Dear friends and family,
Thank you for continuing to read this blog! It’s such a great way for us to stay in touch with all of you. We are so grateful for the ways you remain faithful in prayer for Amos and our family. It is a delight to say that we have not posted in a while because things have been delightfully normal in our home.
These past weeks have certainly been full of activity for us as we have been enjoying the stretch of being home and being together that we mentioned in our last post. This past week we were able to get away as a family for a “holiday”, as the Brits say, to Suffolk on the coast of East England. We rented a charming 900 year old cottage and enjoyed a break from work, therapy, school, and all the noise of normal life (made easier by the lack of cell coverage and unreliable wireless…go figure!). We were able to visit several quaint villages, a castle, and the seaside. Most of all we enjoyed the chance to just be together in a quiet and peaceful setting. The boys enjoyed playing in the garden (the backyard), going on walks, and playing knights and pirates. We are so thankful for the chance to get away and grateful for the ways that we see the Lord working in our lives.
Amos continues to progress in many ways, and we have been blessed with some new (private) therapists who have added to what’s available through the NHS for Amos. We are very encouraged by these new additions to Amos’ routine and hope and pray that he continues to grow stronger and regain physical skills that have been lost. For those of you who wonder what Amos’ abilities are at this point, I’ll give you a brief picture. He still struggles with balance while walking and we have to be very careful to help Amos gain confidence while also avoiding falls. His gate (stance while walking) is wider than it should be to compensate for his balance issues and he can’t quite manage running- yet (although he is a very intense power-walker).
He still struggles to use his eyes in the same way that you and I do automatically. Mostly this results in him not watching where he’s going and tripping over things. Also tricky is anticipating the actions of others, which, when you think about it, requires a lot of complex brain activity and visual attention. For example, when we are out walking on the sidewalk and someone is walking towards Amos, he is very slow about figuring out what to do so that he doesn’t run into the other person. Verbally his speech is improving but in similar ways to recovering the use of his eyes, we have to remind him to “use your words,” especially if he is getting frustrated with something. It’s not too surprising that he simply got used to not having any (or very many) words for a good while. Learning the physical skills to communicate again requires work for all of us!
I share some of these things not to dwell on the remaining challenges but just to give you all an idea of where he is at this point. His progress has been HUGE over the last 18 months and we look forward to the next 18 months of similar progress, Lord willing.
As a family, we have been encouraged and refreshed this past week. We are still having fun being a family of 5, despite the looks we now get for being such a walking/bicycling circus act! Sam is a delightful addition and the boys are enjoying getting to know their new little brother. Sam is especially good at baby giggles, something we all enjoy very much.
Coming up, we look forward to celebrating Amos’ 5th birthday on May 6th! What an incredible thing to anticipate! We praise the Lord for such a gift. Also, we will all be traveling to California on May 7th to get another MRI scan for Amos, do some tests to see if he can get the trach out, and to get a visa for Sam. So a lot of business but hopefully some rest and fun too!
Please pray for us as we continue to work hard on Amos’ therapies, prepare for the next MRI trip, and enjoy life here. Please pray that in the mundane tasks of our life as it is now, that we would have thankful hearts, trusting in the Lord’s unending goodness and faithfulness even as we are tempted to doubt. Please also continue to pray that Amos would be permanently free from cancer for the rest of his life.
As the boys and I did devotions this morning, we ended by singing one of our Easter hymns, “Hallelujah, What a Savior!”. The first line refers to Jesus as the “man of sorrows” and Amos immediately asked what “sorrow” means. I was instantly overwhelmed with gratitude as I explained to Amos why Jesus is called the man of sorrows- acquainted with sadness, grief, and pain. I pray that his little heart was able to understand in new ways just how much Jesus loves him. May we all know this Jesus who, in the midst of the sorrows of this life, shares our griefs and knows the weight of our burdens. May we find rest, hope, and joy in the finished work of Christ this Easter season.
Love in Christ,
The Ross Family