Sunday, December 22, 2013

Goodbye Vanna and Hello Sylvia! Updated with answered questions!

Hubby drove Vanna all the way to Sioux Falls SD to trade her in for Sylvia!
We decided to not sell Vanna outright but to instead trade her in.
We needed Vanna until Sylvia arrived and we just didn't have the time to sell her. If you are interested she is at the Sioux Falls, SD Mercedes Benz dealership. I am sure they will clean her up and make her look pretty for you!

While in the parking lot I met a couple- the immediately commented on her and I said she's my baby!
Of course the family and adoption story then was told!
They were so kind and happy for our family!

Any time we can plant the seed of adoption we are up for it!
Adoption has been the BEST thing that has ever happened to our family- for us, as the parents and for our older bio kids!
Not to mention, our 13 blessings!
Praising God for HIS goodness!

Hubby drove 4.5 hours there- did all the paperwork and then drove 4.5 hours home!
I was running a few Christmas errands and saw her on the road. 
I knew it was her- she's beautiful!
Hubby and I met at the local grocery store because I couldn't wait until we got home!

When we arrived home all the children hopped in with their pj's on and took a short drive- they were so so excited for her to arrive!

It is wonderful to have a vehicle that we can all fit in… well, all of us except the 5 older kids that is!
Thank goodness they would rather drive themselves!

She is BIG!
Really really BIG!

20 feet long, 10 feet high, 15 seats in her plus space for luggage, groceries, strollers, wheelchairs, you name it!
Hubby is 6'2" and he can stand up in her!

She is fabulous and we are thrilled with her.

She kind of draws a bit of attention where ever we go…
so much for being under the radar!

Sadly, there are no extra seats for more kiddos…

We will be getting more kiddos into the higher booster seats with backs - soon! Ordering them NOW!

Sylvia will be perfect for our daily life and for trips!

She has a few drawbacks-
 she does NOT fit into parking ramps, parking spaces for cars, vans or trucks, it's hard with lots of traffic in the parking lots (such as Christmas time) and medical centers downtown.
I will most likely take a smaller crew during those times and drive the Yukon.

Yes, she was expensive but equal in price to a new 15 passenger GMC van with a few upgrades.
She feels sturdier and more comfortable.

I love her best when she is filled with Happy PRECIOUS TREASURES!

So thankful for all of these children and for this extra large vehicle!
Excited to see and experience North America in her and the children (hubby, too)!

Good question Jessim- Why does she have to be so tall? I really don't know why! This vehicle started out as a Dodge sprinter, then became a freightliner and was recently bought by mercedes. It is popular with many businesses as a cargo van because it is safe, reliable, strong and has a long life expectancy!
We had to get this height in order to get the extended version (long enough)to fit our family and then have it modified by a separate company to get 3 more seats in it so it could fit all our children.
If it were shorter in height we could get it in the garage!
The length would not fit into any ramps.
Being able to stand in it is actually quite nice!

Vickie- there is a slider door on the passenger side by the first row of kids seats. The space to get back to the 3rd and 4th row is small but very doable. We have our able bodies big kids get back there and the children that need help or have ambulating issues are in the first 2 rows (Luke, Joey and Ben).


Lori at JOY Unspeakable said...

WOWIE! I LOVE Sylvia! She's a beast!! And a stylish one, at that!

She's going to serve you well for many years to come, I'll bet. Or until you adopt more kids...then you'll have to "upgrade" to a school bus. ;)


Dara said...

We have one too! Had ours 11/2 years and after market had another bench added so we can sit 15 :) you will get used to the stares but what we haven't gotten used to is all the people who stop us and ask to see inside :) but makes for funny stories to tell and lots of opportunity to share about adoption and our faith! Merry Christmas !!!

Janet and Kevin said...

Wow! She is a beauty! Kevin and I got a chuckle out of this post. Love that you can stand up in her!

Janet and gang

Judy Deaton said...

That is a beautiful bunch of treasure you have!!!!!!!! Nice van too :)

Vicky said...

I love seeing the children in Sylvia! Do you have to load from back to front? I didn't see an aisle does the middle or end seat fold up for loading?

What wonderful memories you will make in Sylvia!

Unknown said...

Does Sylvia fit in the garage? We own a Nissan 3500 NV and sadly, it doesn't fit in a standard 7 ft door.

Jessim said...

How fabulous to have a van they can all fit in!

I do have one question: why does she need to be so tall? It seems like a lot of wasted space above, and without that- you would fit into ramps...

Unknown said...

Congrats! Your entire blog is wonderful. I enjoy reading about your family as it is helping me to remain positive during our first adoption!

Sarah said...

Looks like she is a lovely fit for your family. Hope to see you when you come down south to see the Healds

Holly said...

LOVE it, Jean!!

Unknown said...

I love it! Headrests and shoulder belts in all positions - very safe for everyone. Its a struggle to find a truly safe option for large families and I am thrilled to see the great pictures. Renee (mom to 4 including 2 from China and certified Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor)

Sally-Girl! said...

So happy for you to finally have her home too!!! She will be well used!

ourchinagirls said...

Jean, we seriously were thinking about buying Vanna from you. Then after my husband and kids were in a headon accident we really needed it.

However after finding out how well our Ford Expedition stood up in a head on accident we decided that we would buy another one. My hubby, the driver was hurt the worst and if we had been in a smaller car or a minivan we are positive that things would have turned out much worse. Glad you have your Sylvia now. Wish we were younger and had the money to bring home more kids but I will love the ones I have fully!!

Hanna said...

Wow! She is so huge and beautiful vehicle! Hard to believe she has plenty space for luggage, etc including 15 seats!

mewohlwend said...

Just got a Nissan NV 3500 for our "bigger than average" family! I drove it around yesterday for the first time. It feels big to me, but "big" is relative- I'm sure Sylvia would make mine look tiny :) In any case, it sure is nice to have the extra space for everyone!! I'll be on the lookout for Sylvia around town!

Unknown said...

You should absolutely send that photo to Mercedes….I can not think of a more beautiful inspiring ad for their van.

Your family is gorgeous!!!!

Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!

(mom to 2 beauties from China)

Annie said...

That is awesome!! We don't fit in our big green machine anymore but with a 16 year old looking to buy his first car, I don't think we will be upgrading anytime soon:):) Enjoy sweet friend! I just love seeing all those sweet blessings all buckled up and ready to go!

Wendy said...

HI Jean. Just stopping in to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! So happy all your little treasures are home! Thanks for being you and letting us get a glimpse of your family and all you are blessed with.

aunt jackie said...

so glad to have my computer back that I can catch-up on you all .. love love love Sylvia !! So glad that the little boys (and big boys) are back safely .. Praying with you through this time of "new normal" for you all .. SO thrilled about the wonderful report from the eye doctor too !! Just so many points of gratitude .. Praying and Praising with you from Florida ..Jackie oxox

Anonymous said...

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Joy said...

I saw one of these heading down GA 300 the other day and wondered if yall had headed south. These are a rare sight around these parts.

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