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Thursday, August 28, 2008

We All Need A Dream!!!!

For those of you who know our son... you are aware that he's not the most positive young man out there. I have never understood why he has such a low self esteem, and as his mother I am heartbroken when I hear him talk down about himself.

It's true that Ryker has been handed a road full of obstacles. Starting with the fact he was diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia. If you ask him what he doesn't like about himself the list is endless... usually starting with he's not tall enough and his ear are to big.. the list goes on and on. If you ask him what he thinks he does well.. he will most likely tell you not much and that so and so can do this better or so and so can do that better.

As his mom I can tell you that yes indeed he has ADHD and Dyslexia. I can also tell you that while Math, English and Social are not subjects that show off his strong points, he's an amazing artist... great at track and field, can be the best big brother and in the water he's like a fish. (Just ask his swimming teacher who feels he should compete)

Now you might be wondering why I am sharing all of this.

Let me explain. As all good mother's out there I have tried and tried to encourage Ryker to do his best at all things. I've always told him that each person has there own talents and right now it appears that academics is not his calling. He needs to focus on those things that he does do well. Swimming is one of those things. Of course the list of excuses come rolling out of his mouth. I can't because of this or someone will be better them me or faster etc., etc.,

Ryker did take some interest in watching the summer Olympics and he enjoyed the swimming very much, particularly all the hubbub with Michael Phelps. Ryker was truly impressed by his races. On one occasion David actually said to me "wouldn't it be great if someone like Michael Phelps had ADHD" just to prove to Ryker that anything is possible no mater the challenges we face.

Then two days ago I pick up my People Magazine and there's a story on Michael Phelps. The article was pretty standard... They talk about his gold medals,, his family and his future goals. There was one paragraph in particular that took my breath away, here is what I read:

It's not too hard to imagine Michael as a skinny young kid, full of fire but so lacking in focus his teachers called his mother with their concerns. "We went through several years when we were just trying to capture his energy", says Debbie, who learned Michael had ADHD for which he took Ritalin during school hours. His early coach remembers him as being a very mooding little guy. Phelps also says that kids made fun of his big ears as a young boy.

After I picked myself off the floor I read this to David and then to Ryker. I wanted him to know and hopefully understand that we all have brick walls to get over. Some people have bigger ones some people have more, but we all have obstacles in our way. I wanted Ryker to look at this swimmer and realize that he to can accomplish something just a wonderful in his life, he just has to start with a dream.

That's all I really want for my son.. I want him to start to dream about all his possibilities and embrace his strengths. You see I truly believe if he does that he will overcome his weaknesses.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Lastest Update On Stephen Langman

August 25, 2008

Dear Friends;

It has been awhile since I have written but we have just been plugging along on this road to recovery. I was also waiting for Friday to come as Steve and I had a meeting with all of his therapists and doctors. There wasn’t much that we didn’t know since we have been well informed all along and I accompany Steve to most of his therapy sessions.

Some of the highlights are that he is doing well with his balance and has now graduated to a cane. He is feeling good about this for obvious reasons but mostly because he was able to cut loose the rolator. At his grandfather’s 98th birthday on the 17th of this month, many of his senior relatives were sporting rolators He was anxious to get out of the rolator club! This gives him greater mobility as he doesn’t have to try to fit in doorways or run over things.

His talking is still loud, flat and some what slurred but he is becoming more aware of it and has begun some exercising in breath control and enunciation. A lot of his speech problems are related directly to the damage done to his brain which needs more time to heal. For those of you who have had a chance to talk to him, you know that he talks a lot! Thankfully, he has begun to recognize that dead air space can be good and he is learning turn taking. He also has a roommate now (who is not a brain injury patient) which will help him to practice his communication skills.

He is still weak on the right side but I can see that he is gaining more control with his right arm and hand. This, again, is related to the brain injury and will take time. He is learning to write again and it is actually more legible now than before the accident.

Amazingly enough, testing by his occupational therapist revealed that his thinking skills are in the average range for his age group! The physiatrist commented that he is a smart man and the more you have to work with the better the outcome. There are some behaviours that are amplified now such as his need to be a neat freak and his desire to be punctual. (You who are close to him will see that as a small miracle in itself! He was always late for everything!) There are many things that he still needs to learn, things that we would find easy to figure out but are perplexing to him. As he has new experiences and time to heal he will begin to figure it all out.

There was one fact from that meeting that Steve found disturbing and that was that he would not be driving for about a year. I had been preparing him for that bit of news but he didn’t realize that it would be for so long. (It may be even longer but we didn’t tell him that.) And of course, in character of his giving nature, he was most concerned for those that he plows snow for in the winter.

