Maxine and Jake Young always knew they wanted lots of kids.
“Five sounded like a good number, Maxine told TODAY Parents.
They got that — plus four more.
In December 2019, Maxine and and Jake, who live in Reading, Pennsylvania, adopted a set of four siblings, bringing the tally to five. The couple also share a 23-month-old biological son named Henry.
Then, just weeks after the adoption ceremony, Maxine, 30, and Jake, 32, got the surprise of their lives. Maxine was pregnant with quadruplets.
“I was in total shock,” Maxine revealed, noting that she has PSOS and Henry was conceived through IUI, or Intrauterine Insemination.
“I didn’t think I could get pregnant without help,” Maxine laughed. “Boy was I wrong!”
Theo, Silas, Beck and Cecilia were born on July 31. The healthy newborns joined Aiden, 8, Parker, 5, Connor, 4, Elliott, 3, and Henry, 2.
“Luckily Jake and my relationship thrives on chaos,” Maxine, who posts regular videos of her family life on YouTube, revealed. “We work having a lot of kids. We just do.”
Creating a family
Maxine and Jake had been married a year when they began fostering three siblings in July 2017 after they were inspired by a friend.
“It wasn’t even a month later that we got a call that they had a new baby sister and could we take her as well?” Maxine recalled.
Maxine, who was pregnant with Henry, raced out to buy more crib sheets.
"I wanted to keep them all together," Maxine explained. "They'd been through so much already."
The main goal of foster care is to return children to their biological parents. But when it became clear that reunification wasn’t possible, Maxine and Jake asked Aiden, Parker, Connor and Elliott if they wanted to stay with them forever.
“Their Christmas wish was that they could be adopted by Christmas,” Maxine said. “The courts were super backed up at the time and we didn’t think it was going to happen.”
But luck was on the Young's side, and on December 20, they formally adopted the four siblings.
The children’s biological grandparents were smiling in the courtroom.
“We’re really close with them,” Maxine said. “That’s a really important connection. They’ll be able to ask questions that we might not have the answer to. We’re so grateful they have that biological link.”
Party of Nine
Maxine doesn’t want to jinx herself, but life at the Young household is pretty blissful at the moment.
“It’s actually a lot easier than I thought it was gonna be. There were times I was really paranoid and worried, like, ‘How are we going to do this?’” Maxine admitted.
It helps that the big kids are smitten with their new brothers and sisters.
“They want to hold the babies all day long," Maxine told TODAY Parents. “Life is pretty beautiful."