They figured that just because they couldn’t do it biologically doesn’t mean they can’t give a child all the love they had. This decision, being scary as it was, would soon take them on an emotional journey filled with unexpected surprises. Read on and discover how one woman’s wish turned so many lives upside down.
The End of the Process, or Only the Begining?
Although the process was excruciating, Sarah knew that at the end of it, she will become a mother, and the joy that will fill her heart would make all the stressful and difficult times worth it. The day had come, and the adoption agency gave the couple the news they longed for — they were getting babies.
Little did Sarah know that adopting the babies was not the end of the journey and that the real adventure was just about to begin. She was about to be shocked by the outcomes of this experience, and it was more than just the difficulties that came along with being a new mom.
At What Price?
Sarah and Andy were prepared to do whatever it took to become parents. They wanted this more than anything and were willing to pay any price. They knew this was going to be a long process and prepared themselves for any scenario.
For most, the adoption process is filled with very unpleasant moments, with professionals digging deep into one's personal life and adoption agents roaring into your home for inspection. It's odd to think how some couples need to go through all those checks and inspections to make sure they are suitable to be parents, yet others can make their own babies biologically for free and with no outside interference.
They Were on Their Way
The first step Sarah and Andy had to go through was a home study. This study's purpose was supposed to evaluate the couple's home habits, social relations, intelligence, and anything that could influence, for better or worse, the adopted child. The agency, as well as any biological parent involved, would want to make sure that they place a child in the best home possible.
Sarah didn't like the invasion into her private space, however, she knew this was part of the deal. What other option did she have? This was the only way she could make her dream come true of showering a child with the love she had in her heart.
They Had It All
Sarah and Andy were a happy and content couple. They enjoyed each other's company and were happy to live a simple life. Having said that, Sarah knew there was one thing that would make her life complete. Andy knew it too. They wanted a family that was bigger than just the two of them.
A few years after they wed, they decided to go to a fertility specialist as things were not going naturally for them. This was a turning point in their lives, and there was no going back. What life was hiding from Sarah would soon rise to the surface, leaving her overwhelmed and astonished.
Far Away From Home
Sarah and Andy lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. For the most part, they were happy with their choice to live there, but there was one thing the location lacked — someone who could help them conceive. They couldn't find a good local fertility specialist, and they found themselves traveling all the way to St. Louis, MO. There are no limits to what parents (even future ones) do for their children.
The couple was determined to make their dream come true and were willing to travel wherever it was needed to make this happen. There was nothing that was going to get in their way.
Things We Do for Love
The journey from their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the clinic in St. Louis, MO, was an exhausting six-hour drive. On that morning, Sarah prepared herself for the long ride, however, she didn't prepare herself for the bad news she was about to receive.
After a very disappointing meeting with the fertility specialist, it was clear that no matter what Sarah did and no matter which doctor she would go to, she would probably never be able to conceive and carry a baby in her own body. There was no way she could become pregnant. Sarah's world crumbled down on her.
Too Much Too Soon
At first, Sarah and Andy were considering in-vitro fertilization. This procedure and everything that came along with it was much more invasive than what Sarah initially thought, however, she was willing to go through it.
The chances of Sarah getting pregnant this was were still extremely low, though — under 10%. Also, as if to make things more difficult, it was so much more expensive than what they realized at first. $15,000 for one basic IVF cycle. Sarah infused herself with optimism and good thoughts. If plan A didn't work out, and plan B wasn't for them either, there was always plan C.
They Found a Way
After getting the full picture regarding IVF treatments, adoption suddenly became the magic word for the two. It was about to make everything and anything possible and bring Sarah and Andy that much closer to their long-awaited dream. It seemed like the best and most logical thing to do.
And like most things in life, this path would bring with it various obstacles, and things were not going to sail smoothly all the way. Sarah and Andy were about to confront one of the greatest mysteries in life. One of those that no matter what you do, you can never truly be prepared for.
They Had Nothing to Lose
Even though they knew that the adoption process could take forever, they applied at an adoption agency, and the next step was an interview. This was not a stage Sarah and Andy could waive or not participate in, and they had to give the best impression they could. This interview would determine if Sarah and Andy were suitable to bring up a child.
Sarah and Andy were exhausted. They were heartbroken and drained out. What more could be waiting for them? How much longer must they wait, and what else would they go through before making their dream come true? Sarah wasn't aware, but this was not even the beginning of what she was about to experience.
A Sign of Hope
After perfectly pulling off the interview, there was a bit of good news for Sarah and Andy. As it turned out, there was a pregnant woman who was planning to give up her baby for adoption. This was something that didn't happen on a daily basis. Sarah felt this was a sign.
She felt that even if this unborn baby wasn't intended to be hers, this was a sign for her not to lose hope. A sign that there was one small soul waiting for her somewhere out there. Were things about to turn upside down for the couple? Was this all meant to be? Bad news was on Sarah and Andy's doorstep once again.
She Took a Different Turn
There was a good chance for Sarah and Andy to adopt the unborn baby, however, at the last minute, the pregnant mother changed her mind. It was too much for her, and eventually, she wasn't able to give up her baby. Of course, when handling such a sensitive subject, things like that are bound to happen. Still, this was almost too much for Sarah and Andy to cope with.
They knew they were destined to become a mother and father, and they knew that no matter what it took, no matter what price they had to pay, they were going to become parents. Nothing was going to stop them.
There Was No Losing Hope
Dragging along with them their agony and pain, Sarah and Andy paid another visit to the adoption center and updated them that they had no plans to let their dream vanish and disappear. They still wanted to adopt and welcome a baby into their home.
Another thing that kept the couple going was their strong faith. That was something they never lost. They found strength within themselves and leaned on and supported one another. They were together on this rocky boat, and little did they know — things were about to change ever more drastically than they could ever imagine.
Good News Was on the Way
At a time when Sarah and Andy were feeling low, they received a phone call. This was the first bit of good news the couple had received in a while. It was the adoption agency telling them there was another pregnant woman ready to put her baby up for adoption.
