Rhode Island's only set of quintuplets are all grown up

Bruce and Gina Stanford with their four surviving quintuplets. (WJAR)

Rhode Island's only set of quintuplets is all grown up and heading for college.

"I can't believe it's been 18 years already. It seems like yesterday," said their father, Bruce Stanford.

We were there, on Oct. 18, 1999, when the Stanford quintuplets were born: Christina, Brianna, Caitlyn, Jordan and Stephanie.

Stephanie was not born alive. Doctors said she had multiple defects.

But mom, Gina, got to say goodbye.

"All of our life, any big achievements, we think of her right next to us," said Brianna.

There have been many achievements and landmarks over the years. First birthday, kindergarten, sweet 16 and now graduation.

"Just having them together, I had my own little day care,” said Gina.

"When people ask me that question all the time, 'How do you do it with four?' And I just say, 'How'd you do it with one?'" Bruce said. "To us, this was the normal."

These days, they each have their own distinct personality.

"Christina is very head strong," said Gina.

Christina will be heading off to Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy in the fall.

"I'm going to study youth ministry," she said.

"Brianna is good at just about everything,” said Gina.

She'll be rooming with her sister Christina at college.

"I'm still not sure what I'm going to do for the rest of my life, so I took a campus tour with my dad and I was like, there's no other college I'm looking at," said Brianna.

"Caitlyn is the caring one,” said Gina. “She cares about everyone, she loves everyone."

She's heading off to the University of Rhode Island.

"I want to do physical therapy, just like my mom," said Caitlyn.

"Jordan's my man. He's a very old soul," said Gina of her only son. "He's very kind. He's very generous. He's very giving."

He'll be attending Bryant University.

"I'll be majoring in finance, hopefully minoring in Spanish," said Jordan.

And while all the kids are busy with their jobs and friends, they love hanging out together.

"Just growing up with them has been totally crazy," said Caitlyn.

"They've become each of my best friends," said Jordan.

And now they're preparing to embark on their next big adventure.

"It's going to be hard being off into different paths," said Brianna.

"It's definitely going to be different going off to college and only being with one of them," said Christina.

"It's going to be very tough," said Caitlyn.

"When it comes to moving day, I'm not looking forward to it," said Jordan.

Choking back tears, Gina admitted that it’s going to be hard having two children away at college.

"Every morning before I go to work, I stop by each one of them when they're sleeping in bed," said Bruce. "I give them a kiss on the head and tell them I love them. It was a couple months ago, Christina and Brianna, I realized this is going to be an empty room during the week and that was kind of hard."

But they have one last adventure before college, and that's a church mission trip to Panama next week.

It's their strong faith in God, they say, that has made theirs a blessed life.

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