Dear Friends and Family,
Happy Birthday to Amos! Today we celebrate seven years with this wonderful boy and we are reminded of all that the Lord has brought him through. I know birthdays are always special . . . but these last four since Amos’s brain cancer diagnosis have taken on a new weight. To
think know that we aren’t guaranteed these milestones is simultaneously heartbreaking and extra cause for thanksgiving. We don’t take today, or any day, for granted and we praise God for such a gift.
Right now I’m sitting in the kitchen, watching Amos try out the new bike he received for his birthday. He still cannot ride, even though he has been working on it (on a smaller bike) for about a year off and on. He has a ways to go before he gets the hang of it — hopefully this better size frame will help! — but the very fact that he’s riding a bike at all is an absolute miracle.
For all of you who have followed along from the beginning back in June 2015, you know that there were days early on when Amos just moving his thumb was cause for riotous hospital room celebration. Now to see him running, climbing, reading, playing, and learning to ride a bike is stunning proof of God’s mercy towards our family, his care for Amos, and it’s a a tribute to all the amazing people who’ve poured into his recovery over these last (almost) four years.
Of course, I also can’t neglect to mention Amos’s own perseverance and hard work. He has had to learn things that I still struggle to know and practice for myself, at such an early age, and we are so thankful for his willing spirit of endurance. God is using Amos to teach us every day!
Will and I recently went through videos from the summer of 2015 — just after Amos was diagnosed, had two craniotomies in the span of five days, and began radiation treatment. Looking over those videos, we were both amazed at 1) How drastically bad things were for Amos; and 2) How excited we were for even the smallest (and I mean smallest) glimpses of progress. When something so life-altering happens, it’s difficult to wrap your head around the true state of things in the moment, and I think that’s really clear to us in hindsight now. Amos was paralyzed. He couldn’t look at us with recognition, motion to us, or talk to us for quite a while in those early months. So we praised the Lord and cheered until we were hoarse when he raised half a cheek in what we were sure was a smile. Or when he instinctively folded his hands in prayer one day — one of the earliest signs of recognition that we were given as we watched him battle severe posterior fossa syndrome. I think in the suddenness of how everything happened, we were mercifully able to cling to positive things while moving quickly past what were otherwise devastating realities.
Amos has had quite a journey and it continues in very real and difficult ways! As many mountains as he has conquered, there are as many seemingly minor things that challenge him constantly: fine motor skills, balance, and even expressing himself verbally.
But we have seen so much growth, so much grace, and so much hope. Thank you for sharing in so much of this with us! I was recently asked an ice-breaker in a group setting and the prompt was, “What would you do if you had 12 hours to do anything?” My answer should have been . . . I wish I could share today with all of you: our prayer family. All of you who have prayed for and cared for the medical, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of Amos and our family. Thank you. We have not come this far on our own and we hope and pray that we, along with Amos, will never let our hearts grow faint to the brilliant realities of the Hope of Heaven as manifested in his people and their outpouring of love for us in these things.
Please continue to pray with us for the Lord’s continued mercies day by day, month by month, year by year!
Love in Christ,
Kelli, Will, Amos, Luke, Sam and Baby Girl (due in August!)
Now for some pictures of the birthday boy!