The pregnant woman chose Sarah and Andy out of all the optional couples who were waiting to become parents. She felt they would provide the perfect home for her unborn child, and Sarah, too, felt assured about what was happening. She felt this was a promising deal, and for the first time in a long time, her good energies and positive vibe were not just a mask put on.
They Were Connected From the Start
The birth mom was embracing and so warm towards Sarah and Andy. Wanting to include them in every part of the process, she invited them to accompany her during the ultrasounds and scanning and made the anticipating couple feel part of the pregnancy. As if they were already the baby's parents.
What happened in one of those exciting scans would leave not only the pregnant woman and Sarah and Andy speechless, but even the doctor couldn't believe what was on the screens. Everything seemed to be normal during the examination, except for one unexpected thing. Something incredible no one saw coming.
There Was More Than One
When Sarah first saw the doctor's facial expression, she became nervous. Was there a problem with the baby? Was their dream about to be taken away from them again? The last thing she could cope with now was another disappointment. What was the doctor hiding behind his worried expression?
Well, the findings of this totally normal scan were nothing planned. The heartbeat was at a normal rate however, there was more than one beating heart. Three healthy babies showed up on the monitor's screen, predicting that Sarah and Andy were about to become happy parents to... more than one baby.
Was It Too Much?
Since most people come to this world after not having shared a uterus with someone else, we usually think of pregnancy as a single-baby thing. Only rarely does any parent PLAN on having more than one child per pregnancy.
Sarah and Andy were at a crossroads. On one hand, this was a dream come true, a moment they had both been waiting for so many years. And on the other hand, three babies were maybe a bit too much for anyone to take in. Especially for someone with no parenting experience whatsoever. Sarah stared at the monitor. She couldn't believe what her eyes were seeing, however, she knew deep inside that those babies, all three of them, were meant to be hers.
The Bright Side of Life
Sarah and Andy had no choice but to look only at the good things this episode in life brought to them. They were not prepared to have three babies at once, but then again, you can never be truly prepared for any of life's surprises.
When Sarah and Andy looked at each other, they knew they made the right decision. It was going to be hard, and there were going to be extremely difficult hours, however, in years to come, they would be grateful for having such a big family, but only needing to go through the adoption process once.
It Was Shopping Time
When everything was set and signed, Sarah and Andy turned to make their home ready for the three little miracles that were about to be introduced to the world and to their home. They bought strollers and cribs, they bought clothes and toys, and they made their entire house baby friendly.
They could now finally embrace what life was about to give them and turn them into the happiest parents on planet earth. Their dream, just on an extra large scale, was coming true. They were excited and overwhelmed and certainly unprepared for the next thing that was about to happen.
A Little Too Soon, a Little Too Many
It was the month of May, and the big day had arrived. It was time for Sarah and Andy to meet their new babies. It was eight weeks before the due date, however, when a multiple-fetus pregnancy is considered, early delivery is nothing abnormal.
Sarah and Andy found themselves sitting in the waiting room, waiting to receive the big news. The birth mother's water broke, she had contractions, and there was nothing for Sarah and Andy to do but sit and try to not bite their nails as they wait. And the waiting was worth the while. Elizabeth, Hannah, and Joel were born.
Now, although everyone was thrilled and excited, these three babies were born almost two months premature. This meant they needed special treatment and special care. The three were transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit, and they weren't allowed to be taken home.
As the days went by, the babies grew. They gained weight, became stronger, and prepared themselves to be shifted over to their new home, where they would be loved and taken care of. They had the happiest parents on earth, but this was not all. More news was about the shake of the boat, big changes, and more decisions to be made.
What Was Going On?
Sarah began to feel unwell. Everything she had been going through most likely contributed to her health and state of mind. On top of that, the three babies were more than she initially thought she would be handling. She decided to go to the doctor just for a regular check-up. She didn't know what, but something was wrong.
She was sent off to have some blood tests done. This could all be down to tiredness or her not eating properly, however, she felt there was something more to it. Was Sarah's life going to be turned upside down once again?
Sarah Was Hiding Something
This was now one week after the triplets were born, and instead of dedicating herself to the babies, Sarah found herself in a doctor's clinic, about to receive news that was going to shock her. This was going to be even greater than the time when one baby turned into three.
Sarah was pregnant. Yes, after years of disappointment and years of agony and heartache, she became an adoptive mother of three. And then, after letting go of the only thing she ever wanted in life, it comes at her when she least expected it. This was too shocking to accept, and there was more to come.
Super Surprises of Life
As if discovering she was pregnant just one week after the triplets were born wasn't enough, she now found out she was pregnant with twins. Even considering the journey they went through to get to this point, if there was such a thing as bad timing for a pregnancy, this had to be it.
After realizing the situation they were in, Sarah and Andy, like always, looked on the bright side of things and managed to put a great big smile on their faces. Against all odds, they were about to be parents of five. This was all a true blessing.
The Famous Five
Elizabeth, Hannah, and Joel were growing. They were already a few months old, and Sarah was preparing herself for delivery. They were just getting used to living with three babies, and within no time, two more were going to join the clan.
There were no surprises when it came to Sarah's delivery, and when expected, she gave birth to two beautiful twin babies. Unlike their three adopted siblings, these two came on time and didn't need time in the hospital before coming home with their parents. Sarah couldn't have asked for more, and life could never surprise her now. Or could it?
Everyone Was There to Help
Sarah was not alone. She had friends and family around her and a community that was at her beck and call. Sarah and Andy were adapting to parenting life. This meant very little sleep and very little time to rest at all. However, Tulsa's Eastland Baptist Church members were their life saviors.
The food donations were pouring in, cooked food was delivered to their door almost on a daily basis, and formula for the five children was given too. Everyone helped as much as they possibly could, however, it was still a lot more than what Sarah could cope with.
Help Was Pouring in From Everywhere
Friends offered to babysit, and total strangers contributed too and helped in any way they could. Sarah and Andy were overwhelmed. They needed the help so badly, and they were grateful for their supporting community. New parents with just one child are understandably overwhelmed anyway, so you can imagine what it was like for a couple who suddenly has five kids.
