Monday, July 18, 2011

Our new family car

I mentioned the other day that we had had to get another vehicle for our family as we had seriously outgrown our 7 passenger mini-van. It took a long time to find something adequate for us all! Rodrigo searched and searched online, and I called over 40 car dealerships in a three or four hour driving distance from our home asking about something that could hold a family our size. Most of the people I talked to didn't even understand what I was looking for. I'd tell them we had 7 children and another on the way (soon!) and they'd try to sell me another mini-van for seven people... "No that won't work for us" I'd explain. More than a few times the reply was "Well it'd be a tight squeeze, but you could probably fit that many people in a seven passenger mini-van... they are quite roomy!" I politely told them no thank you and would call the next one on the list. But inside I was thinking this: Um... yeah right! I thought, why don't you try to fit 6 car seats plus 3 other people in a seven passenger minivan and see how roomy it is, HaHa!. Apparently they have never heard of child restraint laws, or basic vehicular safety, you know simple stuff like one person per seat belt! After all they are only car salesmen, why would they know about things pertaining to car safety?!? By law here in Tennessee, children must travel in a car seat or booster seat until the age of 8 or until they reach a certain height and weight. Neither Matthew nor Ethan has actually reached the height or weight limit yet although Matthew is going to be 11 this autumn and Ethan just turned 8! So both of them still sit in a simple booster seat to make them a little taller and help the regular seat belt fit them better, and the 4 little ones have actual car seats. 

Rodrigo finally found a full sized van online late one evening. I called the dealership the next morning to find out if they still had it... they did! So as soon as he got home from work we went to look at it. 

It is a 12 passenger behemoth! But we all fit with a a little room to spare! I was a little worried that it would be difficult to drive. but honestly it's not that hard at all. The only thing I really notice that is different about driving it is the fact that it doesn't fit in the average compact car parking space easily. I can't just pull in without having to do some back and forth maneuvering a bit first. 

* I had to cover the foster babies' faces for the blog, which was a real shame since they all had the sweetest smiles on their faces in this picture. Our driveway is quite steep, slanting up towards the road, so Rodrigo adjusted the angle of the camera on the tripod to make things look straighter for the picture. But it turned out looking like we are all leaning towards the rear of the van. It reminds me of that V8 juice commercial several years  back... Looks like somebody forgot their V8! 


  1. Glad you found a car that suits,lovely to see your family altogether, cheers Marie

  2. We almost bought a 12-passenger; twice! I was going to write to say we had the same problem...but we are only trying to fit 5 children and 2 adults in our vehicle! Same misunderstanding with car salesmen. The last time one actually asked if we needed to have all of the kids in the car at the same time. Huh?
    Anyway, it is good to see that I am not the only person driving a tank, lol! We recently moved up to a 9-passenger SUV and though I hate thinking of the environmental implications of our choice, it really is quite comfortable. We still only have one car, so we're trying! I like your van, and love that you have little foster babies!

  3. Congrats on the new car! Bigger cars are definitely the best for big families. All that room makes family trips a lot easier and a lot more fun. Of course, the size might make car space a little more limited, but like handling the driving of that baby, you'll get used to it.


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