Ok, so the Restructuring Proposal.
As I mentioned several days ago, it's big.
It goes a little like this...try and follow along. Feel free to ask questions.
I'll try to answer. Though there are still several unanswerables.
I'm sure I don't have it all straight.
There is still a lot of faith to be put in to this one.
I'm continually learning patience. Taking one day at a time.
I am emotionally drained.
The Restructuring Proposal was presented and posted on Friday, September 4. Ben and I, that very day, voted in favour of the proposal. It's the dream, right? How does one ever contemplate saying no to the dream.
We were given 2 weeks to decide whether or not to vote for or against the possibility of restructuring Imagine Adoption.
On Monday, September 21 there will be a second Creditor's Meeting in Kitchener at which point we will see if the majority of creditors voted yes/no. If the majority votes in favour of the restructuring proposal then restructuring will begin immediately. The meeting will still take place. This is by law.
The proposed Board for the new Imagine Adoption plans to begin operations as of the beginning of October.
So, what does all this mean and how would it actually happen? It means that if the plan/proposal is voted in by the majority (this is 50% + 1 representing 2/3 of the monies outstanding) then the 350 families will be given a certain time frame during which they will need to send in their next set of fees as well as a new signed Retainer Agreement. The first set of fees is $2000. The retainer is a legally binding document between the agency and client.
Here is where things get tricky. If the proposal is voted in but not enough families send in their $2000, there will not be enough money to restructure and run Imagine. You can vote yes but still decide to go elsewhere. (I will withhold my opinion but suffice to say that would be cruel and unusual punishment for those of us getting our hopes up.) So in the end the proposal is worthless.
If, however, sufficient number of families send in their money (this number needed is currently unknown) then restructuring will begin to take place. A significantly smaller staff is in place (the Exec Dir is still to be confirmed - there are several candidates), a board is in place (they will meet every 3 weeks and minutes will be posted publicly - you can read bios on BDO's site...this is one bright, talented group), and other checks will happen often.
The restructuring phase will take 90 days. (If you're following this means early January 2010.) After the 90 day restructuring period, there will be another 90 probation period during which it will be ensured that all those new policies, procedures, etc are being followed, adhered to, maintaining standards, etc. Another $2000 is due in March 2010. (If you're still following this means we are now at April 1, 2010.)
It has been stated that the first referrals will be realized April 2010. During the first 6 month period there will be 5 referrals each month. (This takes us to Oct 2010.) During the second 6 month period there will be 10 referrals each month. After this there will be approximately 15 referrals each month. In 2011 the newly restructured Imagine plans and hopes to take on new clients who have been waitlisted. (None of these are families currently in process with Imagine.)
The reason this will all take so much time is that there are so many dozens of checks to be done. Not only in Canada but also overseas in Ethiopia, there is government, MOWA/Ministry of Children, orphanages, etc.
There are 6 orphanages from which Imagine makes referrals. They have not been paid since the bankruptcy which means there is no money to support the orphans in them. Currently, it is estimated that $40,000 is owed to them. That's a big wad in any country, let alone a developing country. After this amount is paid, the cost is somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 needed for the orphanages to continue working with them and maintain the well-being of the children. It is still unknown whether or not the Transition Home will continue to operate. While it is a phenomenal place for the children to transition to their new homes and wait for their forever families to pick them up and bring them back to Canada, it is also very costly. BDO and the lawyer working with them has done an outstanding job at cutting costs, (from $50,000 at time of bankruptcy down to a current $17,000 and it is forecast that the cost will be slashed again down to $10,000 if the restructuring is passed).
So, where does this leave us? Well, if Imagine was working on the very early June 2008 files at the time of bankruptcy and we were mid-September 2008 then we are about 3 1/2 months away in "old referral" time. We've done the calculations and we guesstimate (this is seriously general) to be around the 60s. If all goes according to the schedule above we would be looking at a November 2010 referral or so.
However, all the above information is extremely conservative. When drawing up the new plan and timelines, the groups involved deemed it better to err on the side of longer timelines and be able to "surprise" everyone with shortened timelines, rather than have what happened last time and continually disappoint clients by having to make them wait longer than anticipated. (You'll recall when our dossier arrived in Ethiopia we were quoted a 6 month wait. This was lengthened at Christmas when we were told 8, 9 months. Then in the Spring we were quoted 12 months and the story continues.)
I've had several people ask me why we continue. Why not just stop and alleviate the heartache, the emtional rollercoaster, and the never ending waiting followed by more unknown.
Here's the thing though, how do you turn your back on a dream? If the whole thing tanks and the proposal is voted out, or if it is voted in but then enough people don't resign with the new agency and it does down the drain anyway then at least we'll know that we did all we could do.
Can you imagine getting this far, deciding we couldn't continue on only to find out soon thereafter that the restructured agency was up and running and referrals were being realized? Talk about heartache. Always wondering who "she" was, where "she" was now, and how "she" was doing...that would be true emotional rollercoaster land.
So while this, I would say is the hardest thing I've ever been though, I won't give up. I can't give up. We won't stop until there is no more path to follow.
(And with the two-year-old handful at home, coupled with the four-year-old counterpart, an extra several months gap between number two and three could likely be a blessing...)