How many diapers do you think the babies went through in one week? No less than three hundred. How many bottles do you think the seven babies consumed in one week? It could get to eighty-four of them. Sarah could definitely use all the grocery shopping and all the hands that offered to help.
From Two to Five to Seven to...
With the family expanding from two to five and then from five to seven, changes were occurring constantly. No day was like the other, and almost everything around them had to be modified and adapted. Everything from the hours they slept to the car they drove had to be changed.
One of the biggest challenges Sarah and Andy had, was telling their babies apart. They came up with a creative way and painted their babies' toenails in different colored nail polish. This made life easier for everyone and assured the baby that was hungry was in fact the one that ate.
They Became Famous
It was only a matter of time before Sarah and Andy's story went viral. Not every day, you come across someone adopting triplets (and then becoming pregnant with twins), and it became an online sensation. People in all corners of the internet soon heard about this special family and looked them up.
The number of Facebook followers Sarah had, multiplied literally overnight. Within no time, it went global, and people from all over the world wanted to follow and be updated about the babies' progress. As if all this excitement wasn't enough, there were more unexpected surprises awaiting the family.
Was There More to Come?
For most, a family of five children — triplets, and a set of twins was more than enough. Well, apparently, it wasn't for Sarah and Andy, and soon enough, baby number six was cooking in Sarah's belly, conceived just like the twins — miraculously. Sarah was about to become a mother of six and she wouldn't have it any other way.
In one interview, Sarah said, “It was something we’ve wanted so badly that we love it. We just really love having these children.” Two people who are getting to live their dream to the fullest. Now, how can you argue with that?
A Piece of Cake
Sarah began her motherhood life with three babies. Having a set of twins as a "second child" and then just one little one as "a third" was a piece of cake for her. Caring for one after having three at the same time was a walk in the park for these seasoned parents.
But this new baby had five older siblings. And while all five were happy to help, they were still children themselves. No matter how easy having her 6th baby was, a house full of six children, all under the age of five, mind you, was a handful and challenging for any parent.
Who Is Who?
There are so many things Sarah and Andy had to cope with — things that regular households with two or three children, and usually with a few years between each one, would never dream of. Take the children's names, for example. And we aren't even talking about picking out names for them.
How many times do parents mistake one child for the other? Usually, more times than most of us can count. So could you imagine Sarah or Andy calling out for one of their kids and going through the neverending list of six until finally calling out the right name?
Six Was the Magic Number
Elizabeth, Hannah, and Joel were the triplets. Andrew and Abigail were the twins that followed less than a year after. And finally, there was Caleb, who joined the clan in 2016. The triplets just turned four years old when Caleb was born.
The downside? He was the only one with no birthday buddy when everyone around him had at least one of those. The upside? He had three four-year-old and two three-year-old siblings to look out for him. Sarah and Andy's household was a loud but happy place. It was constantly busy, never a dull moment, and never an empty laundry basket.
A Shower of Gifts
Sarah had six children under the age of five, however, she was grateful for each and every one of them. “Having a number of children is a dream come true. When you wait for something, you appreciate it that much more when you get it.”
For years, all she wanted was to become a mother. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine she would become a mother of so many. Not to mention that they would come the way they did — a surprise, threefold adoption followed by two miracle pregnancies. Her house was full and her heart was even fuller.
You Love One, You Love Them All
When you are given the greatest gifts life has to offer, there is no room for complaining. And although there are times when all Sarah wants to do is chill out and enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet, she embraces every moment she has with her family and would never change a thing.
Small changes, like moving from a crib to a toddler's bed, can be a project that must be planned. For most families, it's a stage a child goes through and gets used to within no time, but can you imagine five toddlers going through this stage, almost all at the same time?
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
If you think managing a household with six kiddos is mission impossible, you're almost right. Most parents would collapse, but not these two. There is a secret behind the ability to keep a house with six babies so organized. This secret is called a schedule. And without a strict schedule, Sarah said she could not go through one day, let alone an entire week.
A schedule is crucial, not only for Sarah and Andy but also (and most importantly) for the children. When they have a schedule and they know what to look forward to each day, they are naturally calmer and more content.
Sarah, Andy, and the children start their day with a morning walk, which is a great way to start the day no matter how old you are or if you have kids or not. After getting fresh air and moving their bones a little, they all start working on their chores, and Sarah makes sure the children participate in this. Obviously, to their ability, however, they take part in everything. Not only the fun stuff.
A huge part of the day is devoted to... the bathroom. Could you imagine potty-training five toddlers all at once? We can't imagine the number of pairs of underwear they must have gone through.
A Gift for Life
When we think about children growing up, we believe these children have been given the biggest gift possible. They have best friends built into their lives! In school, for instance, they will never have to worry about sitting alone during lunch or worry about no one wanting to play with them, which is something that can make or break a person's school experience or even childhood as a whole.
Wherever they turn, they will have a brother or sister looking out for them. They will never be alone and will always have someone to count on. They are a tight and loving bunch.
There Is No Such Thing as Too Many
Baby Caleb has won the jackpot. He has five siblings who adore him and a fan club that runs after him all day long. Since the triplets came to this world together and were followed by the twins only a few months later, none of them had the experience of having a baby brother before. That was only made possible when Caleb was born, and they could not imagine their family without this precious addition.
Who would have thought that three years of trying to get pregnant the natural way, and then useless time sene in a fertilization clinic, would eventually turn into a family with six children?
Extra Large Packaging
Sarah and Andy have already forgotten those uncertain days and have learned that when there is a will, there is a way. She is grateful for her triplets, who turned her into a mother, and she praises the fact that she became one the unexpected natural way. Each child brings their own magic, and each one has their unique ways.
So, life has its surprises, and there is a reason behind everything that happens. Just never forget one important thing — if you wish hard enough, your wishes will come true, and not only that, they might even arrive in extra-large packaging.
After almost giving up on their dream, and after embracing the fact that they will never be parents, the McGhees became one of the most famous ones in Columbus, Ohio, as no other sextuplet family has ever been recorded there before.
