Merry Christmas to all of You

May your world be filled with warmth and good cheer this Holy season, and throughout the year! Wish your Christmas be filled with peace and love, these two our world is so desperate for so much.



We would like to share with you one good story that shows how one book can bring changes and help to save the family.

My name is Elena Novikova, I am 54 years. I am a trained psychologist, since 2006 an adoptive parent.
In March of 2012, I went through an adoption crisis. But I realized it only after reading “Wounded Children Healing Homes” book.
In 2006 we have adopted a little girl. She was four and half years old. 20 days later we also adopted a boy. Both of them had obvious attachment disorders, less with the boy, he caused almost no problems. But the girl, as it appeared later had serious attachment disorders. She always wanted to get away from us, boycotted any house work, never cleaned up after herself, did not want to do her school home work and all she wanted to do was to go out and hang out on the street. Her close friends including my husband and I, got stolen money and were lied to all the time. She was stealing from the pockets of jackets in school locker room. She had no moral ethics and did whatever she wanted. I had to change five schools because of her behavior, and she continues stealing. In January of 2012 it got worse. She kept  stealing and lying and then insisted to leave our family and go to another one. I took her hand and brought to a social service agency to the inspector, then was she sent to a government shelter  to wait until I could apply for adoption disruption. We could see how our adopted son was suffering too. He was a good student, tried to help and when our adopted daughter offered to him to leave our family too, he refused and told her that he likes our family and he is happy here. 
A week after I took our daughter to a government shelter, I started to doubt whether I was right with what I did. Before that, I visited psychologists and doctors, to find out what I was doing wrong with our child, and why there was so much tension between us. No one could really tell us or write a diagnosis of mental retardation or physical disorder of the central nervous system.
I could see a lot of controversy in what was happening  plus I could feel like my physical strength was leaving me. One day, I came across the book "Wounded Children Healing Homes” which describes how traumatized children affect foster and adoptive families. I began to read every single line eagerly, and finally I found answers to all the dead-end questions that nobody else could answer before. I realized that the crisis of adoption is OK an expected thing, and I have to work on it instead of applying for adoption disruption. I began to understand my daughter’s behavior and myself. This information was exactly what I was looking for. Where else I could find out about what is happening with adoptive families in situations like mine and why adoptive families begin to treat their children bad though like never attend to do it?  I finally relaxed and all things fell into places. I let my daughter be herself and tried not to look at her through her character and realized I could not do anything to change it. I began to look at her as someone that has psychological traumas. With that confidence I went to Children Service and asked them to return my child. It was not easy, because Children Servcice has already held a meeting where they made decision that could not be a candidate for adoption of this girl again. Based on the facts and  I read and studied that were described in the book, I was able to prove that my family had been going through a crisis of adoption and  instead of adoption disruption and separation both my daughter and I need to be helped. I was heard, and I took the girl back from the shelter where she was already getting familiar with new candidate families.
I thank the authors of this book, and whoever was involved in helping to publish it and I wish them a long and fruitful life. May God bless you, you are doing amazing work!

Once again, we want to thank  the Authors and our partner “Adults Helping Children Today” for helping us to publish this powerful material.


While I was training for ILDC in Kiev, Ukraine in early November 2012, a woman attending the workshop, Triggers, What Can Cause Adoption-Related Crisis?, stood up while introducing herself.  She stated, “I feel I must stand while introducing myself to you because your books saved my adoption.”  She began to cry as she shared that her 10-year-old adopted daughter, has serious behavioral challenges.  Prior to the adoption, her daughter was institutionalized for several years following the deaths of both of her drug-addicted birth parents.  I thanked her for her kind words and began to train.  Of course, we discussed the issues of psychological presence and divided loyalties.  I encouraged trainees to bring the birth family explicitly into the adoptive home through open adoption communication.  Several examples of open communication were given, including “Your birth mother would have been so proud of you today.”
The following day, this same mother attended a second day of training.  She was very excited to share that the previous evening, her daughter sang beautifully in a music recital.  At the conclusion of the event, the adoptive mother hugged her daughter and said to her, “Your birth mother would have been so proud of you tonight.”  Again, the adoptive mother began to cry as she described the way her daughter’s face lit up, “transforming her features” from an angry, avoidant child to one who was surprised and happy to see her birth family acknowledged and accepted.  It was moving to see how eager families and social workers are receive information that will impact the lives of children as well as the stability of the adoptive families caring for them.  It certainly made the long trip to Kiev very worthwhile!  It is startling to see the rapid progress made in Ukraine by ILDC; they are certainly earning their name: International Leadership and Development Center.


2012 Strengthening Families Conference in Kiev

Around 130 families gathered in Kiev to participate in 2012 Strengthen Families conference in Kiev. This special event happens only ones in two years period. ILDC was able not just attend this conference but also to contribute to this event with our latest published materials and workshops for adoptive and foster families. Every family received a copy of “Wounded Children Healing Homes” book. Parents were exited to have this new book.

Few pictures from the conference


ILDC Presents its strategy and conducts two day training in Poltava region

Executive director of ILDC Oleg Shelashsky had an opportunity to do presentation about ILDC work  for Local Children Services in Lubni town Poltava region. After presentation ILDC trainer conducted two days training for adoptive families and social workers. There were about 19 participants that came to attend this training. Everyone was excited about the training. Local Children Service expressed great appreciation and desire to continue this partnership. It was for the first time for them to have something like this happening in Lubni. We hope to continue this work in Lubni town and making arrangements to schedule more training in this town and promote national adoption working with potential foster a adoptive families. 



“Wounded Children Healing Homes” reaching into the hands of adoptive and foster parents.

Since the book was printed last fall and the first workshop was held in Kiev, over 200 books have already came into the hands of adoptive and foster families around Ukraine. On January 29th ILDC conducted first training on the topic of the book in Chernigov region by its national trainer. There were 14 people that had attended this training. These were adoptive and foster parents who took children from the orphanages into their families and had already experienced by themselves what traumatized children are going through and how it effects their lives. Parents were very excited and inspired by this training. Every participant had received a copy of the book at end of the training as a gift but also as a tool that they can use and practice in their hard work with children. ILDC trainer also had chance to connect with the local children service and representatives from local education department. They really liked the workshop and expressed a desire to organize similar training next time for school teachers who work with orphans in local schools. The head of education department made the decision to hold a similar training this coming summer. We are really excited and happy to hear about such a positive feedback from our trainer and look forward to more workshops on this topic around Ukraine. We hope that this project where adoptive and foster parents go through the workshop and receive a copy of a book  will enhance their understanding of traumatic stress and give them the capacity to help their children in their healing process, overcoming the trauma form the past.