Dear friends and family,
It’s hard to believe it’s October already. There is so much to update everyone on, I think I’ll just cut to the chase.
Amos & Medical
It has been a great summer for our family ever since we returned from our travels throughout July and early August. As we mentioned in the most recent post, Amos’s last MRI was clear and stable. He also had an eye surgery – his third – to try to address several issues.
One of the most consistent things we have been working on with Amos is his eye therapy exercises, and some anti-inflammation/anti-scar tissue treatments. He seems to have some improvement in his range of motion, but it’s still hard to recognize any drastic change.
Amos has also continued with his daily injection of growth hormone. The thing about growth hormone is that it definitely makes you grow! Amos has stretched out in remarkable ways. Compare this chip-monk from May:
with this picture from last week:
(Also, check out the new portrait of Amos at the website header.) Trimming down like this has helped Amos a lot with overall strength. He’s been doing more and more challenging climbing and jumping on his own initiative as his confidence improves, which is so amazing to see. We don’t take this kind of progress for granted!
Amos and I are going to California in about two weeks for another MRI trip for a scan and vision checkups. It will be the last trip we make from England! (See below.) Since returning to Cambridge two years ago, this will be the tenth journey that Amos and I have made together. We are immensely thankful for the resources we’ve had available to make that possible, and for the ways it has so obviously been worthwhile.
Ross Family Developments
Aside from the usual delights on offer in Cambridge over the summer, we were able to take advantage of some time to take a family “holiday” to the city of Bath. It’s about a three hour drive west of here towards Wales. Bath is England’s only World Heritage city, and is as stunningly beautiful as you’d expect it to be to earn such a title. We enjoyed time exploring the Bath Abbey, the ancient Roman Baths, doing some country walks, and even seeing the breathtaking Waddesdon Estate while driving back home to Cambridge. Oh, it was also our ninth anniversary. Pictures below.
There is a lot on the horizon for the Ross family! About three weeks after we returned from the last MRI trip in August, I was able to finish my doctoral dissertation and submit it to the university. Obviously, the degree was the entire reason for us to be here at all, so we are thrilled to see this major stage in my career come to an end. There were many, many weeks and months when that was far from the certain outcome (and not just because it’s difficult). If you want to read more about me submitting my dissertation, jump over to my academic blog here. I am not technically finished the degree however, since I still have a “viva” to complete with two examiners, which will occur in the next month or two.
Another massive bit of news is that we’re moving back to the States! And soon. We have flights booked for November 2nd – less than five weeks (see the new count-down to the right). After spending some time in Philadelphia in November, we will be making our way to Charlotte, North Carolina, which will be the place we call home for the foreseeable future. I have taken a post as an assistant professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte. You can read more about that here. I will begin teaching full time starting in January (with a course in intermediate Hebrew, if you’re wondering).
We are absolutely thrilled with this next step. It is stunning to receive a job offer at such a fine institution and with such excellent timing. The job market in higher academics is exceptionally competitive because there are so few openings. As we look back on the uncertain and chaotic times of the last three years, Kelli and I are still somewhat in shock with the recognition that the Lord so obviously and lovingly arranged this next step for our family.
We have made good progress with the family move, and already have housing arranged thanks to on-the-ground help from Kelli’s parents. But there is a lot (a LOT) more to do and not much time to do it before November – especially with an MRI trip tossed in there . . .
Please do be praying for us in the following ways:
- Safe and successful trip to California in two weeks
- Another clear and stable MRI for Amos
- Minimal scar tissue around his eyes
- Continued recovery and general improvement of balance, speech, and vision
- Shrewd and effective decision-making as we prepare for the move
- Minimal logistical problems when the time comes to get on the plane and head to NC
- A successful defense of my doctoral dissertation
- Some sense of stability and safety for our three boys as they say goodbye to their home in Cambridge
- Health for us all during this time
As always, we are so grateful for your prayer and your concern for our family, especially Amos. He is a walking testament to the faithfulness of the Lord, who hears the prayers of his people. The two years we have enjoyed here since his diagnosis have been extremely trying and extremely precious in light of everything he’s been through. It will be very hard to say goodbye to our beloved house here, our church, our community, this amazing city, and an unspeakably beautiful and complicated part of our life.
Love in Christ,
Will, for the Ross Family