Mia's and Rozonno's Story
Mia and Rozonno had their fair share of bad luck when it came to building their own family. The most private moments of Mia's life had to be exposed to doctors and she was almost deprived of her biggest purpose in life.
We want to take you back to the early days of this astonishing story, where it all began and weaved its shape. Even today, more than a decade later, these six children (and parents) continue to amaze us. This is their story.
At the Begining
Rozonno and Mia McGhee go back many years. They met when they were both in their teens. It was love at first sight and Mia knew straight away that Rozonno was the one with whom she would fulfill her biggest dream — becoming a mother.
Forming a strong and happy family was her biggest wish in life, as she herself came from a single-parent household. She knew early in life that she would be the best mother there is, and knew Rozonno would complete her. Together they would bring new lives into this world.
A Single Parent House Hold
Mia grew up only with her mother. She can recall being a little girl, fantasizing about her big day and about the family she would eventually have.
She knew deep inside that the man she marries would have to be a strong and supportive person, and that her partner for the journey of life, would share the same dream as her and want a big family, more than anything else in the world.
Going by the Book
Mia was the love of Rozonno's life. She first wanted to graduate school and do her years in college before taking the path of parenthood in life, and so it was. The couple married not long before Mia's 20th birthday and the next chapter of their lives was about to begin.
Becoming a mother was not as easy as Mia initially thought, and falling naturally pregnant was a challenge. Years flew by and Mia and Rozonno were desperately eager of becoming parents. Things were not going as planned.
Thank You Modern Technology
In 2010, the technology of IVF treatments was well developed and many couples who were unable to go the natural way turned this to this alternative. The IVF treatment was expensive and the McGhees found it difficult to afford.
Every penny Mia and Rozonno earned was used for making their dream come true. The price was high and painful, both financially and mentally, but when Mia got pregnant for the first time, the pain wasn't felt anymore.
When There’s a Will, There’s a Way
After several trials, Mia did eventually become pregnant with twins, which is very common in treatment. Frustration turned into joy and there wasn't a happier couple around. It was a hard start in life for the two, but when there's a will, there's a way, and they had no plans in giving up on their dream.
The nursery was all set up and well designed, all the necessary baby stuff was ordered, and all they had to do was wait patiently for the due date. What the couple didn't know, was that the pregnancy wasn't going to end as they wished.
A Sad End, or a New Beginning?
The pregnancy ended tragically with both babies not surviving. The couple found themselves heartbroken and devastated. Mia sank deep into herself finding it difficult to rise back up again. Not long after, Mia gradually comprehended that life must go on.
If the most important thing in her life was to become a mother, she has no choice but to get on her feet and look out for a brighter day. She wasn't about to waste any more precious time, and with the support of her loving husband, she went back on track.
Mia was about to find out she was pregnant again. It all happened very quickly and this time Mia was cautious and didn't want to get her hopes up. Both Mia and Rozonno were thrilled by the news, and never in a million years could they prepare themselves for what the doctor was about to announce.
Mia wasn't prepared to go through what she had already tasted in life and did everything in her power to protect and assure the babies are born healthy and in time.
It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn
We all know that when it rains, it pours. And, as it sometimes happens, when there is good news down the line...there is more good news to follow. God blessed Mia and Rozonno not only with a new pregnancy but with a number of fetuses that were about to keep the couple very busy.
During one of Mia's first checkups, her doctor announced that indeed they were about to become parents but that wasn't all. Mia was carrying six babies, all healthy and strong.
Way Over the Moon
Could you imagine the thrill Mia was under? Expecting a baby is exciting enough, but expecting six babies is overwhelming. At first, this was too much to handle, but then, after the news sank in, Mia realized yet again that life's ways are not always clear or understandable. Mysteries lie within!
She was determined to bring these six little babies into the world, no matter what price she had to pay.
The History of Sextuples
Having six children in one pregnancy, and having all babies survive, is very rare and unheard of. Very few families have told their stories or had their stories documented. One of those families is Winnie and James Bushnell.
This was in 1866 in Chicago. Winnie Bushnell carried six babies through the full nine months, however, only four survived. Two of the babies didn't survive their first year. Throughout history, only 35 sets of sextuplets survived and reached adulthood, so the odds for Mia were not in her favor.
An Optimistic Mother of Six
Mia remained optimistic. She held on to her beliefs and knew that the day would come and she will become a mother. A mother of six. The doctors, on the other hand, were not as assured.
In medical history, it was common that at least one baby didn't survive, and the doctors didn't want to be responsible for the outcome. Mia and Rozonno knew deep inside that this was meant to be and prepared themselves for embracing six babies as the due date was approaching.
The Miracle of life
In 2010, magic was made. Madison, Olivia, Isaac, Josiah, Elijah, and Rozonno Jr. were born. Six healthy and strong babies came into this world, making Mia and Rozonno's dreams come true. Four boys and two girls filled their lives (and their days) with such joy and happiness.
It was later discovered that Mia was carrying seven fetuses. This was something that was missed during examination throughout her pregnancy. When the big day arrived, she learned that one baby didn't make it, and she was left with her six precious gems.
History was about to be made as all six babies survived and all were about to turn into reality superstars. The future was holding moments of joy and recognition, as Mia and Ronzonno were about to shuffle their life cards once again.
Instead of grieving their loss of the seventh baby, they decided to celebrate the lives of the remaining six, and of course, their own lives as new parents.
The new parents wanted to freeze their memories. They wanted to documents those precious days and hired a professional photographer to snap the moment.
When it comes to babies, no one can stage a frame, and the babies, as if someone was directing them, created a photo that instantly became the talk of the day.
A Photo of a Lifetime
All six babies were comfortably scattered around Rozonno, and one fell asleep on his back. Mia, the loving mother, pleasantly looked at her husband (and at one of the babies), all forming together, a masterpiece of photography.
Yet again, life was about to bring on its least expected moments, and one of the most famous women alive was not going to stay oblivious to that photo.
It's Oprah Time
When Oprah Winfrey came across the photo of the six babies and their sleeping father, she knew the McGhee family had to be on her show. The main intention was not to drive more audience, but to financially help the family, as the new addition to the couple was costing them an arm and a leg.
