Featuring Joy & Geoff, Big Brother , Little Brother , Sis , and various household (and outdoor) critters...

Friday, 31 July 2009

Come Together

Yesterday we attended the creditors meeting facilitated by the trustee handling our agency's bankruptcy. It was a really positive experience - something so devastating has the potential to be a very exciting time of united action, hope, and restoration. There was completely unanimous agreement in the room to work together to restructure the agency so that all clients can continue their adoptions. There is a great deal of energy and a strong sense of collaboration in this group. The trustee was excellent, and enthusiastic, and there was a display of cooperation and negotiation amongst those willing to represent all creditors as an "inspector" (a committee of 5 people who will now work with the trustee to oversee primarily financial decisions moving forward). I had a real sense that everyone wants to make this work, is willing to collaborate to do it, and that there are some very skilled people with lots of wisdom playing key roles in all of this. It was worth making a spectacle of myself in my reclining lawn chair, pressure relief cushion, and back roll to be there! Oh, and I did answer a few questions from a reporter afterward - also exciting. I just can't remember his name and haven't found any quotes by me in the new articles I've been reading :) Ghana families met for lunch afterward to chat about our unique situation and action plan to see if there is a way our Ghana adoptions can continue...but that's a long story, so we'll leave it at that for now and see what unfolds!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Domestic vs. International


This article is worth a look for those wanting to understand some of the complexities of choosing international vs. domestic adoption...

Friday, 24 July 2009

Press Conference

Imagine clients speaking live to the media - pretty much sums everything up:


Imagine Family Website & Blog

Keep up with news, plans, and other information related to efforts to find solutions for families of Imagine Adoption! Thank you SO much to everyone who is putting time and energy into this effort. We believe exciting things will come of all this.



Encouraging Efforts & Support

Here is some public information that I wanted to paste here for quick reference, showing some of the efforts and support for Imagine Adoption clients so far (there are more examples, including official government statements, but these are quite lovely):

1. This an excerpt from a notice by Imagine's bankruptcy trustee, which is particularly pertinent to folks in our situation - there may still be hope that families without referrals will also have support to complete their adoptions along with those who have already been matched (and please remember to include these families in any letters, phone calls, etc.):

BDO Dunwoody is continuing discussions with the licensing government office, stakeholders, individuals and other organizations regarding continuity of services that were provided by the previous organization. If successful, and fully compliant with regulatory requirements, the unmatched files would continue to be managed. This objective is not typical for a bankruptcy of this nature; however, the sensitivity of this priority is recognized. We will continue to communicate the status of this option for the unmatched families between now and the creditor meeting on July 30th.

See http://www.bdo.ca/extranets/imagineadoption/index.cfm for more information

2. Here is a link to a blog post by a London MP for the Liberal Party, sharing his experience at our London area meeting last Sunday:


3. Also, many, many thanks to Yamana Gold (www.yamanagold.com), who have so generously donated to keep Imagine's transition house in Ethiopia running - BDO states that Yamana's contribution will keep the home open until the children there are able to return home with their families. Beautiful.

Thursday, 23 July 2009


Ah...so I slipped and fell on our wet deck today, and broke a lumbar vertebrae. Had my first ambulance ride, hours and hours lying on my back waiting for a diagnosis and clearance to move...now time will tell how things go. Maybe more time for letter-writing and so on to support our adoption agency advocacy efforts, though...

Monday, 20 July 2009

Standing for a Cause

Ok, so I feel like I'm the kind of person who likes the idea of causes, and has ideas about causes, but who doesn't actually invest much in causes. I'm basically a cause "poser" - and now I'm faced with the opportunity to choose - will I invest, or will I keep posing?

Well, last week I was following all the news and discussion, but without being terribly active. I figured Imagine was done, our Ghana process was done, and that was that - just accept it and start planning our next steps. On top of everything, all this time spent in limbo (which I realized has actually been since April in regard to Ghana - and if you count some of the major uncertainties we faced starting over a year ago when we were investigating other programs, coming up against obstacles, etc., our adoption journey has included about 8 months of hopeful optimism, and 14 months of 'known unknowns' (= major uncertainty). Anyway, 14 months of uncertainty forces a bit of detachment while waiting and waiting and waiting for news and major decisions about programs, and it seems to have made me feel a bit lost in regard to what I want to do next. But when I stopped to think about this issue outside of my own situation, I had to decide how much it matters. And I realized that even if I've lost some perspective on our own situation, if I really believe in international adoption and in the significance of the current situation for all Imagine clients, and for adoption in Ontario and across the country, then I need to participate. So, for our family, for Imagine clients, for the children, and for international adoption, I am taking up this cause. Nothing too wild yet, perhaps just a few letters, but it only feels right to stop posing and start doing.

Informed vs...not so much

I find it unsettling to observe the willingness of some to make hurtful, uninformed statements about others and their choices. In online comments to many of the articles covering our agency story, quite a few postings suggest that international adoptive parents are:

* Wealthy, since we managed to come up with the money to pursue private/international adoption. To me, this assumption really shows that some folks are having difficulty considering alternative scenarios...like maybe families have put off buying new cars, or bigger houses, or taking trips, or have taken on side jobs...and this may have taken years...

* Trying to be like celebrities. And to that, I really need to say that I am the last person to do something to be LIKE popular culture - I tend to go the other way. And I've wanted to adopt since childhood - way before international adoption became linked with celebrity...

* Participating in baby-buying. Ah, I'm not even sure how to respond to that one. A business needs incoming cash flow to pay staff, operate a building, etc. Adoption professionals do this as their JOB, not as a volunteer work. We are helping keep an organization running, ensuring that matched children are fed and clothed until they are in our care. This is the same as paying for the services of a lawyer to complete a private domestic adoption.

