Saturday, October 31, 2009

Unfortunate News for Ghana families

Please go to the Imagine Adoption support group on Facebook under the 'discussions' to see an update provided by BDO and Imagine to the Ghana families on Friday, Oct.30/09.
I am so sorry for all of the families in the Ghana program. My heart goes out to all of you.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A General Update from BDO's website - Oct.30/09

General Update Friday October 30th
Time Period of October 15th – October 28th

Prepared by the Board of Directors

Since the last update on October 14, the new Board of Directors would like to advise you of the progress made in the on-going efforts to resume the operations of Imagine Adoption. The Board of Directors met in the last period on October 19th and then again on October 26th.

Office Update

The transition to the new office has not been as smooth as anticipated and we are still without phone lines as a result of service delivery issues with Rogers as well as other vendors. This delay has had some unintended consequences and it is with regret that as a result of the delays, we have not been able to open up the formal communication with families that we were all hoping for.

Although this delay is disappointing, progress is being made with the set-up of the office and we are all committed to having the operation up and running as soon as possible.

Moving forward, here is the key contact information that you have been asking for.

Mailing Address: 382 Queen Street West
Cambridge, Ontario N3C 1G8

Phone Number: 519-267-3841 (not yet operational)

Email Contacts: Jo Ann Barber
Valerie Goodyear
Melissa Burke

Ted Giesbrecht – Communication Update

During the bankruptcy, Ted Giesbrecht was retained by BDO Dunwoody to assist with the handling of families’ files during the process of determining the future of the agency. This was a beneficial relationship and a key component to the recovery of the agency.

Since the transition is nearing completion, Ted, his firm, as well as the Board of Directors are politely asking that all future communication from families be transitioned to the new office of Imagine Adoption. We acknowledge that our communication portals have taken longer to implement then we were hoping but we ask that all families start to use the above contact points for your direct inquiries.

To close on this point, on behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to use this communication as a public acknowledgement and a sincere thank you to Ted and his entire office for the support and ongoing commitment that they have shown during the past 4 months. Words cannot express the gratitude that we all feel.

Travel Update:

We are pleased to have finalized the travel agenda for the working committee that will be leaving for Addis Ababa on October 30th and returning on November 9th. The committee consists of Valerie Goodyear, Christine Starr and Ted Giesbrecht.

As stated in the previous update, the mission for the visit will consist of the following items:

o Establishing and renewing orphanage contracts
o Evaluating current operations
o Assisting with the cases of children currently matched with families
o Relationship building with our partners that are critical to the overall success of the international adoption process

Retainer Agreement Update:

The process of drafting the formal retainer agreement is nearing completion and we are very close to having our draft copy approved. Once this happens, it will be a priority of the staff to have these documents sent out to the families. The date by which renewal fees must be paid under the retainer agreement is November 30th so rest assured that we are well positioned to achieve this goal as proposed.

Ghana Update

There will be an update posted early next week regarding the review of the adoption program for Ghana.

Respectfully, The Board of Directors

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New communication from the new board of directors

Please see the FIA website for a communication from the new Board of Directors

Monday, October 19, 2009

BDO update

BDO has posted an update on their website:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oct.2 - General Update

General Update Friday October 2, 2009

BDO prepared in consultation with the new Board of Directors

As scheduled, BDO attended the court for approval of the restructuring proposal on September 29, 2009. The Court Order was signed and will be issued to BDO by the court office as soon as possible. A copy will be posted on this site when available. In the meantime, the organization is proceeding with the restructuring plan immediately.

There have been 2 meetings since the creditor meeting on September 21st for the Directors identified in the proposal. BDO attended the second meeting on September 29.