For appearing on the show, they received a check worth a quarter of a million dollars. Now, if that wasn't enough, the Oprah Winfrey production granted the couple an all-paid honeymoon as the two never had a chance to go on one.
Americans Do It Best
With Americans being Americans, the number of donations the family received after the show was astonishing. The family's story moved people's hearts and they received boxes of diapers, baby bottles, car seats, clothing, and more.
Do you think this was the end of their fortune? The McGhees' story was just about start and there was more to come. They were about to make it big. Really big.
Reality Bites the Dust
After their grand appearance on the Oprah show, Mia and Rozonno were about to receive an offer they couldn't refuse. The Oprah Winfrey production offered them their own reality show, where the six babies would be filmed and followed for the first years.
Bringing up such a unique family was so unheard of, they knew the reality show would be a huge success. And it was. It was the first of its kind.
Six Little McGhees
The reality show, called 'Six Little McGhees', aired between 2012-2014 and documented the first two years of the sextuplets. It filmed the day-to-day lives of the busy schedules the parents had, learning every day how to juggle between six little souls that had to be fed, changed, and most of all, loved.
The show 'Six Little McGhees' wasn't where this journey would end, as when the first two years were over, 'Growing Up McGhees' was created, following the next six years of the family.
It's Show Time
Having such a large family made it impossible for Mia to hold a job, so she immediately became a stay-at-home mom, dedicating 100% of her time to raising her children. Life was challenging and not always easy. Mia and Rozonno hired help to assist with the simple daily chores.
Could you imagine feeding two babies, and when they were done, having to feed another two? And when the sixth one was done eating it was time to feed the first yet again.
The Camera Follows
The reality shows the kids starred on, made the children no strangers to the camera and they all felt comfortable having their pictures taken every now and then. Eventually, everyone ignored the cameras, as they became part of their household. The days were tough and the nights were even tougher, and Mia found herself exhausted.
She had to form a tight schedule. She had help, and people would come to give baths and put the children to sleep, but the regime and the schedule she kept was what helped her through the day.
Everything According to Schedule
If the bottles weren't cleaned as soon as she was done feeding, they were never cleaned at all. If she missed the bathing hour the children would become cranky which would then affect the rest of the evening. She was on top of it all.
As the days went by, Mia brought up six beautiful babies, each with their own special personality and unique ways. One was the sleepy one, the other a bouncy baby, and all were contributing their presence to one of the soon-to-be-famous families in America.
A Photo of a Lifetime Take 2
Remember the famous photo of the six sleeping babies laying on their father? Well, in 2016 Mia wanted to restore the photo once again, with their now grown-up six-year-old children.
The photoshoot resulted in a magnificent image of the parents and their children and reflected a spectacular moment to cherish for life.
A Siblings' Way of Life
Like all normal functioning families, the McGhees children fight. According to Mia, they fight a lot, but alongside their fighting moments, they love each other dearly. They are growing up with strong family values.
Mia and Rozonno's dream has come true and they have provided six little children with the family they never had while growing up.
Now I'm a Believer
Everyday challenges can be difficult on any family, however, when there are six children involved, small issues can become big monsters. Mia says that her strong beliefs kept her going, and she had made an effort into passing her beliefs to her children.
They admit that the parenting school never closes and that they both keep on learning how to be the best parent they can be every day.
The end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 were just around the corner for the McGhees, bringing to them a reality no one expected. The six children were homeschooled for a few months, making life more difficult than it was.
Overnight, Mia and Rozonno found themselves at home for most hours of the day, with six energetic kids. Having one or two kids at home every day, for all hours of the day was difficult, so having six kids in could turn into a nightmare.
The Benefits of Siblings
The McGhee home had become a small school, with six computers and the couple playing private tutors. Their strong bonds kept them going and although times could get difficult, they had learned how to lean on one another and enjoy the benefits of having a large and close family.
Besides the education responsibilities each child has, they all take part in the household chores — taking their turn in doing the dishes, taking out the garbage, and keeping their home clean.
Life Time Friendship
Alongside the downfalls, you've got to look at the benefits of having five siblings. While other children are at home alone for many hours of the day, the McGhee kids have their friends right beside them.
They always have someone to play with, someone to consult with and someone to complain to about the difficult days they were going through. Having five siblings is far better than having none at all.
It's Not Becoming Easier
Mia has been asked on several occasions if it gets any easier. If the fact that the children are growing up and becoming young teenagers makes her day to day more bearable. Well, the answer, apparently, is a clear no.
Mia explained that the children might know how to feed and dress themselves, but we are talking about six different opinions, six different needs, six different hobbies, and six different individuals to satisfy.
Family Is All That Matters
When the family goes out, they all pile into their family minivan and love exploring nature together. Going out is always easier than staying in, Mia said. The challenges of life have not spared the McGhee family, but Mia and Rozonno feel that with all difficulties, they have been blessed.
At the end of the day, the love, respect, and beliefs they have for one another keep them going, and no matter what challenges surprise them in life, anything is possible. They never forget that dreams can come true.
World’s First Surviving Septuplets
Having a baby is probably one of the most life-changing experiences. Most new parents find the arrival of just one new baby an overwhelming experience. Can you imagine what it must be like being a parent of a multiple birth? We're not talking about twins or even triplets but septuplets. That's right, seven babies on one pregnancy.
It sounds far-fetched, and the chances of the babies even making it through the pregnancy are extremely low, but on occasion women with the help of medical professionals and close care are able to bring these babies to term and into the world. Often times, fertility treatments play a role in helping women conceive their babies so let's take a closer look at this story.
Meet The Parents
In 1996 Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey were blessed with the arrival of a healthy baby girl.
They believed their new daughter to be a miracle as Bobbi suffered from issues with her pituitary gland which can cause problems with fertility. They gave their beautiful daughter the name of Mikayla Marie and thought ahead to their next child.
Having had difficulties conceiving Mikayla they decided for their next child they would pursue some fertility treatment.
Their doctor prescribed a medication called Metrodin which is known to help with ovulation, which is required for a woman to conceive a child. Bobbi started to take the medication, and they made plans for their second baby.
