Springtime in Cambridge

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

2017-03-31 10.02.01
The Apple Tree Cottage- our vacation spot in the lovely little town of Saxmundham, Suffolk
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My two hobbits
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Celebrating Daddy’s 30th birthday!
2017-03-28 11.26.34
Visiting Orford Castle with two eager knights
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Orford Castle, built in the 12th Century

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2017-03-28 17.08.15
Samuel sleeping in the garden
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Visiting Southwold for the day
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Ahoy, Matey’s!
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Snapes-Maltings, a lovely town on the river Alde.
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Relaxing in the garden. Britain in the springtime is lovely!
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Amos!
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12 thoughts on “Springtime in Cambridge

  1. Dear Kelly, Will, Amos, Lukey, & Samuel,

    What a lovely place! and made even more attractive by your presence. It is a delight to see you all looking so well and lively (well, Samuel’s nap is not *that* lively).

    Thanks so much for this informative snapshot of Amos’s progress–you are right about how much for granted we take knowing what to do when meeting someone else, both physically (“How much space do I need to give this person?”) and socially (catching each other’s eye, muttering “Hi./How are you?/Fine”, and carrying on our way, all timed so perfectly that no one pauses or slows down).

    May the Lord’s faithfulness in bringing you all this far (and in bringing spring ’round once again) to continue to strengthen and encourage your hearts in Christ.

    Much love from us all to all of you.

    fred (for the Ps and The Girls)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Ross Family ~~

    It is so wonderful to see all of your smiling faces and so glad you are having a chance to rest and refresh. I shared in my bible study yesterday how touched I have been by your updates and the Lord put on our heart to help underwrite the Choc Fundraising event this year. We watched the loving care they shared with Amos and it was such a blessing to us!

    So thankful everyone is doing well.

    May the Lord bless your entire family,

    David and Lisa Gambill

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So thankful for your recent holiday. Your cottage didn’t look a day over 400 years 🙂 My husband, George and I will be arriving at Tyndale House on 25 May. I am looking so forward to meeting the family I have prayed so often for.

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  4. This is Dee, one of the nurses. My heart is full seeing the progress Amos is making and to see the whole family….. a family I will never forget

    I have recently retired as it was time. Looking into volunteer work.

    You continue in my prayers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dee, you are not just “one of the nurses”. You were a treasured gift to us and to Amos! I was just thinking of you the other day. Thanks for being there for us and I hope you’re enjoying retirement!! Much love to you.

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  5. Jane and I pray for you daily, great to get news and see your holiday snaps! May our Lord Jesus continue to bless your family and heal Amos!

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  6. Hello Amos, and the whole Ross Family-
    This is Nurse Emily from CHOC, and I am so encouraged to see Amos’ wonderful progress! And to see that you have added another adorable little boy!! Amos: you are always such a bright spot in my mind when I think about how well you are doing, and I know that the Lord is continuing to strengthen you in many ways. Blessings to you all! Much love, Emily

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