In 2010 Mia and Rozonno McGhee became the proud parents of sextuplets. The family soon shot to fame and starred in their own reality show, with America captivated by the sheer insanity of trying to raise six babies all at once. But when the show ended, they faded from the limelight somewhat. Recently, though, fans were finally treated to an update on where the kids are at in their lives today.
Sextuplets are rare
Sextuplets are extremely rare, and the pregnancy is very risky. According to the Raising Multiples website, there have been up to 175 recorded cases of sextuplets. But sadly, only in 35 of these instances did all six babies live beyond infancy. Incredibly, it took until 1993 for the U.S. to have its first documented case of surviving sextuplets.
The McGhee sextuplets
So, when Mia gave birth to Isaac, Josiah, Elijah, Rozonno Jr., Olivia, and Madison — and all six babies survived — the family joined a very select group. Then, when she posted an adorable photograph of the babies sleeping, sprawled across their exhausted dad’s back, they soon went viral. It was the beginning of an incredible — yet tumultuous — time in the McGhees’ lives.
Within a few months of their photo capturing the public’s imagination, the family was whisked away to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Obviously, their trip had to be planned with almost military-like precision. For example, they crammed six suitcases with 150 — yes, 150 — diapers, plus spare clothing and toys for the sextuplets. You’ve got to have spares, after all!
Mia and Rozonno
Mia and Rozonno told Oprah about their respective upbringings, which were both in single-parent homes in poorer areas of Ohio that struggled with high crime rates. In fact, both Mia’s older brothers were involved in illegal activity and, as she put it, they, “didn’t make it out.” Rozonno didn’t have it any easier, as his mother battled addiction for 19 years.
The future lovebirds met in high school, with Rozonno revealing he fell for Mia from the moment he first laid eyes on her. He said, “I used to see her walking down the hallway, and she always held books in her hands like she was on a mission. I knew that she was my wife.”
Tying the knot
The pair fell in love so quickly that they tied the knot when Mia was 18 and Rozonno was 19. They knew they were each other’s future, and also that they wanted more than what they’d each experienced growing up. They wanted to start a family and make better lives for themselves.
Making a life
Mia revealed, “Since I didn’t have a father, I’ve always wanted my children to have a father. I wanted, of course, to graduate from high school, go to college, get married.” Mia did attend college and, after a lot of hard work, landed a job as a realtor. In fact, she and Rozonno — who runs a carpet cleaning business — were so successful they were able to buy their first home.
Trying to have kids
The next part of their life plan was to have children but, unfortunately, it looked unlikely. After three years of trying with no success, the couple turned to IVF — in vitro fertilization. It was exceedingly expensive, but they craved a family so badly they felt it was worth the cost. And things looked bright when Mia learned she was carrying twins.
Sadly, at 29, Mia lost the pregnancy — and it devastated the couple. She told Essence magazine that the experience sent her into a slump, admitting, “I didn’t want to try again. I was so upset, but my husband encouraged me to go do it again, and here we are today. It was almost like it was planned — like this is what my destiny should be.”
Destiny, of course, saw Mia fall pregnant with not two, but six babies! To go from no babies to the possibility of six was daunting, with Mia admitting, “Had it happened the other way, where I got pregnant with multiples the first time, I may have considered reducing the number. But after losing the first twins, having multiples made me extra passionate.”
Envisioning a big family
Luckily, both Mia and Rozonno had pictured having a big family — just maybe not quite as big as they got! Rozonno told Essence, “I grew up with four brothers, so I always pictured myself having the perfect family — two boys, two girls.” Mia added, “Same here. I never thought six. Maybe one or three, but six was not a part of the plan at all.”
An overwhelming joy
During their appearance on Oprah, the couple were open about the realities of trying to raise so many little tykes at once. Mia said, “It can become overwhelming, but it’s a joy. It’s a joy being a mom now.” Luckily, they have plenty of people ready and willing to help them cope with the huge demands on their time and energy.
Help is key
Mia explained, “Most days, maybe two or three people come throughout the morning and then the night to help with baths and help with clean-up.” Even with this aid, though, a strict cleaning and trash disposal schedule is adhered to — and by trash disposal, we mean dirty diaper disposal! As Mia chuckled, “That keeps the smell down.”
The McGhees revealed that Mia left work to care for the children, with Rozonno’s business — McGhee Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning — being the main source of income for the family. Oprah half-joked, “If you live near Columbus, Ohio, and you need your carpets cleaned, please call this man. He needs your business!”
Regarding how she and Rozonno intended to raise the sextuplets, Mia revealed that religion would play an important part. After all, it had been a huge factor in their lives, too. She said, “I want to make sure I instill values in them. First, love God — know God and love God first, because he brought them here with purpose.”
Rozonno also addressed their religion in 2012. He told Ebony magazine that church helped him and Mia massively, saying, “We were going to church together on a regular basis and part of that is soul-searching, trying to find out who we are and trying to find out what roles to play. How should I be a man and how should I be a woman?”
Doing things differently
The devoted dad added that church “really taught us to pray, and when you pray, pray fervently.” Beyond religion, though, Mia believed that she and Rozonno choosing to adopt a positive mindset helped them overcome negative experiences in their pasts. They knew they had a chance to show their children a different life, and they committed to that.
Mia explained, “Instead of us just being bitter or angry about our past — because it wasn’t always perfect — what we choose to do is make a decision. Ro and I, we always talk about what we can do differently than what we saw growing up and how we didn’t want that to happen to our kids.” Indeed, they simply decided to release negativity as much as possible.
