i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Elijah was buried on May 19th, his third birthday


Dustin and Elisse Kipe had three children. All three were their children. They didn’t distinguish between the children that Elisse carried in her tummy and the child that grew in another mommy’s tummy.

Elijah was their son.

Elijah's room

Elijah’s room

On earth he didn’t talk or walk. He couldn’t sit up unaided. He smiled and laughed. He was loved. His mommy loved him. His daddy loved him. His sisters loved him. His grandma and grandpa loved him. His aunts and uncles loved him.  Friends loved him, and I loved him.

Elijah Laughing

He didn’t die alone in an orphanage in Ethiopia with no name. A baby boy abandoned behind a dumpster at a police station became a beloved  member of a family. Elijah Dustin Kipe. He was a son, a brother, a cousin, a grandson.

Elijah was born on May 19th, 2011 in Dukem, Ethiopia. He died on May 14th, 2014, and was buried on May 19th, in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, The United States, at Mount Zion Cemetary, on his third birthday.

Elijah Dustin Kipe

Elijah officially became a Kipe on August 2, 2013. He traveled seven thousand miles to be with his mommy and daddy and two sisters, Tori and Arianna. Arriving on January 4th, 2014

I will not leave you as orphans: I am coming to you.
John 14:18

Elijah is with Jesus now, running and laughing, talking and sitting up on his own. Elijah is with Jesus, and forever in our hearts. 

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.
Elisse Kipe – Angel Baby on Mommy Musings

Elijah taught his mommy, Elisse, that motherhood is more than she realized before. And Elisse taught me that all life has value. She showed me when she held her son and fed him a bottle. She showed me when she held him late at night when he screamed. She showed me she loved her son, when she advocated for him for medical care when he was in Ethiopia. She showed me how to love when she fell in love with a small boy in an orphanage who had no name and was waiting to die.

Elisse and her husband Dustin loved their son. Arianna and Tori loved their brother.

kissing elijah

Elijah died loved. A beloved son and brother.

If my child was handicapped. I would just figure it out. They are yours. You just walk through it with them. They are family. And families stick together.
Elisse Kipe – Elijah’s mommy

Elijah is buried in a family plot at Mount Zion Cemetary in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. There is no headstone to mark where he lies.

Would you please consider donating to the Kipe family to help with the funeral costs,  a headstone and some unexpected medical bills?

Dustin is a Pastor of a small inner city church. (They didn’t ask me to write this story. I just wanted to help. No one plans to bury their child, while they are planning on loving them forever.)

You can donate at http://www.continuetogive.com/weloveelijah.

Elijah Kipe – Funeral Video

If you would like to send the Kipe family an encouraging word, please send all correspondence to Elisse and Dustin Kipe, c/o
Morning Star Fellowship
100 Limekiln Road
Bechtelsville. PA, 19505

 Elijah Dustin Kipe Obituary 

The Story of Elijah’s Adoption by Elisse Kipe

Meet My Son


Thank you for reading about Elijah. If you would like to leave a comment please click here.

Elijah's Bible

Elijah’s Bible

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Winnie Marylou Moyer

    I miss him…and I miss his mommy…and I miss you…and I’m not sure why I read this because I knew it would make me miss everyone…but it just reminds me how precious life is…and I will try to love even more tomorrow!!

  • La McCoy


  • Pat Meyers

    A little boy I never knew has now touched my heart as well as so many others because of your words. Thank you, Pamela.

  • Such a beautiful tribe for a special little boy. Thank you for sharing Elijah’s story and allowing him to touch our hearts! Praying God’s comfort for all!

    • Kim,
      Thank you for praying for the Kipe family. Elijah touched so many people through his life. Thank you for taking the time to read his story.

  • Iya Hannum

    I’ve been looking at the subject line in my email all day, but I couldn’t bring myself to read until now, because I knew what that would do. Which it did. Beautiful, beautiful job, friend. Remarkable tribute to a remarkable family. We are blessed.

    • Iya,
      Elijah blessed us while he was with us. His story was a story that was hard not to write. I pray the story helps bring comfort to Elisse, Dustin, Arianna and Tori. Their family were the hands of Jesus to a little boy.

  • Praying for Elijah’s family. So glad he didn’t die unloved.

    • Thank you for your prayers Anne. Elijah died loved. He was so cute, and he liked to have his face touched. His skin was so soft.