Can you imagine adopting four siblings from foster care, having a son and then finding out you’re having quadruplets?
That’s exactly what happened to Maxine Young, 30, and her husband Jacob Young, 32, from Reading, Pennsylvania. Married in 2016, the couple went from zero to nine kids in just four years.
Maxine Young said that she had always wanted to adopt children, but the more she learned about foster care, the more she realized she wanted to help children that needed loving homes -- even if it was temporary.
“After learning about foster care, it was always on my heart,” Maxine Young said. “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.”
Maxine Young said the couple wrote that they would be willing to take in two foster children at a time, but when the call asked if they would be willing to take in three siblings, all under 4 years old, she instantly said yes.
“I said yes we’ll do it without even asking Jake,” Maxine Young said, laughing. “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.”
While caring for the three siblings, the couple got another call asking if they would take in the kids' baby sister, Elliot, bringing them to a total of four children.
“We said yes to their baby sister and it was one of the best yesses of my life,” Maxine Young said. “Elliot and I are so close. I laugh with Jake that she is my real soulmate.”
While raising the four siblings, the couple got pregnant with their son, Henry, using intrauterine insemination. Maxine Young said they had been trying for around two years to have a child and were thrilled when he was born in October 2018.
It was a family of seven when the Youngs got their biggest surprise. After not thinking they could have children naturally, Young found out that she was pregnant. And it wasn’t just any pregnancy -- it was quadruplets.
“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.”
In July 2020, their group of five children quickly became nine with the additions of the quadruplets: Silas, Theo, Beck and Cecilia.
“I think most people that have nine kids have them more spread out,” Young said. “We have nine kids under 8 and it sounds even crazier when we say that we have eight under 5. Jake and I always laugh because we’ll have a kid in every grade of middle school and high school one day.”
The Young family has officially adopted their four foster children -- Aiden, 8, Parker, 5, Connor, 4, and Elliot, 3. Their son, Henry, is now 2 and their quadruplets are just 3 months old.
Maxine Young says it’s challenging to make sure that every kid is getting enough attention and feeling special with so many in their home, but she says the older kids love to help out with the babies and that their family dynamic is full of love.
“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.”