One Isn't Enough
Bobbi went in for a scan at her doctors practice but the day turned out to be totally life-changing. The scan revealed that she was, in fact, pregnant with seven babies.
This was not only massive news that they would be growing from a family of 3 to a family of 10, but this pregnancy also posed a level of danger to Bobbi.
Taking The Risk
Despite fully understanding the risks involved in such a complicated pregnancy, and having a healthy daughter in Mikayla, Bobby and Kenny decided they didn't want to choose one of their babies above another and wanted to proceed with the pregnancy as naturally as possible.
There have been only around 40-50 births in the world that have resulted from a pregnancy involving 7 babies. Although many septuplets have not survived birth or infancy, at least 3 sets of septuplets, and survived beyond infancy.
Lots Of Attention
Once their decision had been made, to keep all seven babies, news started to spread of this unusual pregnancy. People in the media and across the country found the story of this small family and their septuplets fascinating.
Not all people who heard the news were supportive of keeping all seven babies, but Bobby and Kenny were confident in their decision that everything would work out for the best.
People who knew the family, and those who didn't decided to offer help to the McCaugheys. After all, the birth of seven children at once is an extraordinary event in any family.
Kraft gave the family a years supply of "man n cheese," they were given boxes and boxes of diapers, some offered themselves to help around the house as a nanny or a babysitter, and amazingly enough, a 5,000 square foot house was donated to the family. The family was amazed at the kindness and generosity of people they knew and even more so from those that were complete strangers.
Running On Nerves
The months and weeks that led up to the birth were not only thrilling but scary and unsurprisingly stressful!
Bobbi had to do her best to keep calm and relaxed as the doctors were concerned that the stress of the upcoming births might lead her to early labor. In the back of their mind, Bobbi and Kenny knew things might not work out, but they tried to stay positive and believe everything would work out.
Meet The Babies
The McCaughey's welcomed three girls and four boys, making up the septuplets. With seven healthy babies, their parents now needed to name their brood.
The heaviest baby was named Robert, the other boys were named Kenny (Kenneth), Nathan Roy, Brandon James, and Joel Steven. The girls were named Alexis May, Natalie Sue and Kelsey Ann who was the lightest baby. That's a lot of names to remember!
The Birthing Staff
Of course, the babies were delivered with the help of the hospital staff. All of the doctors, nurses and maternity staff knew that they were part of making American history by helping deliver the first healthy set of septuplets.
A few days after the births, all the team involved in their delivery gathered together for a group photo.
Since Bobbi and Kenny were asked to come to the hospital nine weeks before Bobbi's due date to deliver the babies, the news channels were unaware that the births were taking place a the Iowa Methodist Hospital Center in Des Moines.
Every channel wanted to get the first picture of the newborns. However, as they would find out, they would have to wait for some time for them to get a glimpse at the septuplets.
Leaving The Hospital
The babies needed a lot of care in their early days, and eventually, after three months and ten days, all seven babies were healthy enough to be allowed home.
Finally, the news crews would get that picture they had been waiting for. As Bobbi and Kenny loaded all seven babies into their new family van, the cameramen and journalists got a snap of the septuplets with their parents. There were lots of smiles, and a few tears as the McCaughey's headed for home.
To ensure that the family would be able to return home safely the police set up a security post outside their house so that the McCaughey's would be able to arrive and enter their home without disturbance.
The babies were brought back to Bobbi and Kenny's old home at first, but soon enough they would be moving into their brand-new house.
There was much interest in the McCaughey family, and at first, Bobbi and Kenny thought it was just local reporters who were reporting on their story.
As news spread, more and more people became interested in the news of the septuplets, and in December of 1997, just a month after the babies were born, Bobbi and Kenny were featured on the front cover of Time Magazine.
It was ABC News Prime Time who was the first to gain full access to the family in a thorough interview and news feature.
There had been a lot of coverage of the septuplets births, but much of this had been reporters retelling what others had already written on the McCaughey family. ABC was the first to get an interview with the family.
Roses Come With Thorns
While the majority of the coverage of the septuplets was positive and supportive of the family, there were inevitable some negative reports.
Some called the family irresponsible for having too many children and that the amount of waste generated by so many babies could be damaging to the environment. It didn't matter to the McCaughey's though. Nothing could detract from the happiness of having seven new babies.
In 1934 the Dionne quintuplets were born in Ontario, Canada. They were born to Elzire Dionne who came under much criticism for the way her babies were raised.
The children were the subject of much press attention which was sometimes described to be like a circus. The quintuplets who were grown adults by the time the septuplets were born warned the McCaughey's about having the press too involved in the children's lives and urged Kenny and Bobbi to try and be as private as possible.
Load After Load
As you can imagine, one newborn generates a lot of dirty clothes. Now think about how much mess seven babies can make.
The McCaughey's were reported to do an average of 17 loads of laundry a week, and since they had tried to keep their lives as private as possible, it meant many of the house chores, had been done by themselves. Luckily they had two washing machines and two dryers to help with the mountains of laundry.
Babies In Bulk
Seven babies don't just generate a lot of laundry but were using on average 52 diapers a day between them, and guzzling through around 42 bottles as well.
This was costing the McCaughey's a lot of money, and eventually Bobbi and Kenny decided they needed to come up with a strategy for managing their large family.
Potty training was also going to be a lengthy challenge. With their first daughter Mikayla, they managed to potty train her within four days successfully.
With the septuplets, they knew it would take them a lot longer, perhaps even a few months to get them all properly potty trained.
They say it takes a village to raise a child and this was certainly the case with the septuplets. The McCaughey's would have around seventy volunteers helping with tasks around the house as well as caring for the little ones.
There would be approximately eight or nine people changing diapers, feeding, and generally making sure the babies were happy and cared for.
It wasn't just help from volunteers and those in the community. The McCaughey's also relied on a lot of help from their families.
Here we can see a picture Bobbi's sister, Michelle having a special moment with one of the babies. The help Bobbi and Kenny received from their loved ones was of great value to them, and they couldn't have done it without them.
