I wanted my oldest child, a daughter, to have a sister. I know these things are determined by God, alone.

But sometimes, you get what you want.

Sister Baby Wearing

I grew up with one sister, a fraternal twin, as a matter of fact. We love each other deeply and also have learned the fine art of driving each other crazy. We're sisters.

I love the deep connection a sister brings. The laughter and The Ugly Cry conversations. The knowing eye contact and the unspoken looks.

My sister and I shared a room and clothes and even a term paper once (oops). We are both mothers, live within 5 miles of each other and share a love a chocolate and sweet tea.

We also share something else in common: a love for Africa. This far-away continent has changed both of our lives. God has used Africa to make us better people and drawn us into a deeper relationship with each other and with Himself.

My sister and her family traveled to Ethiopia less than a year ago to bring home this angel baby:

(My sister's daughters)
She lights up our lives.

But they didn't stop there, they were so moved by the forgotten street children of Ethiopia, the ones too old to be in orphanages or the ones that are sent to the streets by their parents to beg. They knew they had to do something: Into the Streets of Africa was born, with a vision to tackle poverty and loneliness, one child at a time.

Into the Streets of Africa partners with an amazing young man (they met thru their adoption agency) who currently feeds 19 street children, by himself. You can read more about him here.

Our family has decided to support their efforts by going with them....

Because that's what sisters do.

Will you go read about this amazing new ministry launching today?

When you're done visiting, will you come back and tell me about your sister (by blood, or just in your heart)?


Missi said...

The address is private and can't be read without an invitation.

Southern Gal said...

Hi Kristen. When I clicked the last link it tell me permission is denied to access the blog because it has a private setting. I hope to be able to read of the ministry soon.

I have one sibling, a sister. We are 4 1/2 years apart so we aren't as close as some. But she's my sister and I love her. We share those looks, those inside jokes and we can read each other like a book.

My daughter doesn't have a sister. But her relationship with her two brothers makes me so glad she has them and they have her. She's our "mama hen" as my sister nicknamed her. That mama hen will have her own little girl in June and I'll be a grandmother for the first time.

Kristen said...

Okay, sorry guys, it's now open...try again!

Amy Jo:) said...

Kristen, I loved this post! I think there is nothing better than having a sister!

My sister was named Kristin...she was just three years older than me and was such a sweet, funny and crazy person! When she was nine she had a heart transplant and at 21 passed away in her sleep from a blood clot. She was such an amazing person and such an inspiration to everybody that knew her. I miss her everyday, but am also thankful everyday that I am not an only child, I will always have her as my sister:)

Thanks for this post! I love thinking of her and talking about her. It has been 11 years since she passed away and thankfully it feels like yesterday when I hugged her last.

Laura Lee said...

awesome ministry! thanks for sharing.
My little sister is just over two years younger than me. She is not in a good place right now, not walking with God, and we are not as close as we once were. Reading about you sister made my heart ache to feel that bond again with my sister. We haven't lost it, but its weak, like her faith, like her will power.
Please pray for her. She so needs he Lord in her life... and I need her back in mine!

Jar Full of Rocks said...

Kristen, what an incredible family you have! You and you're sister have and will make such a difference in the lives of soo many children in won't even know how many lives you've touched until you get to Heaven and are told "well done, good and faithful servant".

I have 3 sisters. We are not very close, tho, because I am the baby of the family....14 years younger than my next oldest sister. I grew up being more like a niece to them than anything else, but I love them none the less. There is 1 person, a very close friend, that is as close as a sister can be to a person. We share our happiness, worries, children, pain, and hearts. In just over two weeks, she and I will spend 2 days in the country's largest maximum security prison and I cannot tell you how happy I am that she is the one person who is going with me. She shares a passion and love for inmates just as I do.

I cannot wait to hear of your adventures with your sister and I will pray for you all daily. Blessings,

Abby said...

This is fantastic. I love my sisters to death! We're each 2 years apart. I'm 16, my next older sister is 18, and my oldest sister is 20. We're incredibly goofy when we're all together. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to handle things this fall when both my sisters are in college! We definitely have the "one look and we both know what you're talking about" thing down. We can also communicate through "mmhmhm"s and half made-up sign language. We all love each other and I'm not sure what I would do with out my sisters.

I love all my sisters in Christ too! They're amazing. Sisters are the best... in my opinion!

Skubaliscious said...

Well first I was going to be all excited because I didn't know you were a twin...then I realized I know (of) your twin and keep up with her blog through a relative of her husband who goes to our double excitement :)

The initial excitement is because I'm a Mom of Twins so I love finding other twins. But, I have to say as a MoT...that 'knowing' look is NOT a my favorite ;)

Cool that you live close - I hope my girls will stay close, too!

