Maxine and Jacob Young wanted a big family but struggled to fall pregnant. Now, they have nine kids under the age of eight! Keep reading to learn how this family went from 0 to 9 children in three short years.
Their Love Story Begins
Maxine Lee and Jacob Young met in Pennsylvania in 2013 and were soon head-over-heels for one another. Nearly two and a half years later, Jacob proposed to Maxine during a romantic vacation in Greece.
Almost a year after the proposal, the Pennsylvania couple took their friends and family back to Greece for their wedding. "I got to marry the love of my life in the most beautiful place on the planet," Maxine said. The partners enjoyed their honeymoon and newlywed life, but dark times soon followed.
They Tried To Have Kids
After they got married, Jacob and Maxine moved into a new home and continued building their life together. Soon after, the couple decided they were ready for kids. But for about two years, they tried with no success. The young duo felt devasted, as they always wanted to have a family.
"Unless you have experienced infertility... you could never possibly understand the magnitude of how it affects a person," Maxine shared. "It's an all-consuming pit, you fall into darkness and sometimes feel that you may never be able to come out." Eventually, Jacob and Maxine thought of a way to fill the holes in their hearts.
As Maxine and Jacob continued trying to have a biological child, the pair became foster parents. "After learning about foster care, it was always on my heart," Mrs. Young shared. Since they couldn't yet have one of their own, they wanted to give a home to kids who needed it.
"We started to take the foster care classes and were approved in about two months," Maxine explained. "Not even a month later, we got our first placement call." The new foster parents took in two siblings and quickly fell in love with the tiny humans. But they soon received a shocking phone call.
Could They Foster One More?
Jacob and Maxine loved being foster parents to the two children. But not long after the kids arrived, the couple got a call from the foster system and found out there was a third sibling who also needed a home. Would they be able to take this little one in, too?
"I said 'Yes, we'll do it' without even asking Jake," Maxine recalled. "It was really overwhelming. Going from zero to three kids is a lot, but they had already been through so much and lost so much that I didn't want to separate them." Little did Maxine and Jacob know another surprise was just around the corner.
Surprise! Another Sister
The loving duo initially planned on fostering two kids but happily took in a third to keep the siblings together. When another phone call arrived, and Maxine and Jacob learned there was one more baby sister that belonged to the group, they agreed to look after her, too.
"We said yes to their baby sister, and it was one of the best yesses of my life," Mrs. Young said. "Elliot [the baby girl] and I are so close. I laugh with Jake that she is my real soulmate." They became a family of 6, with Aiden, Parker, Connor, and Elliot all in the house. Yet another little miracle arrived shortly after.
A Bun in the Oven
While they fostered the four children, Maxine and Jacob continued trying to have their own child. The couple absolutely loved the siblings they took in. But they didn't know if and when the kids would go back to their biological parents, leaving the Young home empty and quiet.
So when the duo found out that Maxine had a bun in the oven, they were over the moon! "Sometimes I look down and it still doesn't seem real & then he rolled around in there and there's no denying it," Maxine wrote on Instagram. "I'm beyond excited to meet you, little one." The family excitedly waited for the baby's arrival.
Henry Ellis Was Born
Towards the end of October 2018, the Youngs welcomed home a new addition. "Our sweet sweet boy, Henry Ellis decided to make his appearance on October 18th at 5:09 am. 8 pounds 6 ounces and 21 & 1/2 inches long," Maxine shared. "He is perfect and we are so in love."
The new parents were obsessed with their baby boy. Not only did Maxine and Jacob love Henry, but they also loved watching their foster children play with and care for him. The couple's hearts broke when they thought about saying bye to the four siblings. The family had a decision to make.
They Wanted To Adopt the Siblings
Taking care of a fifth child was no easy task, but the young parents enjoyed it immensely. "Every day is an adventure," Maxine said. "Adding another little one to the mix has been challenging but I wouldn't change it for the world." The Youngs couldn't fathom losing the adorable brothers and sisters they grew to love.
The Youngs wanted to make their family official. "This girl deserves the world and I'm (hopefully) going to spend forever showing her how beautiful, bright and worthy she is," Maxine wrote on Parker's fourth birthday. Would they be able to adopt the four siblings?
"We Were Already a Family"
When Aiden, Parker, Connor, and Elliot initially arrived at the Young house, their biological parents still saw them. But after they didn't show up for the scheduled visits, the mom and dad's rights were terminated. "Obviously, the goal of foster care is reunification, so you always try to support that, and we did," said Maxine.
She continued, "When all the visits stopped, it was basically like we were already a family, so we knew it was going to go to adoption." And so it did. In December 2019, Maxine and Jacob adopted the children. While they felt like a family for quite some time, it was now official. Few could have imagined what happened next.
Eating for Two
The Youngs were busy with their hectic daily life when they got a big surprise; Maxine was pregnant! The delighted parents couldn't believe it. For two years, they had tried to have Henry. Now, shortly after adopting their four lovely kids, the young mom was pregnant again.