The priorities are clearly identified and well established by the Board of Directors to restart operations. The action plans for the coming days and weeks including the following:

Open bank accounts and identify signing Officers for cheques and liability commitments of the organization. Action commenced for October 5 start.
Legally appoint the Directors and Officers considering the incorporation articles.
Prepare and issue the family restart contract. Action commenced for October 9, 2009 release.
Hire staff. Commenced for week of October 5th start.
Obtain and set up new offices premises including furniture, telephone lines, file access and computer data base set up. Commenced for week of October 5th start.
Apply for the license renewal. Commenced including conference call with BDO and Ministry for October 11 dead line.
Contact with Ethiopia considering orphanage relationships and transition home needs. Commenced and travel to Ethiopia anticipated before November 30th.
Prepare revised cash flow for coming 4 months considering actual cost contracts.
Report to BDO as monitor as required.

Information will continue to be provided through the BDO web site for Imagine Adoption as this is currently operational and easily accessed. We will confirm on this site the new office telephone number and address as soon as these are in place.

Some questions directed to BDO during the past week include the following for clarification:

Renewal contracts, once ready, will be posted on this web site as well as being emailed to the families. There will be instructions to complete and send these either care of the BDO offices or to the new Imagine Adoption offices.
Files are expected to be handed back to the staff within the next two weeks. In the meantime, BDO is responding to emergency requests for files and forms. We appreciate that families have kept requests to a minimum until the new office is operational.

Thank you for the ongoing effort, input and patience of all involved.

BDO Dunwoody Limited/Susan E. Taves

Board of Directors/Kelly Cussons

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A blog entry by Glen Pearson - MP London North

Just Imagine - September 30, 2009 by glenpearson

Months ago, families attempting to adopt children from Ethiopia received the shattering news that the adoption agency they were working through was declaring sudden bankruptcy. Most of us recall the pain reflected in the faces and comments of the prospective parents and our hearts went out them. Their hopes were finished.

Except they weren’t. From the ashes of deep despair emerged a collective effort that turned tragedy on its head and produced hope when people believed there was none. What is remarkable about the collective effort of these parents-to-be was that they kept themselves together when anger and frustration could have split them in numerous pieces.
Imagine Adoption, and the moving story surrounding the parents, has been alluded to a number of times in this blog. I’ve written of the first meeting my wife and I had with them and how they constructed a plan in those earliest moments that hatched a truly remarkable story of how citizens who organize, share the burden, skillfully express their honest emotions, and arouse their talents can in the end even make government move with alacrity and compassion.

Under the adroit influence of a steering committee, the hopeful parents engaged media, community partners and politicians from various domains and successfully gained support for their efforts. And then just today, the news: “An international adoption agency that collapsed this summer, stunning hundreds of would-be adoptive parents … was moved out of bankruptcy yesterday” (London Free Press).

I’m not sure any of us can really understand the sheer heights these parents climbed, not so much to overcome obstacles, but to get to their children. They turned their collective grief, not to anger, but to faith and endurance. When it seemed all was lost, they could never accept that news because that meant the children in Ethiopia had lost as well. It just wasn’t good enough … and so they organized and prevailed.

Working with government, creditors and a bankruptcy firm, they succeeded in forming a new board of directors, along with an advisory board. Moreover, each family had to pay another $4,000 each to make it work. And it did. Starting at this moment, the board will hire two full-time workers and a part-time worker. At this rate, most of the adoptions will be completed.

I concluded an earlier blog on these inspirational parents by saying, “If only Ottawa worked like this.” That was just speaking of the spirit of cooperation shown by this hardy group. But now that cooperation has reaped its reward, showing us all once again that if citizens can overcome such obstacles with such cooperation and dedication, our own politicians could surely learn some lessons. I can honestly say they have taught me much, but more importantly have given me hope for what is possible.

We live in a strange world where a sports figure, who can masterfully move a small round ball into a cup on the green can be asked to dine with presidents and prime ministers. Self-serving and self-absorbed entertainers gain immediate access to the halls of power. What are we thinking? The kind of people who should be extended the red carpet into Parliament are people like these parents. They are neither masters of the inconsequential nor purveyors of their own self-image. Instead, they are what we should all emulate. Their secret of power and success was their humility and belief – the very things in such short supply in our nation’s capital these days. Well done. Enjoy your kids.