Many people spend their lives dreaming of the day they’ll finally become a parent. They long for diaper changes. They can’t wait for family picnics in the park. And they aim to bring up happy and healthy children that rely on their love and guidance every step of the way. But sometimes things don’t always go the way they planned, and this has certainly been the case for one couple whose pregnancy woes have taken them on a whirlwind adventure.
After being told that they couldn’t have any children naturally, this couple chose the adoption route. And while they loved these non-biological children as though they were their own, their venture into the world of parenthood wasn’t over. What happened next nobody could have predicted, and it’s changed their lives forever. This is the story of Maxine and Jake Young.
Maxine and Jake Tied the Knot in 2016 and Were Excited About Building a Family Together
Maxine and Jake Young may only be 30 and 32 years old, but they’ve already gone through so much in their lives. The couple, who hails from Reading, Pennsylvania, fell in love almost a decade ago. They became husband and wife in 2016, and they couldn’t wait for what life would throw their way. They were full of hope, happiness, and excitement. But they had no idea what struggles they’d also have to face.
Shortly after getting married, Maxine and Jake began to wonder what life would be like as parents. Both of them had always loved the idea of having kids, and they knew that their lives would somehow involve lots of little ones running around their family home. But sadly, having their own biological children seemed impossible.
They Decided to Try for a Baby, but They Were Instead Faced With Heartbreak
Maxine and Jake tried naturally for a baby, but no matter how many pregnancy tests they took, negative results became all too common. This was an emotional time for the couple, and their efforts became even more heartbreaking when they suffered miscarriages. In the end, they decided to seek out the advice of doctors.
Sadly, they didn’t receive the news they were looking for. The doctors were not confident that the couple would be able to conceive naturally, but they did offer an alternative. Maxine and Jake underwent numerous IVF cycles in the hope that this would give them the baby they had been dreaming of. Unfortunately, these attempts failed.
They Didn’t Want To Give Up Their Dream of Being Parents, So They Looked Into Fostering Instead
Although the husband and wife struggled with the notion that they wouldn’t be able to have their own biological child, they knew this wasn’t the only way to welcome a child into their lives. Maxine had always loved the idea of fostering children and providing them with a second chance at life. She began to look into the idea, and noted that “After learning about foster care, it was always on my heart.”
Thankfully, Jake shared her excitement about the fostering process. They began to look into the idea further, and they knew that they had to be fully informed before they took the plunge. But the more they learned, the more they felt like fostering was the right move for them. They were always going to be parents in some way or another, and fostering gave them the chance to do that.
Maxine and Jake Signed up To Become Foster Parents, Not Knowing What Would Happen Next
After doing their research, the couple decided to go ahead with the fostering process. Maxine noted that “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.” This was a hugely exciting moment for the couple.
When they signed up for the foster service, they confirmed that they would be willing to foster two children at a time. They felt like they had the capacity to do that, and that they had space in their home – and their hearts – to care for two children. But of course, things don’t always go to plan, and the couple could never have expected what the foster service asked of them.
They Were Ultimately Asked To Foster Three Siblings In Order To Keep Them Together
When Maxine and Jake spoke to the person on the other side of the phone, they couldn’t believe their ears. Although they had said that they would be able to foster two children, the foster service asked them whether they would be able to care for three children. They were all siblings under four years old, and the service thought it would be in their best interest to keep them all together.
The foster service knew they were asking the couple to take on a big responsibility, but they just didn’t want the siblings to be separated. The process was not going the way the couple had thought, and it was a big decision for them. But they knew what they had to do. According to Maxine, “I said yes we’ll do it without even asking Jake.”
The Couple Welcomed The Three Foster Kids Into Their Home, and They Loved Every Second of It
So, Maxine and Jake welcomed Aiden (4), Parker (1), and Connor (who was just a few months old at the time) into their family. The couple has not disclosed the nature of their release into the foster system or the circumstances of their mother. However, they have hinted towards the notion that they’d had a difficult upbringing before making their way into the system.