Something that I have been worried about is his emotional health. He has become very flat. He tells jokes but doesn’t laugh much and rarely smiles. He never seemed to be sad either. He would at times get frustrated and angry which was at least some emotion. Last week, after seeing some pictures of him in the coma, surrounded by his kids, he broke down and cried. I think it is the start of some emotional healing and as funny as it sounds, I was glad to see it. Please pray for his emotional healing. That may be an even longer road to travel.

The big finale news is his discharge date from Bridgepoint Hospital. It is planned for him to return home on October 2nd. After that, he will begin therapy here at home and will continue that until needed. Please pray for a smooth transition home. When he is home for the weekends I tend to get exhausted. I am hoping that he is far enough along in his recovery that I will be able to handle it.

Once again, thank you for your prayers, support and practical demonstrations of love. You are wonderful people and we are truly blessed by knowing you.

In His Grace,
Donna Langman

One More Reason Why We Love Animals

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lovable Lables

A friend of mine "Tracey Brown" who travelled to China a month after us to get there little girl is selling labels.

Lovable Labels

With school approaching I figured I would need these for Reegan. I was blow away at the web site, they have tones of stuff. I decide to get tags for her backpack and lunch kit, then I saw that they had clothing stick on label's Yahoo NO IRONING!!!! and last but not least I ordered shoe labels, these are great because not only are they durable they also come with a clear sticker to put over them to ensure they stay put!!!

Lovable Labels has tones of other great things so check it out.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Cancer As A Fungus

This Video Is Very Interesting!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just A Cute Video Of Larkyn

For Larkyn's Birthday my mom gave her a Leapfrog toy that sings and plays music. Larkyn just Love's this and is even trying to sing along.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


As I mentioned a few days back Larkyn has now entered that Terrible Two stage. No is now her favorite word when asked anything or told to do anything like (come here, sit down, eat your food, be nice, share, the list goes on and on). Her temper has shown itself on a daily basis, when she doesn't want to do what she has been ask or told to do and then we make her.. the entire house hears about it.

Larkyn is our third child so this behaviour doesn't surprise me... and I don't give into to her screams of torture. What is new to us is she has decided to do this in the middle of the night.

The first year home with Larkyn she slept like an angle... very rarely waking up in the middle of the night and if she did usually a huge or a cuddle would put her back to sleep. Now after being with us a year she decides at least every other night to wake up. As always I go to her room and comfort her... As soon as I pick her up she wants to talk or read a book or sing a song... Of course I don't because it's the middle of the night. I usually cuddle her and rub her back and then say good night and off I go... Then it starts... the screaming, crying and the kicking of the feet against her bed. After being with her for a year I now know the difference between upset and having a temper tantrum, and this is definitely the latter of the two...

Usually I don't run back in I want to see if she can settle herself down. But lately she won't give up and it's usually on my third time in after I have left and after she has kicked and screamed for about 15 minuets that she finally gives up and goes to sleep again. Last night David was so tired he went downstairs to sleep just to get away from her screaming.

With my first two children I would NEVER have put up with this, I would go in cuddle settle them down and put them back to bed, if they started to cry I would just let them cry it out at this age (nip it in the bud). Before we adopted Larkyn we read books about the first year and developing that bond.. "Don't let them cry to long" Don't put them in there cribs for time outs etc., etc." You don't want to make them feel like they have been abandoned again.

My question is how long is long enough... it's been a year and she just starting this now.. We have always come in when she cries or needs us... but this is really more about her getting what she wants not what she needs. She wants mommy to read or sing to her in the middle of the night!!!! (I don't think so Missy)

If anyone has any and I mean ANY suggestions please let me know...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh I Almost Forgot!!!

I can't believe I didn't post about this sooner. Almost a year ago while we where in Hong Kong my wonderful husband purchased for me the wallet of my dreams "A Louis Vuitton" While in China we saw tones of fakes everywhere we went and my husband tried in vain to convince me that a fake was just a good as the real thing. But I could not be persuaded. So on our last day in Hong Kong he surprised me by buying me the wallet I really wanted.

Then the day before we left for Ontario this summer, he surprised me with the matching purse. I wish he had taken a video of me when he brought out the Louis Vuitton bag... I was in bed and when I saw the shopping bag with the LV on it I started to scream then I hid my head under the blanket not able to look inside for fear that my husband might just be joking me. ( That is totally something he would do) I wanted to savour each moment as I opened the bag to find the most beautiful gift box. Just holding the gift box sent me into a screaming fit. I very slowing opened the box to find that familiar cloth bag with those beautiful brown letter on it (Louis Vuitton). By this point David was killing himself laughing at me and my very silly reactions. Then the moment of truth, as I opened the cloth bag I swear I could hear the angles in heaven singing, and at that very moment in my mind a ray of light came shining through our bedroom window (even though it was dark outside) to display the most beautiful handbag I had every seen.

