The more the merrier: Spittle family wants to add to their ranks
WORTHINGTON -- The most recent Census figures reveal the average American family has two children. That means Scot and Kristin Spittle's family is way above average. The Spittles currently have five children and -- call them crazy, they've heard ...
WORTHINGTON -- The most recent Census figures reveal the average American family has two children.
That means Scot and Kristin Spittle's family is way above average. The Spittles currently have five children and -- call them crazy, they've heard it before -- are actively seeking to adopt two more children.
"We're already doing the crazies," said Kristin with a laugh, "we might as well have a couple more."
The Spittles road to a big family began and will most likely end with adoption.
"We were experiencing infertility," explained Kristin about early attempts to have a family. "We didn't do any tests, but just couldn't get pregnant. We had always talked about adopting, so we figured it was God's way of telling us that adoption was the way to go. So we did it, and we did it again, and then we got pregnant."
The Spittles first adopted Sophia, now 10, and Gabriel, now 8, as infants. Then along came Levi, now 7 years old, followed by Simon, 3, and Keegan, who recently celebrated his 1st birthday.
Scot is employed by ProPig, and Kristin is a stay-at-home mom. They home-school their children and live just south of town near the Ocheda Orchard. Kristin's parents live in Worthington, and Scot's folks are in the Fulda area, so they have plenty of family support.
"This is a great place for kids to run," said Kristin about their rural locale. "We've got freedom and privacy."
Scot initially broached the idea of adding to their brood, which surprised his wife.
"He's not usually the one to suggest more kids, but I think it's just always been there," reflected Kristin. "We always wanted to adopt again, and we actually talked about it before Keegan."
"We've just always talked about, especially since Gabe is part African-American, that we would adopt again at some point," added Scot. "And our oldest three have such a good relationship; we want that for the younger kids, too."
The issue was brought home when friends, who also have five children, asked Scot and Kristin to be guardians, which meant committing to raise 10 kids altogether.
"We said, 'Of course,' and we figured if that was our reaction, in the event something would happen to them, why shouldn't we be guardians for kids who really need us now?" said Kristin.
Both Sophia and Gabriel came to their family through domestic adoptions, but this time around, they decided to pursue international adoption avenues, focusing on African nations because of Gabe's heritage. Kristin did extensive Internet research before the couple decided on an agency in Ghana.
"Ghana is a new option" for adoptions, Kristin explained. "We're working with a private orphanage in Ghana. It's run by a Christian woman who went there to set up a home for kids, and now adoption has opened up there. There are only two (sources for adoption in Ghana) -- an agency and this orphanage.
Called Beacon House, the orphanage in Accra, Ghana, is for biologically orphaned children -- children who have lost both parents. According to its Web site, there are currently 15 children living there, ranging in age from 3 to 11. On the Internet, Kristin found a support ministry in Oregon -- a network of parents who have adopted or are currently trying to adopt from Ghana.
"The two kids that we've seen pictures of, that we've been praying about, are a 9-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy," Kristin explained. "They are siblings."
Adopting older children will be a new experience for the Spittles, but they opted to consider children from newborn through 10 years old.
"We wanted to keep Sophia the oldest and not destroy that birth order," Kristin said.
The Spittles just finished their home study and shipped off the paperwork. They are hopeful that a referral for those particular children will be forthcoming, although they realize how quickly things can change or how slowly they can proceed.
"We are hoping that will happen this fall and are praying to have them home by Christmas," Kristin speculated. "When you're working with Third World countries, you never know. It can go fast, or it can get held up. You've just got to have faith. God's got a plan, and you've got to trust in that plan."
If and when the adoption goes through, the Spittles will make two trips to Africa. Both Scot and Kristin will make the first trek, with Kristin possibly making the second journey alone, depending on timing and circumstances.
"We'll file the immigration paperwork while we're there the first time," Kristin detailed. "Then we'll come home and travel again when the immigration stuff is approved and pick them up. ... The paperwork can be overwhelming. For Ghana, since it's new, for right now, it's pretty simple."
The younger members of the Spittle clan are "super excited" about adding to their ranks.
"That has been a huge blessing," Kristin said. "Every pregnancy, every blessing -- they can't get enough. They've got these two kids moved in already, have planned where everybody's going to sleep."
The Spittles noted that, as their kids have gotten older, expanding their family actually becomes easier.
"It was really different from the third to the fourth child, with the older three being able to help," Kristin said. "There are always more hands to help. ... The older they get, the more independent they get. As long as we can feed them and love them. We're never going to be missionaries, but if we can spend a few thousand dollars and help two kids, it's well worth it."
Because Beacon House is privately funded, the adoption costs won't be quite as high as through other routes, but the Spittles estimate it will still require in excess of $20,000, depending on travel expenditures. They are planning some fundraisers, including a rummage sale that continues from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at their church, Grace Community, 2011 Nobles St. The church will also host a special service with an adoption theme at 10 a.m. Aug. 3. A pie social will follow, with proceeds going to the Spittles' adoption fund.
"We'll see where God leads us with this," said Scot. "We'd like to see some kind of adoption ministry develop. Worthington is such a diverse community anyway."
"It seems like a really good place to bring kids" from other countries, "because they're not going to be alone here," added Kristin. "It could be a starting point to build those bridges and obviously a blessing to the kids."
Yes, there are people who think they are crazy, but the Spittles don't look at it that way. Their children are blessings from God, and they want to add to those blessings.
"Without God's help, there's no way we would even be thinking about this," said Scott.
Kristin added: "We are choosing this. We love it and believe it has a purpose."
On the Net:
Beacon House orphanage in Ghana: www.beaconhousetrust.org
Kristin Spittle's adoption blog: www.theyareghanacomehome.blogspot.com