KK said...

My sister is part of me, the 5 hours between us do not separate us one bit. No other human relationship compares to the one I have with her.

Kelly said...

Love this post! I have one sibling, a sister 4 1/2 years younger than me. We were NEVER close growing up and fought alot. Now, we are so close!! I love her to death and would do anything for her. She has gone through a lot of medical issues and cannot have children of her own, so she is over a lot playing with and "mothering" my herd (4 kiddos). I have three girls and a son. My second daughter is the spitting image of my sister and I love that! I joke with her when Mackenzie is giving me grief, "Come and get YOUR daughter." hee hee I'm so glad that my daughters have each other. There are fits and fights here and there, but through it all I know how close they will one day be. How wonderful! Thanks for such a great post and for letting us know about such a great ministry as this.

Kelly, KS

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

What a great love your blog...

krista said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. I was blessed with a baby sister when I was 13 years old! Boy oh boy did I love that kid. When she was 5, I left for college, marriage, kids, life. We stayed in touch and remained close. But the winter, she married a Godly, Christian man. And something just clicked not only were we sisters but now friends united by love, Christ and now common interest. She inspires me daily with her walk with Christ. And thank goodness for technology, miles really don't matter so much now. Mom always told us siblings are for life. I'm so thankful my five babies have each other!!!

Cyndi said...

Thanks for this blog. While I do not have biological sisters; I do have two sisters by an incredible relationship of family. I moved in with this family and lived there for almost 4 years. The two daughters are both younger than me. Our relationship bonded and now we are sisters. I was given the second chance at a family and got so much more.
Cyndi, MS
By the way- I am going to Africa on a mission trip and am so excited

Rebecca said...

Beautiful...the post and the relationship.

My sister lives far away and struggles with lupus. She is afraid that she will not be able to get pregnant or carry her baby. Her husband is very hesitant about adoption which is why I love to learn more about people who adopt. Thanks so much for sharing.

The Bertone's said...

I am an only child. I have two girls that are close in age, but drive each other nuts. I have always wanted a sister... or that bond that they share. I may not have found it in a blood sister, but I certainly did with 3 of my most closest friends. Life just wouldn't be the same without them! I think it is wonderful what you and your sister do for the orphans. I wish that I could get more involved in things like that! Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca said...

I always wanted a sister...rarely do things look the way you think they will.

I am 30 (yup I finally wrote it in black and white) and my sisters are..... 4 and 2. My parents have adopted in recent years, thus giving me relationships I sometimes don't quite know how to navigate, so I love. Period.

My parents have me, a 16 year old boy, an 8 year old boy, a 7 year old boy, a 4 year old girl, and a 2 year old girl. Three of the four little ones have special needs, and all four little ones have been adopted. And that's not have I.

My step-dad adopted me -- at the age of 27. It never seemed right when I was a teenager (when they got married), and finally it did. So, at 27 I legally became his. And yes, it makes a difference. Why? Because somehow having others recognize it makes it more real, even though he was my dad since I was 13.

Adoption isn't hard. It's about love. We're all adopted into the same family, and I love to see when we remember that.

Diluted Applejuice said...

I have a twin sister. (Identical... the doctors said we were probably fraternal but couldn't say with certainty. But if you ever met us EVER, you would agree we're identical. We should probably have DNA tests soon. We're so cool.) We were best buddies as kids. Then we fought a lot as teens. Now we're best buds again. We actually live about 15 minutes from each other, after many years of ridiculous phone bills while being apart due to school and jobs.

I have a younger sister, 18 months younger than me. (Yes, my parents had 3 babies at the same time. They're insane. More on that in a minute.) My twin and I gang up on her. Always have, always will.

And I have a baby sister. She was in my parent's home as a foster child from birth, officially adopted at the age of 1.

I've also had several foster sisters. One they are in the process of adopting. But it's a fight this time around. It's crazy hard (for both sides, I'm sure) but my parents think this is what they're supposed to do.

So I'm a 24 year old with a twin sister, a 3 year old sister and a 2 year old almost-sister.

I love my family lots.

And -- about my parents being insane -- well, they foster. And have had as many as 5 foster kids at a time (in addition to their own children). I've lost track of how many they've had over the years.

There are also some boys. But you didn't ask about boys, right? :D

Karen said...

Wow! An amazing story. Isn't it amazing how Jesus works, whether we come along for the ride or not? So thankful for faithful brothers and sisters around the world.

As for my own sisters, I have an identical twin, and although we never shared a term paper, we did trade classes occasionally in middle school (I was better at math, she was better at English.). And we have a younger sister who had to put up with the weird clone tie between the twins.

