Angel baby

I’ve said from the beginning that God kept much of Elijah’s diagnosis from me until we got to the States because I wouldn’t have picked our family as his. I would have used countless excuses and reasoned away why we weren’t a good fit for him. I am so incredibly grateful that I didn’t. I’m thankful that we didn’t reason away the incredible gift God gave us through our son.

On the day of his shunt surgery, we found out that Elijah had a rare condition in which his hydrocephalus was combined with the fact that large parts of his brain were missing.

It was not until last Wednesday when I spoke to one of his therapists, that I realize this condition came with a shortened lifespan. She attempted to console me with the fact that she knew a child who lived to 9 years old and I almost passed out from what I was hearing. I contacted our primary care physician who informed me that many children do not live past 1 but for those that do, 4.5 years on earth was a good average.

I spent the next few days feeling as if the rug had been pulled out from under me and prayed as hard as I could. I grieved, told a very select few people and clung to Jesus & my husband.

I questioned God, cried and came to the conclusion (during the fits of anger, sadness and confusion) that my job as a Mother is to guide my children and help them figure out how to fulfill their chosen plot in life. As a Mom, we are blessed with a small window in which we help to cultivate the good, help them deal with the bad and shoot them out as arrows into this world. In the midst of my sadness, I vowed that I would help Elijah be the best that he could be with whatever time I had.

After meeting with one last specialist, we received hope that with proper care, Elijah could potentially live to be a teenager, but of course, there were no guarantees.

It is with this hope that I went to sleep on Tuesday night. It is this hope that made finding that my boy had gone peacefully in his sleep seem like a horrible nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from.

But in the midst of it, I want you to know that it was worth it. As hard, as unfair and as painful as the road has seemed, the gift that God gave our family in Elijah’s life is one that is beyond compare. He taught us to look past looks and diagnosis and all the things we normally see and live in the moment. He taught me that motherhood is so much more than I realized it was before.

Our family is better because of our little warrior.

Monday marks 3 years since God brought him to the Earth. 2 1/2 years ago, he sat nameless, in an orphanage awaiting his death. 2 years ago, we fell in love with his sweet cheeks and those eyes that burned into our souls and in our hearts, and we knew we had found our son. On Wednesday, May 14 (5 days shy of his 3rd birthday), our angel got his promotion. We take a tiny bit of comfort in knowing that he died surrounded by those who loved him more than life itself. He died with so much more than just a name.. He died a son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend.

He is mourned by much more than just a few nannies in an orphanage. He is mourned by a community of people who loved him and cheered him on.

I am ever thankful that God allowed us the opportunity to be his family and (like my cousin reminded me), he is now in heaven running away from my Grandma who is chasing him to pinch his cheeks!

RIP our warrior angel. Mommy, Daddy & your sisters are so thankful for you. You were a gift to us.

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23 thoughts on “Angel baby

  1. Elisse , I am so lost for words. I can’t imagine what or how you feel. I am sad that I didn’t get to meet him in life but I know I’m spirit I did. Just know that I love you and will continue to pray for the family.

  2. God knew the number of Elijah’s days, and HE chose you and your family to be the ones to love him through them. You were a gift to him – as he was to you. May God bring peace and comfort to your hearts as you miss your Angel baby.

  3. I am so sorry for the loss of Elijah. Your heart for God has been evident throughout this whole process & your love for Elijah has shone through. What a blessing you have been to him these last few months and to those of us who got a glimpse of him through your words.

  4. Elisse, what a beautiful tribute to your son. God knew what He was doing when he chose your family for Elijah, when He revealed the things needed to prepare you for Elijah’s “promotion” at just the right time. May God be glorified in the story of your sweet child, who now dances before the Lord! My prayers and deepest condolences to you and your family.

  5. Beautiful. Thank you for putting this into words. Your family is loved and lifted up by far more people than you can ever know xxxxx

  6. Dearest Kipe family, I am so sorry for your loss. Your testimony through this difficult time is nothing short of amazing and your words absolutely beautiful. The love you shared (not just with Elijah, but with us through your story) is the kind of love that changes lives and spreads like wildfire. What incredible heroes you all are. Praying that God’s perfect peace will surround all of you at this time!

  7. Elisse, I just saw this on FB. I’m so sorry for your loss. You have a heart of gold. He was so blessed to have you as his mom for the short time he had. Hugs & lots of love.