"Sometimes when you have a dream in your mind and hope in your heart, you create a wish," Maxine wrote when she found out the good news. "Even if you don't actively pursue it, it's always lingering, and sometimes, if you are really lucky that wish can come true." Her dream had come true, even more so than she realized!
JK! She Was Eating for Five
The family was brimming with excitement at the thought of another addition to the family. Then, at a routine doctor's appointment, the expecting parents learned they would be welcoming, not one child, but four. "We hoped for just one more baby to complete our family and our prayers were answered, x4," Maxine said.
"I remember this so vividly because I remember saying, 'Oh my gosh, what if there was another baby? Like hahaha, totally just joking,'" Maxine shared. "And she [the doctor] looked at me, and she said, 'Maxine, there is. There is another baby in there." But their immense joy was soon dampened by some bad news.
The Babies May Not Survive
The Youngs were thrilled at the thought of their family growing exponentially. But their excitement soon turned to worry when doctors said the four babies were unlikely to be born healthy. The medical experts advised the parents to "reduce [the babies] to two" to increase their survival chances.
"At first, I was excited, but that quickly became nervousness," Maxine recalled. "The doctors made it seem like it would be impossible to have four healthy babies and wanted us to reduce." The distressed parents already felt great love for each of the four babies, and they had a lot to think about.
They Accepted the Risks
Ultimately, Maxine and Jacob resolved to take on the health risks and keep all four of their precious babies. After they made the decision, the parents felt they could once again celebrate the miracles inside Maxine's belly. "Once we accepted that it would be risky, we felt joy come back," she explained.
"I'm so excited for these kids to be born, so excited to meet them, so excited for Maxine to meet them and the kids to meet them," Jacob said. "It's going to be an unbelievable ride. A crazy ride, a challenging one." The father of five, and soon to be nine, was right; challenging times laid ahead for the group.
"It's Been a Challenge, and It's Been a Strain"
While the Young family couldn't wait to welcome their newest members, the parents were also understandably stressed. How would the newborns affect the dynamic and routine of the family? In a video Jacob filmed before the birth of the newborns, he said, "Things are going to change very soon. Because the babies are coming very soon."
But even before the quadruplets' arrival, the family's life shifted. "It's [the pregnancy] been a challenge, and it's been a strain on the kids, on our relationship," he said. "It's impossible for it not to be, but... we always figure it out." Little did Jacob know, their strength was about to be seriously tested.
Bills Stacked Up
When Maxine reached 21 weeks of pregnancy, she received some bad news. Her cervix started shortening, which put the babies at risk. The young mom needed to travel to Phoenix, Arizona to see a specialist. With medical bills stacked up and with four more mouths to feed on the way, the Young clan needed outside help.
The parents set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the Arizona specialist. "Knowing when you need help is not an easy thing but it's also something beautiful," Jacob said. "These babies will know how so many people gathered around them with love and genuine selflessness." It took a village, but Maxine finally got to Phoenix.
The Babies Had To Come Out
It was in Arizona that more health concerns arose. "My heart rate is a little bit elevated, and I'm super uncomfortable," Maxine explained. "I can't breathe really because of their positions, and it's elevating their heart rate a little bit, so that's a little bit worrisome."
Her condition affected the babies, and so they scheduled a C-Section. "I'm nervous. I'm excited but nervous," Maxine said the night before the C-Section. "I just hope that they're all okay." The parents were filled with anticipation to meet the newborns.
Theo, Silas, Beck, and Cecilia
While Maxine was in Arizona for medical care, Jacob and the kids stayed in Pennsylvania. But when the arrival of the quadruplets neared, they road-tripped to Phoenix and were there for the birth of the babies. On July 31, 2020, Theo, Silas, Beck, and Cecilia were born.
"Maxine is doing so well. She did unbelievably. It's unreal how amazing she did," Jacob said after the C-Section. "This is still so surreal. I don't think it's hit me yet." While the mom of 9 was fortunately in good condition, the newborns struggled.
Quadruplets in the NICU
The babies were all in the NICU. While this was the usual procedure for high order multiples, it was difficult for the parents to see their babies in such conditions. "It's very challenging because you want to bond, you want to have that skin to skin," Jacob explained.
"You want to... spend time with them because they're new in this world, and you are their parents," he continued. "You feel all these things. I just can't wait until they're out of here." About a month later, the big family went back to Pennsylvania -- in quite an adventurous manner.
Back To Pennsylvania
Although they could leave Arizona, the quadruplets still needed intensive care. So the Youngs traveled on an air ambulance to another hospital in Pennsylvania. The newborns were transferred safely, and their five siblings got to go on an adventure!
"Phoenix will always have a special place in our hearts, it's... where I experienced some of the hardest times of my life but also the most beautiful," Maxine said. "It's where our family grew by four little miracles." Back in their home state, the Youngs counted down the days until their nine children could be under one roof.
The 9 Kids Were Finally Together
On August 29, the first quadruplet left the NICU to go home. By September 7, less than 2 months after the birth, all 11 Youngs reunited. "We can't believe they are here, they are healthy, and they are ours. It is truly an indescribable feeling," Maxine said.
