biology of most fathers leads them to want to protect their family. The continual chaos that can happen when adopting or fostering a child who is struggling with the aftermath of abuse and neglect makes many dads feel powerless. Powerless is a lousy place to be, and many fathers just give up. Understanding the reasons why, goes a long way to lowering your frustration. [I struggled with the gender stereotyping in this piece of Dr. Purvis’s advice, but I have to admit that it rings true.]

Show Hope is partnering with Empowered to Connect to present the Empowered to Connect Conference in Nashville, TN, and we need your help to spread the word!

ETC Nashville

Show Hope is partnering with Empowered to Connect to present the Empowered to Connect Conference in Nashville, and we need your help to spread the word!

This two-day conference will feature researchers from TCU led by and experts in the field of research-based interventions for children from hard places, led by Dr. Karyn Purvis. It will be an invaluable experience for families, churches and professionals who seek to better serve children impacted by foster care and adoption. This is also a great opportunity for families who are considering adopting or fostering.


Cost: Early-bird registration is $45/individual OR $60/married-couple (Early-bird pricing is available through February 12).

SPECIAL OFFER TODAY ONLY: Register using the code NEWYEAR to receive 20% off your ticket.

Continuing Education Credits: The 2016 Empowered to Connect conferences will be approved by the National Association of Social Workers for Social Work continuing education contact hours. More info here.

Parent Training certificates will be available each day as well. Attendance certificates are provided at the end of each day for parents.

If you have any questions, please email us at etcconferences@showhope.org. We hope to see you soon!

How You Can Help: Get The Word Out!

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Email

To learn more about Show Hope, please visit showhope.org.

News from Armenia: Bringing Happiness Home

See video.


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