And while they knew their decision was the right one, they were slightly overwhelmed. They noted that “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.” Because of this, they embraced the fact that they were thrown head-first into the world of parenthood, and they wanted to enjoy every second.
They Were Living in a Happy Bubble Until They Received Another Phone Call From the Foster Service
Parenting was a new experience for Maxine and Jake, but they were naturals. They loved their three foster children and they were living in a happy bubble – until their phone started ringing again. Once again, the foster service was on the other end of the phone, and they had another request for the couple.
They learned that the biological mother of their foster children had given birth again, to a baby girl called Elliott. The foster service wondered whether the couple would consider adding her to their home and giving her a new, happy home with her siblings. Maxine confessed that “We said yes to their baby sister and it was one of the best yesses of my life. Elliott and I are so close. I laugh with Jake that she is my real soulmate.”
They Had Four Foster Children, but They Knew This Could Only Be Temporary
Although the couple was overjoyed to be foster parents, they were also extremely aware of the fact that their circumstances could change at any minute. Because they were only fostering the four siblings and had not officially adopted them, they were still technically in search of their “forever home.” Fostering is normally only a temporary solution.
Maxine and Jake were extremely aware of the fact that they could be child-less again at some point in their lives. While their hearts belonged to their foster children and they didn’t want to replace them, they were also still desperate to have a child of their own. So, while still fostering the siblings, they decided to give IVF another go.
So, Maxine and Jake Tried for Two Years for a Biological Baby of Their Own
For the next two years, the couple watched their foster children grow as individuals and as part of their family. They continued to love them with every piece of their hearts, but they were also on another journey. Over the course of those two years, the couple also tried time and time again to get pregnant through IVF.
It seemed as though it just wasn’t going to happen for Maxine and Jake, and they considered bringing their efforts to an end. They were losing hope and wondered whether they were ever going to be blessed with a biological child. But in early 2018, just as they were about to give up, they received the news they had been waiting for since the day they tied the knot.
Maxine Was Finally Pregnant, but They Wanted To Reassure Their Foster Children That This Wouldn’t Change Anything
After years of trying and sleepless nights wondering whether they’d ever have a child of their own, Maxine and Jake finally discovered that they were pregnant. They were overjoyed with the news, and Maxine loved her growing bump. The couple couldn’t believe how lucky they had been, not only to finally have a baby of their own but to also have such a wonderful family as a whole.
After all, they saw their foster children as their own children. And because of this, they wanted to make sure that Aiden, Parker, Connor, and Elliott didn’t feel as though they were being replaced. They reassured them that nothing would change for their family and that they would still love them just as much as they already did. Thankfully, the kids were excited to have another sibling on the way.
They Became a Family of Seven Overnight. But a New Surprise Was On The Way
A few months later, in October 2018, Maxine and Jake welcomed their first biological child into the world. The pregnancy had been smooth, and little Henry was born safe and sound after a magical delivery. The couple fell completely and utterly in love with their little bundle of joy, and they cherished every moment they had with him while they were waiting to be released from the hospital.
Yet, there was also a huge piece of information hanging over their heads. Overnight they had become a family of seven, and the extra addition meant that they had a whopping five children to look after. A few years prior they had no children in their lives, and this was a huge jump for them to take. But little did they know that this was just the start. Something even bigger was on the way.
In December 2019 Maxine and Jake Adopted Their Foster Children, Not Knowing What Would Happen a Few Months Later
By the time December 2019 came around, Maxine and Jake’s foster children had made such an impact on their lives that they couldn’t bear to give them up. While their foster agreement was only supposed to be a temporary agreement, they just couldn’t watch them walk away and become part of a new family – especially as they had bonded so well with Henry.
Because of this, they knew they had to make things official. On December 20th, 2019, the whole family made their way down to the local courthouse to officially adopt Aiden, Parker, Connor, and Elliott. When writing about the day on Instagram, Maxine wrote: “It was an emotional day. A day that felt heavy at times. As I said before, adoption does involve loss, but mostly it was a beautiful day. A day filled with love.”