  8. Thanks for sharing your story. It is a beautiful one. I am praying for your family. Take comfort that Elijah is now in the arms of his heavenly father with the other angels. May God bless you, comfort and strengthen you all during this time.

  9. My heart is broken for you. I wish that I could be closer so that I could just love on you and your family. I am so sorry. And yet, how blessed that little angel was to spend his last days being loved so. As I was reading your post I kept imagining him waiting at the gates of Heaven for you, ready to run into your arms one day and great his mommy and daddy and family with a smile and open arms! It is the hope we all live for, that moment we step into glory, greeted by those that we have touched and changed their lives and Jesus, smiling saying “well done, my child, well done”…to both you and Elijah. He did his job well and touched so many lives. My prayers are with you all. May God surround you with his comforting peace only he can supply.

  10. I’m so sorry! I can’t even to begin to understand how you are feeling. I spent time at the care center while Elijah was there (four trips so quite a bit of time). I just love the pictures you posted as he looks so peaceful! I am so impressed with your strength! I love that he is running around with his great grandma!

  11. I was wondering about him. We took so many photos of him when in Addis. God bless you and your family and I know he welcomes your son to his eternal home.

  12. May The Lord give you extra doses of comfort and peace !! I followed this journey and I too wonder why !! So very much love you shared and gave to this little one who became your own !! He is at peace with Jesus–I can’t help but think–“We’ll understand it better bye and bye”. Our prayers and love reach out to each of you at this difficult and trying time !! Hugs, love and blessings !!

  13. Pingback: Elijah’s Home

  14. I counted it a pleasure and joy to pray for Elijah every Sunday. My thoughts, questions, and HOPES about this little boys future, no different then yours. I always looked at the beginning. A call to obedience:
    Obedience is exactly that- being obedient to hear God. There is truly a training that happens with obedience. God calls us, prompts us and pulls at our hearts to hear his voice and his heart. As our hearts and minds and ears listen for the direction of the Holy Spirits guiding, we are walking out obedience. We do not always know the path the journey of obedience will lead us, nor the out come of each journey or how long each journey will take. One thing is for sure God is pleased with you. He can trust you with his most precious of gifts. You will do what he calls you to do. HE is glorified. It has truly been a journey of obedience for you with Elijah. What an awesome testimony. This is not the end of the Elijah obedience Journey. Trust me; wait till you see what unfolds. God’s ways are not our ways; Gods thoughts are not our thoughts.
    I pray God carries you through and brings you peace in your journey of obedience. One day you will have all the answers to all the questions. For now trust Him.

    Tracey F

  15. Reblogged this on Journey of an Ex-Superwoman and commented:
    I met Elisse freshman year of college and we clicked from the beginning. Elisse and I grew together throughout our years of friendship, but I have to say this last year our friendship bond has grown and she is more like a sister. Though we don’t get to see each other as much as we would like, we trust each other with our lives and our families, especially children if something should happen to the other. What I love about Elisse is that she is real, honestly real, to where some may say she lacks tact, but I Iack tact so we get along great!

    Elisse told me a few years ago that her and her husband Dustin were considering adopting (they have two girls already) and to keep her in my prayers about the process. After about a year and a half of prayers, money and flights they adopted a little boy named Elijah from Ethiopia. I remember the first time she showed me his picture and the excitement she had in her voice about this little boy she had not even met yet. I admired the love she had for him, already. Another thing I love about Elisse is she loves hard; she gives her all to whoever is in her life which is scary to me, being so vulnerable. But she has shown me it’s okay to be vulnerable and love openly and honestly like God would want us to.

    This past Mother’s Day while many mothers were with their families and loved ones celebrating being a supermom, Elisse was in the hospital with her son while her girls were being watched by friends. Some Mother’s Day right? It’s funny, all that day on social media I saw message from so many women talking about the day and many kept talking about being a supermom/woman; and how we mothers should wear that cape proudly. The funny part is most could not handle what Elisse had been enduring this past five months since bringing her son home, yet she never has donned that titled, but continued to pray and thank God for the good and trying times.

    Here is a post from Elisse talking about her son’s passing, that happened almost three weeks ago. Elisse to me is the epitome of what a true women surrendering to Christ is.

    • This just made me cry today. In the fuzziness of grieving I missed all that you wrote when you reposted this story.

      It is an honor to walk through this life with you and I am thankful to have you as a sister.

      Love you!

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