The Big Sister
There was one family member in particular who wanted to help out wherever possible.
Big sister Mikayla always tried to be on hand to play with the babies, help at feeding times and generally assist her parents whenever and wherever she could with her seven younger siblings.
We mentioned earlier that the McCaughey's decided they needed a good strategy to keep their expenses to a minimum. They started with a couple of simple tricks. The first was that they bought in bulk, as with so many babies they knew they would need it eventually.
They also started researching what products were on special offer at their local supermarkets. On one occasion, Bobbi went and bought 60lb's of hamburgers. They manage to bring their monthly spending down to around $300 a month, which was a good reduction from their previous bills.
The McCaughey's had another idea for helping reduce their monthly expenditure. The family started to grow their own fruits and vegetables which were not only organic but free! Much cheaper than the supermarket equivalent.
These fresh fruits and vegetables were also available in their backyard it was so natural for them to pick and tend to. It helped reduce the cost of grocery shopping and was great for the environment. It's just a shame they could have a cow too.
Having just one baby takes a lot of care and attention, making sure they that all seven babies are getting enough food and sleep as well as cleaning and changing the babies is a lot of work.
The babies also needed to go for regular check-ups to the doctor. Having seven babies checked at once takes a good chunk of time.
Most Important Meal
The babies all loved their breakfast, which is good to hear because as we know, it is the most important meal of the day.
They must have required massive quantities of whatever it was that they ate.
There was an unmistakable bond between all of the babies, and as they grew into toddlers, they started to create their own language.
This phenomenon is not unique to the McCaughey's and often happens between twins and triplets, or even siblings who are close in age. It is called cryptophasia, but the children also spoke English.
With each year as they reached another birthday, the family used it as an opportunity to celebrate the milestones of the septuplets.
It was also an opportunity to thank god for helping their babies and helped instill in the McCaughey's that they had made the right decision with keeping all of their babies. After all, looked at their amazing family.
As the children grew older, they grew at differing rates. Some were stronger, some shorter, but we should always remember- never compare one child to another.
Despite this Bobbi and Kenny decided to dress the dour boys alike and the three girls in the same outfit. However, the children did not all have the same size feet, so they all needed the correct shoe sizes.
Clothing For Septuplets
Seven babies require a lot of clothes, and paying for all of the clothes was costing the McCaughey's huge sums of money. Then something amazing happened.
Carters, the children's clothing brand said that they would supply clothes for all of the babies until the age of five. This was just another example of the amazing generosity showed to Bobbi, Kenny and their family.
News of the babies reached the highest heights. When the septuplets were born, the President of the United States at the time, Bill Clinton called to congratulate the family.
Years later, the children would meet the next President, George W. Bush.
Upon the birth of the septuplets, when Bill Clinton called to congratulate Bobbi and Kenny, he said to her that when the seven children finally go off to school, she will be able to get a job running a major corporation in America.
"You will be one of the best-organized managers in the United States," said President Clinton to Bobbi.
As the septuplets began to grow up, they developed their own unique personalities that differentiated one from the next. Brandon is considered brave, and even a little bit stubborn.
Kenny Junior is the joker among the group, whereas Joel and Natalie prefer to sit quietly and read.
The Naughty One
Kenny Junior isn't just the funny one but also likes to cause mischief. So much so, that Bobbi calls him the "pint-sized explorer."
It's wonderful to see that each child is allowed to grow and develop into whatever person they want to be.
With a house full of eight children it can be easy to take care of yourselves and your relationship.
Bobbi and Kenny thought it was imperative to keep one night free for them to spend some much needed alone time together. Friday night was set aside as their date night.
Each of the children had their own characteristics, and their parents picked up on each of their personality traits.
Nathan is "determined" whereas Kelsey is a "sporty fashionista." Joel is "quiet and reflective" which is similar to Alexis who is "sweet and perceptive." Brandon is "outgoing and athletic," Natalie is a "high achieving perfectionist," and Kenny Jr, who was mentioned as a mischief-maker is described by his parents as a "go-getter."
A Special Trip
Families are hectic, and perhaps the McCaugheys were more hectic than most. Despite that, it's still important to take time out as a family and have a break.
The whole family, including Mikayla, were taken to Disney World in Orlando.
On The Cover
For their eighth birthday, the children appeared on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal.
The magazine also featured an article on the family where Bobbi and Kenny answered questions which they hoped would help new parents like they once were.
George W. Bush
In 2001 the McCaughey's were invited to meet with President George W. Bush. This was a big deal for Bobbi and Kenny, so they ensured that they and all the children were appropriately dressed.
Such is the way with young children that some were more interested than others, though we doubt they really grasped who they were meeting with at the time.
Too Much Attention
There was a lot of media attention when the children were born, and Bobbi and Kenny could have decided to have allowed a reality TV show to be made about their lives, as is the case in other families with lots of children, or unusual sets of children.
But the McCaughey's decided against that. There were, however, times when the children were featured in the press and on TV.
The Today Show
To every rule there are exceptions, and while in general the McCaughey's did not want cameras in their home, the exception was on the children's birthday.
For their 13th birthday, Bobbi and Kenny allowed Ann Curry from the Today show to come a meet the children for a special birthday feature. Every child got their own cake with 13 candles. As a journalist, this was a very exciting moment, Ann said at the time.
High School Days
In 2012 the septuplets started high school and were enrolled into the Carlisle High School in Carlisle Iowa.
As with most things that they do, they received a lot of attention on their first day, but as time went on and each one of them settled in, they started to be successful in their studies.
Feeding seven mouths takes a lot of work, especially when it's no longer just milk. Bobbi and Kenny started to serve the meals as buffets.
The spread was pretty impressive. Even more so, was that as the children got older, they too helped prepare the meals. So perhaps you can't have too many cooks in the kitchen!
Nathan, however, was determined to walk without an aid, which until this point he was forced to do. He felt that he didn't want to be restricted by his condition and taught himself how to walk without the help of his walker.
Each day he got a little bit further, and with this level of determination, he was destined to succeed. Speaking on the matter, he said, "I taught myself how to walk because I really wanted to learn. It's just been getting better and better."
