This couple from Reading, Pennsylvania, got more than what they wished for when they recently became a family of 11 in July.
Maxine Young, 30, and her husband Jacob Young, 32, tied the knot in May 2016 and wanted to start a family right off the bat. Maxine always wanted to adopt children. And when she learned more about foster care, it strengthened her desire to help children that needed loving homes, even if it was only temporary.
“After learning about foster care, it was always on my heart,” Maxine told Good Morning America. “We started to take the foster care classes and were approved in about two months. Not even a month later, we got our first placement call.”
In July 2017, they received a call about a group of siblings ages 4, 2, and 11 months, who needed a home. It was what they’ve been waiting for all along, so they immediately agreed to take them in.
While caring for the three kids, they got another call asking if they were willing to take in the kids’ baby sister, Elliott, who had just been born.
“We said yes to their baby sister and it was one of the best yesses of my life,” Maxine said. “Elliot and I are so close. I laugh with Jake that she is my real soulmate.”
After two years of trying to conceive a child of their own, the couple finally got pregnant with their son, Henry, using intrauterine insemination (IUI). He was born in October 2018.
The Youngs were already a huge family of seven when they got another surprise: Maxine found out she was pregnant with quadruplets!
This came as a complete shock to them, considering they had to rely on IUI to conceive Henry.
“At first I was excited, but that quickly became nervousness,” she said. “The doctors made it seem like it would be impossible to have four healthy babies and wanted us to reduce. Once we accepted that it would be risky, we felt joy come back. All four of our babies were healthy. I’m so glad we went with our gut.”
After learning that Maxine was having quadruplets, they connected with a Phoenix-based doctor who specialized in multiple pregnancies. Before her due date, the Youngs headed to the state to ensure that Maxine will receive the right care. Thankfully, everything went well.
Silas, Theo, Beck, and Cecilia were born in July 2020, officially raising their number of children to nine!
While foster care’s goal is to return the foster children to their biological parents, it became clear that reunification wasn’t an option. So, the couple officially adopted their four foster children—Aiden, 8, Parker, 5, Connor, 4, and Elliot, 3—in December 2019.
Henry, their biological child, is now two years old, and their quadruplets are three months old.
Maxine says the challenge in raising such a large family is making sure that every kid gets the attention they need. Luckily, the older kids love helping out with their younger siblings, so the job gets easier.
“You never feel like there’s not enough love in the house,” she said. “They might not share the same blood but they love each other just as much and it’s a beautiful thing to see.”
Maxine says hers and Jake’s relationship “thrives on chaos,” so this set up works for them, no matter how difficult it is.
“We work having a lot of kids. We just do.”
If you’re wondering what life’s like with nine children, you can follow the Youngs on YouTube, where they post regular videos of their family life.