God is good! Happy Monday.

The Tylers said...

Sisters are the best! My sister and I are about 3 1/2 years apart. Of course we fought a lot when we were younger, but when I when off to college we got much closer. Recently, she has gotten engaged to a wonderful man, who has helped her to mature and grow spiritually, and so she and I have gotten even closer. She is my best friend and I don't know what I would do without her!

I hope that my daughter gets to have a sister so that she can know the love that her aunt and I share! :)

bridget {bake at 350} said...

It is so neat the way you and your sister are sharing this love for the children of Africa. I always thought twins had that special bond, and see, it's true!

My sister? I think she may have finally forgiven me from all of my bossiness towards her growing up...we're 5 years apart. And, I said's definitely not forgotten! :)

Prudy said...

Okay, misty eyed here. I don't have a sister, but a brother. By marrying one of three brothers, I gained their wives as sisters and my brother's wife as a sister. We tend to leave off the inlaw part. Even between us there is a special bond.

Larissa Smith said...

I have two sisters and I'm in the middle, about 3 years from each. We used to fight as kids, but now that we are all grown and married, I have realized that they are some of the highest quality people I know. My older sister has twins and another son, and she handles a busy life full of those kids with a peace and gentleness that boggles my mind. She is capable and steady and makes it all look easy.

My younger sister is the most gracious person I know and treats every single person with whom she comes into contact with kindness and respect. If the world acted toward each other like she would, it would pretty much solve every problem we have.

I think I'll be learning from them how to be a better person for the rest of my life. I joke (kind of) with my husband that I'll never live in the same town as the grandparents, but I would love living near one or both of these beautiful women someday.

Melanie@Halls of Fame 5 said...

What an amazing ministry.

I have 4 older brothers and always wanted a sister. When I was 7 I got my wish. We have had to work hard to have a close relationship but she is my best friend. Even though we are at different stages of life she is still the person I'm closest to. She actually just moved in with us and our "sisterly quirks" are driving my husband crazy!

I have 3 daughters and I love seeing the sister bond so tight already with them. They have secrets and giggle uncontrollably. Of course, they also fight but I hope they always stay as close as they are now.

Tammy said...

I have been blessed in life with two a fraternal twin sister and a little sister 4 years younger. One I am very much closer to than the other....and I'm not proud that my twin sister and I have never really gotten along. We've agreed to disagree for almost 42 years now.

But you didn't ask for all that....

Tracey said...

I love the sister wearing photo!

I was six years old when my dad remarried and I got a sister who was 6 years older. She loved having a baby sister as much as I loved having a big sister.

MaryBeth said...

I have a sister and I'm a mother to four little gals who are very close in age (5, 3, 3, and 3) and I just had to chime in on the amazing'ness of sisterhood... I love my little sis and I am thoroughly enjoying being a witness to the formation of those same bonds between my children!

mom said...


Kristina said...

I don't have a sister. I wish I did at times, but I do have a brother and I would be remiss if I failed to mention him. Right now he is in Afghanistan with the USMC. This is his second tour and later this year he will go onto embassy duty. I am so proud of my brother!

I enjoyed reading about this new ministry. My mom was a missionary to Ethiopia and she actually found out she was pregnant with me while in Ethiopia....that's one way to get a quick plane ticket back to the states, lol.

mandiegirl said...

So cool!!! I have 2 sisters whom I love, and no, we didn't always (or even often) act like it growing up, but they really are my favorite girls. :)

heather said...

Thank you for sharing another way to help the people of Africa. It's been a long time dream of mine to visit and help. Perhaps as a medical missionary.


I have a soft spot for sisters. As an only child I never had one, but always longed for one. My best friend and her family were my "perfect family" model, she was the middle of three girls.

I wasn't blessed with a sister. But! I was blessed with two daughters who are 18 months apart. I'm sure you can imagine how thrilled I was! There were so many hopes in my mind and heart of my girls being not only sisters but the best of friends.

In the early years, Kelley and Bethany were great friends. Sadly as they got older they started bickering. And now at almost 9 1/2 and 11, it hasn't stopped. I try to tell them my dream for them. Also telling them that they are so blessed to have each other. It is my hope that one day (soon) they will refind their friendship.

As for my "perfect family" model, I would love to have just one more little one. Time flew by for years as I worked and was a mommy. Then I got sick and had to undergo chemotherapy. It was supposed to rob me of the chance to have more children by putting me into menopause. Amazingly it didn't! Unfortunately, my husband doesn't share my dream. I hope that God does and will give me that chance!

Thanks again for this wonderful post! =)