Alexis was also not confined by her condition. She may still suffer from her walking, but she is not defined by it and is a child with many talents.
In 2013, Alexis won the "Teens Miss Dreams Come True" award proving just how gifted she was. In addition, Alexis showed her gift was also academic as she completed the year in the top 15% of her class.
Coming Full Circle
Seeing seven of her children graduate from high school simultaneously must have been highly emotional for Bobbi.
She can remember seeing them all dressed in their graduation regalia, with cap and gown and saying, "It's sad to see things end, but there will be lots of firsts coming." So what was next for the septuplets?
Keeping It Local
Two of the septuplets, Alexis and Kenny, enrolled into their local college, Des Moines which was nice for Bobbi and Kenny as it meant they were close by.
Alexis dreams of being a teacher so worked exceptionally hard during her college degree and graduated at the top of her class. The sky is the limit!
For Brandon, his path led him to enroll in the U.S. Army. This was something he had been dreaming about since he was a small boy, even as young as three years old.
Brandon will succeed in whatever he chooses as he is clearly gifted, having been offered a scholarship to study at his local college. Brandon decided instead to pursue a career in the army and is now an expert in pistol and carbon shooting.
Work For Family
For Kenny Jr, there was a different path. As with all of the septuplets they all have their own personalities and identities.
For Kenny he wanted to pursue a career as a carpenter and so far, has been pretty successful at it. However, his passion for carpentry went alongside his generosity.
When big sister Mikayla had her first child, Kenny Jr. took it upon himself to create a gift for her family which she would be able to keep forever.
This wasn't some little memento but was, in fact, a bespoke designed kitchen table with benches to go alongside it. Quite the gift from a little brother.
When the septuplets first arrived one of the acts of generosity was from the State of Iowa promising each child a college education at any state university of their choice.
Four of the seven decided to take the state up on the offer and Natalie, Nathan, Kelsey, and Joel all enrolled at the Hannibal-LaGrange University in Missouri where they are studying right now. Even though they were far from home, Bobbi and Kenny could be comforted that they were at least together at the same school.
Kelsey, who we said is enrolled at Hannibal-LaGrange University chose to focus on music as her major. She is a bright young talent, and we can't wait to see what she achieves.
The music felt like her calling, and if she's passionate about it, we believe that everyone will be able to see that in her performances.
Too Close To Separate
After graduation, the septuplets were interviewed for television. Quite used to the media and the questions, they were asked if they were worried about losing their closeness now they will no longer be under the same roof.
They responded by saying that as septuplets they have an unbreakable bond and will always be close, no matter the distance.
Empty Nest Syndrome
Once all the children had left the house to pursue whatever it is they had decided they wanted to do, Bobbi and Kenny looked around their empty house and felt how different things would be from now on.
They wouldn't have dreamt of holding any of their children back from pursuing their dreams, but the quiet was a new feeling they would need to get used to.
The Older Sister
Let's not forget about big sister Mikayla, who was also loved and encouraged like her seven younger siblings to pursue her dreams.
Mikayla studied at Des Moines college and then continued on to Arizona State University. Mikayla is also married and has a child of her own. We're hoping septuplets don't run in the family.
What About Dad?
With an empty house and lots of spare time, some parents find this transition depressing. Kenny McCaughey refused to and decided this was an excellent opportunity to take up a new hobby in motorcycles.
Kenny would scrap them and then meticulously rebuild them. He also took the chance to ride around the country and looks forward to exploring more in the future.
The house which was donated to them when the septuplets were born is now far too big for just Kenny and Bobbi so it looks like they may decide to sell and downsize to something smaller.
We do wonder what will happen if they all want to come and stay for a reunion, but we are sure they will figure out a solution.
Finding A Buyer
It took until February of this year for the McCaughey's to find a buyer for their huge seven bedroom, five bathroom family home. The new lucky owners will be receiving a house that was filled with love and happiness.
Now Bobbi and Kenny can settle into their new home too. But there is a twist.
Dodging A Bullet
When Bobbi and Kenny look back at that difficult decision, they had to make regarding selective reduction they can't help but feel so blessed at having seven beautiful children who have all grown up to be amazing young adults.
After all, they sought fertility treatment for a reason, and look what they have been given as a result.
It would be a hard decision for any parent to make and it was a minor miracle that they were all born at all, but you can't deny it was brave of Bobbi and Kenny to proceed with all seven babies.
That being said, if you ask Kenny what he thinks about it, and he'll say, "Well, come to our house and tell us which four I shouldn't have had."
Their Own Book
Shortly after the septuplets were born, the McCaughey's decided they wanted to write and release a book chronicling their experiences.
The book was entitled, "Seven from Heaven" and a major theme that is evident throughout is Bobbi and Kenny's faith and belief in God. You get the feeling that religion has played a significant role in bringing them hope and happiness when the odds were stacked against them.
It was decided early on that the children should not be in the public eye too much. That being said, they struck a deal with Gamma Press in 2001 that they could photograph the children once a year on their birthdays as a way to chronicle their progress.
This was a smart agreement as the family can look back on each year's birthday image. The honor was then given to Polaris Images.
Being a septuplet is not a normal occurrence, so many people often asked if they had a typical childhood. Well, they played and were able to be creative, had a loving family home and played together.
Sometimes they'd just want to play in the garden or take their toys outside, but that's normal for any child.
Through The Years
We bet you're wondering if multiple births will run in the family. The answer is that it is probably unlikely as Bobbi and Kenny received their miracle septuplets as a result of undergoing fertility treatment.
This, therefore, won't have an influence on the genetic makeup of each child, and they will most likely go on to have straightforward pregnancies without twins, triplets, or dare we say, septuplets.
Will They Have Twins?
There is a valuable lesson to learn in all of this. If you were to ask the McCaughey's if they would change anything about having septuplets the simple answer would be, no. They feel like they were blessed and even though at times things may have been hard they never shied away from their duties or responsibilities.
They would tell you, if you want something then you should just go for it, and you never know, you may end up getting more than you bargained for.