Adoption Was a Great Adventure for the Family, but The Family Wasn’t Done Growing
While the couple had certainly not expected their life to have progressed in such a way, they wouldn’t have changed their fostering and adoption journey at all. They were exhausted and they were struggling to juggle their hectic lives, but they were happy. And they were full of love for their big family.
But Maxine and Jake had no idea that an even bigger whirlwind was on the horizon. They had gone through the motions of fostering, welcoming their own, biological child into the world, and then adoption, but this was something much more intense. And to make matters even more hectic, their family was only going to get bigger.
Just a Few Months After They Adopted Their Four Children, Maxine and Jake Found Out They Were Expecting Again
When the husband and wife duo adopted their four children, they had assumed that their family was complete. While they had always dreamed of having another biological child, they had stopped all IVF and fertility treatments and were instead focusing solely on their adopted children and Henry. After all, their doctors had told them that conceiving naturally was basically impossible.
So that’s why, just a few months after they officially adopted their four children, the couple received some news that took them completely by surprise. After being told that they would probably never be able to conceive their own child naturally, they couldn’t believe it when they found out that they were expecting. Maxine had fallen pregnant naturally, without the help of fertility treatments.
They Weren’t Just Pregnant With One Baby, but They Were Actually Expecting Quadruplets
The news of their pregnancy was a huge shock to them, but not just because they thought they wouldn’t have another biological child. After years of trying and failing to conceive naturally, they had finally done so – but not just with one child. They were expecting quadruplets! This really was a one in a million chance.
The news took Maxine and Jake’s whole extended family by surprise, and while many of them were worried about adding quadruplets to their brood, they were also over the moon for the couple. They believed that both Maxine and Jake were born to be parents, and they had gone through such a whirlwind to get to where they were. It was obviously just meant to be.
But as Maxine’s Bump Grew Bigger, They Began To Worry About the Arrival of the Quadruplets
Maxine and Jake knew that they were incredibly lucky to be blessed with quadruplets, but there was no doubt about the fact that they were also concerned. Just a few months earlier they had adopted four children for the rest of their lives, and at the time, Henry was barely even one year old. How could they handle another four children?
The new additions would make them a family of eleven, and their house was bursting at the seams with cots, toys, and excited children. They began to question how they would manage to live in such a manic household with kids so close in age. But when they thought of the four babies growing inside Maxine’s bump, they were so overwhelmed with love they couldn’t help but push these concerns to the back of their minds.
Multiple Pregnancies Often Cause Complications, So the Doctors Kept a Close Eye on Maxine and the Babies
When pregnant with Henry, Maxine had a healthy and happy experience. She didn’t have any health concerns and only made her way to the hospital when he was ready to be delivered. However, her pregnancy with Henry was nothing compared to her pregnancy with her quadruplets. And as is normally the case for multiple births, doctors wanted to keep a close eye on the mom.
Complications can often arise in multiple pregnancies, so Maxine and Jake were in and out of the hospital for scans and check-ups. Maxine noted that “the doctors were worried about the babies and [we were] worried about our other kids, adding four more babies into the mix with a family of five already.” Unfortunately, these concerns were warranted.
When the Quadruplets Arrived, They Were Weeks Ahead of Schedule
It turned out that the doctors were right to be worried, as is often the case when a mother is carrying more than one child at a time. Multiple pregnancies often take a toll on both the mother and the unborn babies, and as the weeks and months went by, Maxine certainly felt the strain of carrying four children. As if that wasn’t enough, she was constantly in and out of the hospital.
When the contractions started, Maxine was even more worried. She had months before her babies were officially due, and she couldn’t believe that they wanted to arrive so early. Of course, when this happened, Maxine was once again rushed into hospital to ensure the full health and wellbeing of herself and her four babies.
Because They Were Born Premature, the Babies Were Immediately Rushed To the NICU
In July 2020, all four babies were delivered at the hospital. However, they were born prematurely at just 32 weeks, which was way before their due date. And although Maxine and Jake caught a glimpse of their newborns as they took their first breaths, they were quickly whisked away by the doctors and nurses to the NICU. They needed to be monitored.