"I remember being in the hospital just a few weeks ago, I was pumped full of magnesium and could barely see, I was... absolutely miserable," she continued. "I kept saying over and over, 'This will be worth it,' I've never been so right about anything in my entire life." But the adventure was only beginning.
So Many Kids, So Little Time
The Youngs were thrilled to be together in their beautiful home and grateful that all four babies were healthy. But the family grew from seven to eleven almost overnight, and juggling all nine kids proved difficult. They had a big learning curve ahead.
"It's tough trying to allocate your time and make sure each child gets enough special one-on-one attention," Maxine explained. "But Jake and I bust our butts to make sure each of our children feel as loved and as special as they are." The new arrivals affected the busy parents' relationship with each other, as well.
"No Alone Time for Us"
As Maxine and Jacob tried to have individual time with each of their kids, they barely had time for each other. "It's difficult because that means no alone time for us as individuals or as a couple," the busy mom shared. Having nine kids sometimes took a toll on their relationship.
Maxine added, "But we try and remember this is only a season, soon they will be older and we will miss the fact they rely on us so much." Although raising nine kids was undoubtedly a challenge, the family gradually accustomed to their new routines. What the parents said next was surprising to many.
They're Just Like Any Other Family
It's no secret that raising a child can be difficult, but Maxine and Jacob believed that raising one or raising nine was not that big of a difference! "Our daily routine is pretty much the same as that of the other families with only two or three kids. There's just more bodies to wrangle," Maxine laughingly shared.
"People struggle with one child, and people struggle with two children, but we've only known the chaos of a large family," she said. "We went from zero to four, so we just make it work." But did the young couple handle everything alone or, as the saying goes, did it take a village?
Maxine and Jacob said that, for the most part, they did everything on their own. "We don't have any help directly with the quads as we do all of their feedings, changing, and other things by ourselves," Maxine explained. "Nobody helps us overnight or anything like that."
She added, "But, my mom will come up and hang out with the kids sometimes, and Jake's mom will take Elle and Henry, our 2/3-year-old, a couple of mornings a week to give them some special time." Even with their busy, chaotic schedules, the family never stopped being amazed by their new life.
Eight Kids Under 5 Years Old
As they looked around the house filled with laughing and screaming children, Jacob and Maxine couldn't help but be in awe of their new reality. The couple who struggled for two years to have just one child now got to raise nine. They were just as amazed when they thought about their family's future.
"We have nine kids under 8, and it sounds even crazier when we say that we have eight under 5," Maxine said. "Jake and I always laugh because we'll have a kid in every grade of middle school and high school one day." The Youngs knew they were a part of something special, and they found a way to share their unbelievable life.
The Family Young Vlogs
Shortly after the Youngs found out Maxine was pregnant with four, they started a YouTube channel called The Family Young VLOGS. Their videos showed the family's adventures, filled with giggling and silly kids. Other times, they recorded the chaos that comes with raising nine children.
The Youngs even shared Maxine's pregnancy journey, with videos like she made a MESS -- roadtripping to Arizona for the wife's special doctor's appt for quadruplets and *LABOR & DELIVERY VLOG* The QUADRUPLETS are FINALLY HERE! It wasn't long before their channel filled with supportive fans.
People Loved Them
The Family Young Vlogs grew quickly and soon had over 14K subscribers and more than 1 million views. People loved watching the large group's adventures. "Wow, they certainly have their work cut out for them, but what a beautiful family," wrote one viewer.
Others sent the family well wishes. "What a fantastic couple!" wrote a user. "Hope they have lots of love, support, extra hands to help out, and laundry service!" Still, others were more skeptical and wondered how the young couple managed to do it all.
How Did They Do It All?
Many channel subscribers wondered how the couple managed everything on their plate. Raising nine children was no easy or cheap task. "Hope dad has a wonderful job in order to provide for these many mouths to feed and doctor bills," said one person.
They continued, "Mom will and does have her hands full. I can't imagine there being enough hours in a day to do what will need to be done and still manage to sleep." As often happens when people decide to put their lives in the public eye, some viewers were curious about the Young's experiences, but other people were critical.
Some individuals took issue with the Young family. As their miraculous story spread, people voiced their disagreement with raising so many kids in a world that may be getting warmer. "The adoption is nice, but adding another 5 yourself... it's as if... carbon footprints don't exist," said a Bored Panda user.
Another person echoed these sentiments and wrote, "These [Maxine and Jacob] did good by fostering and adopting, then did horrible thing by having 4 kids. They do not care about nature at all." Despite a few haters, the Young family didn't have any regrets.
Maxine and Jacob Loved the Chaos
After they became a family of eleven, Maxine and Jacob couldn't fathom their life being any different. "This wasn't like what we intended. We didn't plan to have this large of a family," Maxine said. "But it just seems like these babies are meant to be. I can't imagine not having all four of them now at this point."
"We love being parents; we love our kids, so we are happy to be with them all the time," she continued. "The chaos of a large family just works for us. It's all we know. Where there is more chaos you will find more laughter, smiles, and unconditional love." As the famous song said, All You Need Is Love.