* Ignoring Canadian babies and children in need. This assumes (and there are some comments to this effect as well) that Canadian babies/children are easily available for adoption. Well, there are long waiting lists for private Canadian adoptions, so for those children, needs for family will be easily met. Canadian children are not in orphanages with low staff ratios. Foster situations are much preferable to orphanage care (still with a goal of family re-unification or adoption, not as a permanent solution). And, there are other considerations with domestic public adoption and older child adoption that are highly personal in nature. The fact is, worldwide (not just in Canada) there are children needing families. I am quite glad that some families feel led to pursue domestic adoption, and some to pursue international so that needs of children around the world are met...

Anyway, it's not the comments themselves that bother me - truly it isn't - but I am bothered by the ugliness of human nature sometimes. Not everyone has to love the idea of international adoption - and I can respect an opinion based on careful consideration, good understanding of the issues, and so on, even if it is different than mine. Feel free to offer enlightening comments when you read these articles...and if you are inclined not to say something nice, well, there are already plenty doing that, why not take a pass!


It seems there is an active suspension of Ghana adoptions to Canadian families in place. What I don't know is whether there is a plan to review and possibly lift the suspension pending necessary information. I will be looking into this, as it is the first barrier to processing Ghana files even if a plan is put in place for Imagine clients...that is the first of a few barriers, but we'll start at step one. If there is any possibility of having the suspension lifted, pray that this will happen.

Friday, 17 July 2009


As I continue to follow the news and plans in regard to Imagine's bankruptcy and its implications for families in the program, a couple of issues have captured my attention.

1. Can existing adoption programs in Ontario support Imagine's clients to pursue adoption if we are forced to look elsewhere?
2. If the government builds even short-term supports to help Imagine clients see their adoptions through to completion, will this include clients who did not have referrals, and those who were not with the Ethiopia program?

I believe that we need to continue advocating for Imagine clients to have their files processed through to completion of their adoptions, in light of a concern that the Ontario adoption system likely cannot handle the influx of families who may be exploring other programs. I have realized that there simply may not be options for all of us if the existing adoption system is overwhelmed with new applicants. I have concerns for all families, but particularly those who did not have referrals and who were not with Ethiopia. I am following online discussions and posting around these issues, to see if any action has been taken to give voice in this regard.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


There have been a couple of petitions started to encourage government support assisting clients of our agency. Here is a link, if you can spare a moment (and by the way, once you have "signed" the petition, there is a link to click if you want to donate to the petition web-site, but this is optional - your "signature" is still there with no donation - we have no affiliation with the web-site and are just interested in the petition).


Tuesday, 14 July 2009

News Stories

For those interested in following our agency's story in the news, just google:

"imagine adoption" bankrupt

Using that search, you will find stories from CBC, CTV, various local news agencies and papers (including the London Free Press), the Globe & Mail, etc. New articles keep coming out, so I won't try to keep up by posting links here. There is some hope that the Ministry of Children & Youth Services in Ontario may work to provide some assistance, at least for families with referrals, to continue with their adoptions, but nothing is certain yet.

The story has also been featured in some local television news, and will be on Canada AM tomorrow (Wednesday, July 15) morning.

Doll Link

I can't seem to find an online seller of the Umntwana dolls (like the one I bought - pictured a couple of posts ago), but here's a link to a UK site that sells them:


Monday, 13 July 2009

Agency Bankruptcy Notice

Rather than trying to summarize or post the very unexpected news we received today regarding our agency, I will simply direct you to this release on the agency website. If the link doesn't work, just go to www.imagineadoption.ca and scroll down the home page to the BDO Notice link.


It seems that our journey is taking a completely new direction...we just have no idea what that is. Over the next little while we will find out what is in store for all of us who have been involved with Imagine. So many staff, families, and children are affected by this situation...

We still feel good about the decisions we have made up to this point, so we don't have regrets about how we ended up here. We are going through this with some other great people, all of us in the same boat, and it helps to be in good company.

Rumblings and Rumours

I have learned that people tend to panic pretty easily, and that speculation can become belief with just a few misplaced words. There are rumblings in the air today in regard to the news we've been expecting, which could be bigger and broader than thought...and which will make me far less sorry for myself than for others. Whether true or not...keep praying.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Playing House

I still like a nice doll - couldn't resist this little guy today at our local "Sunfest" event - regardless of what happens with the Ghana program, I'll keep him on display. He's made in South Africa, dressed by local women, and so charming. These dolls are all named, and are all one-of-a-kind. Each comes with a card showing the name and village of the woman who made the outfit. His name, Kagiso, means "peace" in Tswana. We also chose a lovely recycled steel heron-type bird for our trailer garden at the campground - just what we've been looking for, and made by a man in Zimbabwe.

Friday, 10 July 2009


The weekend is here, and there is no final verdict yet. There has been another meeting, but the outcome is unknown and will be until at least next week. I think my mind is on pause along with the Ghana program - I don't have anything particularly creative on my mind, so I will leave it at that. I will certainly post again once we have word on the program (and maybe before then if I think of something particularly stimulating to write).

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Tick- tock...and "click" "click" "click"

Since getting back from camping (during which it was nice to know not to be expecting any updates, especially with no internet) I've been clicking back-and-forth between email and adoption message boards to catch any news on the Ghana program the moment it arrives. And there is none, yet. We did just get a message from the agency saying that hopefully by Friday, following more internal meetings, there will be news.

Once again, we will wait and see. I am, however, solemnly reminded today that this waiting and uncertainty is not, by far, the worse thing we could be facing, after hearing terribly sad news from another family about the little girl they were in the process of adopting. It seems that this year has been a difficult one for so many - people we know personally, and those I follow along with electronically. May there be peace and beauty to carry us through dark times.