They were told that the babies were in a stable condition, but that they still needed to be monitored 24/7 to ensure that their condition didn’t worsen. It was a stressful time for everyone, and Maxine and Jake were keeping their fingers crossed that they would be able to take their babies home to their wonderful family as soon as possible.
While Maxine and the Babies Stayed in the Hospital, Jake Was Struggling at Home
Days turned into weeks, and Maxine and the babies continued to stay in the hospital to be monitored. While the babies were growing in strength every day, they were all different – and some needed more attention than others. Maxine knew that being by their side in the hospital with them was the right decision, but this also left Jake in a sticky spot.
Without their mom to look after them, their other five children had to rely on Jake to keep them happy and entertained at home. But this meant that he had to take unpaid time off work. Because of that, the family had absolutely no money coming in, just as they were gearing up to welcome another four mouths into their home.
With No Money Coming in, Jake’s Mom Set up a Fundraising Account
As Jake tried to keep things running at home, the couple tried to keep themselves busy by naming their newborns. They had welcomed three boys and one girl and decided to call them Silas, Theo, Beck, and Cecilia. But even these adorable names couldn’t take away from the fact that the family was struggling financially. In the end, Jake’s mom decided to set up a fundraiser.
Arlette Young, Jake’s mom, set up a GoFundMe page for the family to help them out. They were in desperate need of help, with five children at home and four more on their way back anytime soon. Their money was dwindling fast, and they had no way of making any more while Maxine was still in the hospital.
Along With the Money They Needed To Feed Their Kids, the Couple Also Needed a New Car
On the GoFundMe page, Arlette noted that Jake would need at least three months’ worth of unpaid leave before he could return to work. She noted that this was “factoring in the hospital stay, recovery time, NICU stay, etc.” And this put his family at a serious disadvantage. But putting food on the table was the least of their worries.
The couple had adapted to life with five children, and they had managed to find a routine that worked for them. But adding another four into the mix made practical life even more difficult – especially when it came to driving. Although the couple needed the food to feed their kids, they were also in desperate need of a new car that fit the whole family.
The Babies Were Eventually All Released, but That Just Made Their Money Worries Even More Apparent
After months in the NICU, Silas, Theo, Beck, and Cecilia were all released from the hospital and allowed to return home to their large family. They quickly settled into their life with their brothers and sisters, and the Young’s adjusted to life as a family of 11. And while Maxine and Jake were happy to have their babies home, this made their money worries even more apparent.
Not only did the quadruplets require cots and diapers and all of the other necessities that come with a newborn, but their older siblings were also growing up fast. Because they were all under ten years old, they were growing out of their clothes, they were needing new school supplies, and they needed a lot of fuel to feed their growing bodies. So, they had to put all of their hope into the fundraiser.
Thankfully, the Target for the Fundraiser Has Nearly Been Met
When Jake’s mom created the fundraiser, she set the target for $12,000. She hoped that this would be enough to help buy her son’s family a new car, and would help them buy the necessities they needed to look after their large family. Thankfully, at the time of writing, that target has almost been reached.
In fact, so far they have raised $11,933 from 202 donors. These donors have been those who know the family personally and can see how much love they have given to their children – both biological and non-biological – over the years. But this target has also been reached thanks to the kindness of complete strangers, who have followed the family on social media, or read about them online.
Many of the Donations Have Come From People Who Have Followed the Youngs’ Story Online
In fact, since starting their fostering journey back in late 2016, Maxine and Jake Young have documented their whole experience online. Not only is Maxine’s Instagram full of adorable pictures of her children, but Jake has also started a YouTube channel about the family.
This means that people far and wide have been able to follow the ups and downs of their lives, and been able to see just how much they love their children. Because of this, it was easy for many of these fans and followers to donate their money to the family. After all, their story is one in a million, and one that you just couldn’t make up.
Over the years, the Couple and Their Adorable Family Have Built up an Impressive Fan Following on Social Media
While there’s no doubt about the fact that Maxine and Jake have their hands full with their children, they wouldn’t have things any other way. Their hearts are so full of love and admiration for their children, and they can’t help but show them off on social media.
