But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with their children's children . . . Psalm 103:17

Monday, September 3, 2012

Vehicle questions

Adding 5 people to ones family brings about many adjustments and changes.  There's the obvious statement of the day.

I think back to the day when we found out we were having the quintuplets.  My first thoughts when the sonogram technician pointed out "number five" on the screen were: 1. Lord, please, no.  I can't handle this!  2.  We need a new house! (in PNG)  3. We need a new car!  Yep, I'm a man.  That's where my thoughts went-- straight to the practical.

Since then, there have been many emotional adjustments, of course, but there still remains the practical.  What kind of stroller do we get (yes, there are quintuplet strollers out there), what kind of car seat, how many swings, cribs, bottles, etc., etc.!  We've never had quints before, so a lot of these questions will be answered by experience and by talking with those few, those proud, who have walked our road before.

My big question of late, though, is about a vehicle.  Currently we're driving a Chrysler 7 seater minivan, which has been wonderful for our family of three and our belongings as we have traveled around (thank you, Nortons!).  Eventually, we are going to need a vehicle with 8 seats.  I know that I could buy another bench seat for our current van and fit it in place of the two "captain" seats in the middle row, but that would leave us with having to access the rear row over the middle row or through the rear lift gate.  Hence the questions:

  • How soon will that be?  
  • Will we take all five babies and Isaac anywhere without an additional vehicle and help in the months between the babies' homecoming and our departure to PNG?  
  • How long until we depart for PNG?  
  • What vehicles are out there now that have eight seats AND are practical for getting five car seats into?  
We have no answers for the first three questions.  The fourth does seem to have some clearer answers.  There are a few minivans out there these days that have 8 seats, but they are mostly later models-- therefore higher dollar.  Even these, though, seem pretty impractical when I try to picture 5 car seats installed, three across the back, two in the middle, and a small bit of space left for Isaac.  How do we get past the middle seat to put the babies in the rear row if a car seat is installed in it?  Possible, yes, repeatably practical, I'm not so sure.  There are several SUVs out there with 8 seats, but they are even less practical for loading little kids, since they sit higher and don't have sliding doors like a minivan.  And that's not even considering the price for such cars.  

Cargo capacity is one of the big considerations that has to factor in.  How much space are we going to have for all the baby paraphernalia once every one of the eight seats is filled?  Minivan: not much.  SUV: possibly even less, depending on the model.  

Conclusion: 12 passenger van.  Think church bus.  Lots of head room.  Lots of space to get to each baby because of the aisle on the side.  Lots of cargo space in the back for the "stuff."  It's not my final answer, since it's got several downsides to it.  Sheer size and bulk for driving.  Gas mileage. :)  Cost.  

Here are my questions for any of you.  Do you know of anyone with an 8 seater vehicle for sale?  A church van?  A child care vehicle?  Something that might fit our situation?  

I see the 12 passenger van as being probably the best answer (and that has been echoed by several other quintuplet parents), but there are other possibilities out there we are happy to consider.  We're open to suggestions and advice.  Thank you!

Just for laughs, here is a friend's suggestion for a modification for our vehicle in PNG.  


Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

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