At that moment I realized this man can still make Fairy Tales Come True!!! Some fairy tales have glass slippers or a kiss from there prince mine is a Louis Vuitton. LOL

OK I am a little silly about this but come on people it's a "LOUIS VUITTON"


Reegans Moves At Gym Camp!!!

Reegan was In Gym Camp all last week... At the end of the week the kids put on a routine for the parents.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Think they Are Both Beautiful!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One Year Ago Today!!!

It seems so hard to fathom that one year ago today three nannies from the Xuwen Orphanage walked into a rectangle white room and one by one made dreams come true. Larkyn was the second baby to come out from her Orphanage. When I look at the video and pictures of those first few weeks I realize just how tiny and pale she was. She seemed to adjust to her new parents well .. making us feel so lucky each day and night (She slept through the night while we were there) When I look at her now I only see a small glimmer of that baby that was handed to me.

One Year... 365 days have passed so fast I can hardly believe it. I wish with all my might I could close my eyes and once again be there in that small simple white room, because there was nothing simple about what took place for the five families that were with us on that day.


Not only is this our Gotcha Day Anniversary but it's also my sister's Birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SISTER DEAR!!!

Unfortunately this is not the happiest day for my sister or her husband. Last Saturday one of there dearest friends was killed in a car accident, his girl friend managed to survive the crash but is struggling in ICU and we are not sure how long she can continue to fight her injuries. Both Debbie and Jeff are devastated by this lose and there will be some tuff roads ahead of them while they try to make sense of the accident and why Al was taken away from so many people who loved and cared for him.

While we were in Ontario for our family vacation I had an opportunity to meet Al and his young daughter Kassy. Here's a picture of them at the camp fire with Reegan.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just Some Random Pictures Of Larkyn

The always popular Nose Picking Photo

We brought this hat back from China for our son, but Larkyn seems to enjoy putting it on.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Our Little Girl Turn's 2 "HAPPY BIRTHDAY"

In just two days it will be our first year anniversary date for our Gotcha Day. But before that special occasion we get to celebrate Larkyn's 2nd Birthday. Because her birthday and her Gotcha Day are soo close I considered for a time just celebrating her Birthday on her Gotcha Day.

Reegan has been excited for months about this gift. She decided months ago that she was going to Build A Bear and make Larkyn a Panda bear. Reegan also put a personal recording inside the bear and when Larkyn pushes the button the Panda bear says "Ni Hao Larkyn"

We used the last of our Birthday Candles that we purchased in China. They are a huge hit with the crowd!!! LOL

At the end of the evening I took a picture of the Knight side of the family (Only) with all the Grandchildren... If you look closely you can see my brother In-Law through the window sneaking into the shot. Because I was taking the picture and Chris's wife was absent we decided to only take a picture of the siblings and there kids, but Duane had plans of his own!!! lol

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

We Are In Sooo Much Trouble!!!!

Well it's begun... and all I have to say is "she's very loud and persistent". What finally ended this tantrum was the offer to have some popcorn.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Judge's Scores PLEASE!!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Girls Having Fun In The Sun!!

We've had some good weather this past week and Reegan and Larkyn enjoyed playing outside. There afternoon started off with just some running around the next thing I knew Reegan had gotten a bucket and was filling it with water. Larkyn laughed so hard each time she poured it down her shirt.

All wet and loving every moment of it.

Seeing that the girls had already gotten wet from the bucket they decided to go for a swim. Here's Miss Reegan doing her best dive. This is much improved from just a few weeks ago when her attempts to dive look more like a belly flop "Ouch"

Video of this dive soon to come!!!!

Just relaxing in the pool!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ryker Knee Boarding In Ontario

Our Final Days In Ontario

Ryker & Larkyn at the splash park

On the Friday before we left we were lucky enough to meet up with one of the families we travelled to China with. There little girl Ran was adopted from the Waiting Child Program. It was Tracey suggestion we meet at the zoo. I've always loved the Toronto Zoo so I was very happy to visit there again.

Maia & Reegan

Tracey & Ran

Ran was being very shy for the group picture. It was a very hot day out, thankfully the sun was behind the clouds most of the day. The splash park at the zoo was a refreshing treat.

Larkyn was very interested in Ran's stroller, this entire trip Larkyn would NOT go into her stroller without protesting, at the zoo all she wanted to do was push Ran's stroller.

The next Day was Madelyns 2nd Birthday Party. Madelyn is one of Larkyn's China sisters and we have done our best to keep in touch over that last year. It was so wonderful that our vacation coincided with her birthday party and that we could be there to celebrate it with them.

Reegan, Me, Larkyn, Madelyn and Claudia

Getting ready for the cake.

Happy Birthday To You!!!!

Reegan & Madelyn

The kids had a great time but by the end of the party the heat had finally taken it's toll on Reegan.