This Reading, Pennsylvania couple got more than they bargained for when they became a family of 11 in July.
Maxine Young, 30, and her husband Jacob Young, 32, married in May 2016 and wanted to start a family from the start. Maxine had always wanted to adopt children. And when she learned more about foster care, it strengthened her desire to help children who needed a loving home, even if it was only temporary.
“After learning about foster care, it was always close to my heart,” Maxine told Good Morning America. “We started taking foster care classes and were approved in about two months. Barely a month later, we received our first placement call.
In July 2017, they received a call about a group of siblings aged 4, 2 and 11 months, who needed a home. It was what they’d been waiting for all along, so they immediately agreed to take them in.
While caring for the three children, they received another call asking if they would be willing to take in the children’s newborn baby sister, Elliott.
“We said yes to their little sister and it was one of the most beautiful yeses of my life,” said Maxine. “Elliot and I are so close. I laughingly tell Jake that she’s my true soulmate.”
After trying for two years to conceive a child, the couple finally became pregnant with their son, Henry, thanks to intrauterine insemination (IUI). He was born in October 2018.
The Youngs were already a large family of seven when they got another surprise: Maxine discovered she was pregnant with quadruplets!
This came as a total shock to them, given that they had to resort to in vitro fertilization to conceive Henry.
“At first I was excited, but that soon turned to nervousness,” she says. “The doctors were giving the impression that it would be impossible to have four healthy babies and wanted us to scale back. Once we accepted the risk, the joy returned. All four of our babies were healthy. I’m so glad we followed our instincts.
After learning that Maxine was going to have quadruplets, they contacted a Phoenix doctor who specializes in multiple pregnancies. Before the due date, the Youngs traveled to the state to ensure that Maxine would receive the appropriate care. Fortunately, all went well.
Silas, Theo, Beck and Cecilia were born in July 2020, officially bringing their number of children to nine!
Although the aim of fostering was to return the children to their biological parents, it became clear that reunification was not an option. The couple therefore 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, and their quadruplets are three months old.
According to Maxine, the challenge of raising such a large family is to ensure that each child gets the attention they need. Fortunately, the older children love to help their younger siblings, which makes the task easier.
“It never feels like there’s not enough love in the house,” she says. “They may not have the same blood, but they love each other just as much, and that’s beautiful to see.
Maxine explains that she and Jake’s relationship “thrives on chaos,” and that this configuration suits them, even if it is difficult.
“We work with having lots of kids. That’s all we do.”
If you’re wondering what life with nine kids is like, you can follow the Youngs on YouTube, where they regularly post videos of their family life.