Both Maxine and Jake have posted photos of their children on Instagram, and Maxine’s profile now has almost 62,000 followers. And it’s no wonder why they have proved to be so popular. This couple is young, attractive, and incredibly selfless, and they have created a wonderful family environment for all of their children. Both biological and non-biological.
But Many Have Questioned How They Have Managed To Juggle All of Their Kids
While most people online have congratulated the couple for their actions in the past, others have had many questions. Many want to know how they juggle so many mouths to feed and so many young kids who require attention all day, every day. And most are astounded by the fact that Maxine and Jake are looking after four kids that aren’t biologically theirs.
More than anything, though, online followers want to know how they provide for their children. According to Maxine’s Instagram page, she had to give up her job to look after the children full-time. This meant that Jake was the sole provider for the five children, and it was tough.
Their Biological Children and Their Adopted Children Have a Strong Bond
Now they are a family of 11, the couple has also been asked about the bond between their biological children and their foster children. Maxine and Jake are used to questions like this, and regularly update their social media pages with pictures of their sons and daughters playing together.
In fact, Maxine noted that “You never feel like there’s not enough love in. the house. They might not share the same blood but they love each other just as much and it’s a beautiful thing to see.” And the older they get, the more the husband and wife realize that they can’t imagine their lives without their adopted children.
Fans of the Family Have Commended Them for Being So Selfless
One of the main reasons why Maxine and Jake’s story has resonated with people across the globe is because their lives could have been very different. Although it was their choice to adopt, their original intention was to foster just two children at a time. However, they decided to set these intentions aside and help even more children in need.
And even when the going got tough and they welcomed their own biological children into the world, the couple has stood strong. They adopted the four siblings and they have fully integrated them into their family as a priority. Not everyone would do that, and that’s why the family is so loved by their fans and followers.
Despite Their Struggles, Maxine and Jake Wouldn’t Have Their Family Any Other Way
Of course, their story hasn’t been easy. Maxine, Jake, and their nine children have struggled to get to where they are today – and they’re still struggling now. But the love between themselves and their children grows stronger every single day, and this pushes them forward.
In fact, Maxine has noted that “We have nine kids under eight and it sounds even crazier when we say that we have eight under five. Jake and I always laugh because we’ll have a kid in every grade of middle school and high school one day.” And while many people couldn’t imagine a life like this, Maxine and Jake couldn’t imagine a life without it. They believe they have been truly blessed with their incredible story.
Maxine and Jake Love Making New Memories With All of Their Kids
When the coronavirus pandemic hit the world in 2020, life became even harder for Jake, Maxine, and their incredibly large family. Their school-age children were sent home and embraced virtual classes and homework, and the whole family was back at home again. While it was a loud and hectic time for Maxine and Jake, she wouldn’t have had it any other way.
This time at home gave the family time to bond and make memories – especially when Christmas came around. They were able to sing carols and read stories in bed, and Maxine even wrote on her Instagram page that she was happy her eldest son still believed in Santa. This made the whole experience even more magical, and one she wouldn’t have changed for anything.
2020 Was Tough On the Family, but Their Quadruplets Were the Best Thing To Happen to Them
And while everyone across the globe struggled during 2020, it was Maxine and Jake’s positivity that allowed them to push through. They set their sights on making these memories and taking each day as it came, and they also spent this time reflecting on what the year had brought them.
Although they hadn’t been able to see some of their loved ones, they did get to welcome four wonderful new additions to their household. The quadruplets had been a shock and a development they had not been expecting, but now they can’t imagine their lives without them.
Unfortunately, The Quadruplets Have Suffered a Few Health Problems Since Their Birth
Although the whole family has fallen in love with Silas, Theo, Beck, and Cecilia, their 2020 surprise wasn’t completely worry-free. Maxine and Jake were able to navigate their surprise pregnancy, they have struggled since. That’s because two of the babies have suffered from a few health problems since before they were even born.
During a test while Maxine was still pregnant, doctors discovered that Silas and Cecilia had a ventricular septal defect (or VSD) in their hearts. This meant that they had a hole in the wall between the heart’s lower chambers, and this added extra worry onto the couple’s ever-growing list of concerns.
