Quadruplet Family Has Freshman Year Times Four

All mothers deserve extra TLC on Mother's Day — but what do you do for the mom who not only raised quadruplets, but also helped all four get through their first year of college successfully?

Cheryl Torline will find out on Sunday. Twenty years ago, on Feb. 9, 1989, she, husband Joe, and their 6-year-old daughter, Amber, welcomed the four babies — three girls and one boy — into the world. And now, those four siblings have just finished their first year at Indiana University.

After they were born, Allison, Melanie, Vanessa and Eric had to stay in the hospital for three months before coming home. The Torline living room in Scottsburg, Ind., was converted into a nursery.

Amber noted at the time, "I prayed and prayed and prayed for a little brother, a little sister. Maybe I prayed too hard."

It was all hands on deck as friends and neighbors helped the Torlines make it through the wearing infant days.

And make it they did.

Cheryl Torline had mixed emotions when her house emptied out last fall, but "anytime I feel sad I just think about all the things that they are learning and doing. We worried for so long about how they would get to go to school. We, neither one, went to college. We didn't want them to graduate with hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans."

But it was a big adjustment. Joe Torline helps paint the picture: "You think of, yes, four went to college, but imagine four of them each ... having anywhere between one to four friends to the house at a time, so do the math on that."

To manage four tuition bills, the Torlines are relying on a tremendous amount of work from the quads.

They attend college thanks to Indiana's 21st Century Scholars program. They keep their scholarships to Indiana University, or any state school, as long as they maintain good grades — and good behavior, which includes not drinking or using drugs. Every year since eigth grade, Allison, Eric, Melanie and Vanessa have signed pledges agreeing to abide by those rules.

And that's a gift any mother could appreciate.

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