Cecilia and Silas Have To Get Their Heart Defects Checked Regularly
Any parent knows that children are a constant worry, even when they’re fit and healthy. So when Jake and Maxine learned that Cecilia and Silas had problems with their hearts, they were extremely concerned about whether they would even make it. They were relieved when they entered the world, but they do need to have their hearts monitored regularly.
Thankfully, recent echocardiograms have shown that the holes in their hearts are starting to close. Although this news was a huge relief, they’re not out of the woods just yet. The siblings still have to get checked every six months to ensure that they continue to get smaller – but Maxine did write on Instagram that people can live with small holes in their hearts without it causing them problems.
Jake and Maxine Know In Their Hearts They Were Meant To Have a Big Family
Despite everything that has happened in their lives over the past few years, and despite the fact that they only imagined themselves fostering two children, to begin with, Jake and Maxine know that everything has happened for a reason. They know in their hearts they were meant to parent nine children, and they know they were destined for a big family.
Their hearts are full every single day, and they love the fact that all of their children have their own personalities and their own little quirks. And Maxine has even noted that she has been extremely lucky with her quadruplets in terms of their behavior. She has written that “I couldn’t imagine better babies. They are all so happy and easy-going most of the time.”
More Than Anything, Maxine Looks Forward To Raising Her Beautiful Girls
Of course, mothers love all of their children no matter what, but there’s something about Maxine’s love for her daughters that goes beyond comprehension. After going through fertility struggles and wondering whether she would even have a daughter – something she always wanted – she now feels so blessed to have three of them in her family.
Maxine is incredibly excited to raise her young girls into amazing young women, and she hopes they know how loved they are as they grow up. Maxine also hopes that “I instill in my girls how strong they are, that their real beauty comes from within and that they can do anything in this world that they set their minds to.”
Keeping All of Their Children Entertained Requires a Very Full Playroom
One of the things Maxine and Jake love about their kids is that they all play together. They may not all be biologically related, but they all love each other as brother and sister – and they love spending time with each other. Because of this, the couple has put a lot of time and effort into making sure they have a playroom the kids will enjoy.
Their large playroom comes complete with anything the kids could possibly want, from toys and big play mats for them to run around on, to reading nooks and bookshelves. Maxine and Jake want their kids to enjoy their childhood and their quality time with each other, and we have no doubts that they do in this playroom.
Four Teething Babies Are Bringing All-New Challenges to the Household
Maxine and Jake could have never imagined having four newborn babies at once, but they were deliriously happy when they learned that they were having their quadruplets. But any parent or guardian will tell you that a teething baby can be a struggle – let alone four of them at once.
This teething process is bringing all-new challenges to the family’s household, but thankfully all of their children are being incredibly supportive. The older kids often help to soothe the quadruplets, and they know that there’s a valid reason why their parents’ attention has been taken away from them.
Due to These Struggles, Maxine and Jake Often Feel Guilty About the Attention Their Kids Get
But the fact that their older children know that their parents are busy doesn’t stop Maxine and Jake from feeling guilty. While Jake is at work it falls down on Maxine to take care of all nine children – and this can be hard. She can’t keep her eyes on them at all times, and she can’t give them the attention they sometimes crave.
Thankfully, their family is so large and all of the children love their siblings unconditionally. They are constantly playing and looking out for each other, and Maxine loves the fact that they all come together as one big family. It’s what she always dreamed of, but something she never thought they would achieve.
But the One Thing Both Jake and Maxine Always Rely on Is Their Hope
There’s no doubt about the fact that Maxine and Jake’s family are one-of-a-kind. They have gone through so much hardship and been able to come out the other side, and it seems as though they have been rewarded every step of the way. But for this couple, they believe their fortune has come from the fact that they have never given up hope.
Maxine has noted that, “I think so many times we can forget that the power of positive energy can do so much. It was hope that pushed me the entire time. It gave me a strength I never knew I had.” And that strength has given her the most wonderful family that we can’t wait to see grow and blossom in the future.