Beyond that, though, Mia and Rozonno were determined their kids would have good moral foundations in their lives that would prepare them for success. She said, “But I want them also to get an education, a good education. That’s something we’re still working on, which we’re going to do… and just be productive citizens.”
Speaking of their little citizens, Rozonno and Mia were both adamant the sextuplets displayed their own uniqueness instantly. Mia told Essence, “When I first met the babies, I noticed the different cries. Even to this day I can tell who’s crying. But even their personalities were immediately obvious. Like Rozonno, Jr. was always the laid back one, and Josiah can get very feisty.”
Support from all over
The McGhees were taken aback by the amount of help they received after the sextuplets turned their lives upside down. Mia gushed, “We were blown away by the support from so many people in our community and across the States. People have sent us gifts from across the country. Quilts, diapers, blankets, teddy bears, even money.”
God bless America
Mia continued, “We are shocked. We just never expected everybody to step up the way they did, especially with the economy the way it is. We thought nobody had anything to give.” Rozonno added, “This really made me think about how much I love America. The humanity of people just makes me think,‘God bless America.’”
Oprah lends a hand
Amazingly, they also received an enormous helping hand from Oprah herself when they were on her show. The TV icon revealed her team had liaised with Mia and Rozonno’s local Walmart store, and it agreed to give the family a whopping $250,000 in store credit. Oprah smiled, “That’s more than enough to take care of your family needs for years to come.”
A dream honeymoon
The McGhees could barely get a word out as they were so overcome with emotion. But then Oprah hit them with another surprise when music superstar Celine Dion joined them all on-stage. Oprah explained, “Celine and I found out that after 11 years of marriage, the two of you still haven’t gone on a honeymoon.”
Oprah didn’t think this was right — good people like Mia and Rozonno should’ve been able to enjoy an epic honeymoon. So, she revealed that she’d teamed up with Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas — which was hosting Dion’s new show — to offer the McGhee’s a four-night stay at the Forum Tower Emperor’s Suite! It came complete with butler service and tickets to Dion.
Reality TV beckons
Interestingly, it was this connection with Oprah that led the McGhees into a whole new world — reality television! Six Little McGhees began airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network in December 2012, and it lasted for three popular seasons. Then, in 2016 the show returned as Growing Up McGhee, running for another two seasons.
A platform to inspire
In 2012 Mia told Ebony magazine that Oprah was truly instrumental in the shows getting on the air. She revealed, “We just felt so comfortable with her and the reputation she built. After appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, we received thousands of emails from people all over the world telling us how our story inspired them.”
A story that can help people
Mia continued, “It really inspired us to want to do a reality show. And we do feel like we have a story to tell that can help other people.” Rozonno added, “It made us feel so good to know that people wanted to continue on in their journey to have children because they saw that we can do it and [we] can stay married too and raise a family too.”
Rozonno told Ebony magazine that, with a wonderful family life and a thriving business, he felt like God had blessed him. He said, “I look back over my life I say man we came so far. I am blessed. Growing up without a father and my mother having her issues, I know I want to be there for my children. I can be their mentor.”
A dream life
Rozonno continued, “I think that’s the greatest thing a man can do is being there for their children. Support your wife by being there for her and having your kids see that.” Mia added, “I always dreamed of this, and it was definitely something I want to do, so it’s not hard to do. I love watching my family and our business grow and our love is established.”
Ten years later
Fast forward to February 2020, and Mia was speaking to TODAY Parents about the sextuplets, who were then nine years old. The happy-yet-tired mom joked, “Many people ask me if it’s easier now that they’re older, but I beg to differ.” If anything, it turned out the McGhees’ experience was that parenting became an even more all-hands-on-deck situation as the kids grew up!
Parents vs. kids
“The older age and their awareness makes it difficult and, oh my goodness, my kids are everywhere at the same time,” laughed Mia. “They have their own opinions, personalities, and identities — our household as it stands today is in a bit of an uproar. It truly is Ro and I against them.”
One day at a time
Life came at the McGhees fast, with Mia confessing, “It’s hard to believe that these six were once tiny little babies and are now in third grade. Each one is an individual and it’s amazing and crazy to watch. The house is in a frenzy and the once-had-it-together parents are taking each day one at a time and picking our battles wisely.”
As a family of eight, space is always at a premium, but Mia revealed they’d managed their living arrangements well. She explained, “We have a four-bedroom house. The two girls share a room and there are two boys to a room, which is great for my family.” The family also travels in style — in a 12-seater passenger van!
Built-in best friends
Mia and Rozonno were wise enough to recognize that, while they knew a lot about parenting, they still had much more to learn. Mia confessed, “Ro and I are literally figuring this thing called ‘parenthood-times-six’ out.” But, about her six beloved children, she said, “I love their love for each other. They fight hard but they love even harder. I call it built-in best friends.”
The Big Ten
These days, Mia keeps fans up to date with McGhee family life via her Instagram account. On May 23, 2020, she posted a photograph of her six smiling kids as they edged ever closer to turning 10 years of age. The post was captioned, “My babies getting ready for the double digits next month #TheBigTen.”
Then, on August 18, 2021 she posted a picture of the sextuplets preparing for a big day at school. The year-long gap between photos made it all the more apparent how much older they all looked, with the caption reading, “And the McGhee sextuplets are off to their first day of fifth grade...”
Baby fever again
The kids growing up was definitely on Mia’s mind on December 13, 2021. She posted a photo with Madison and Olivia and captioned it, “Momma’s baby girls ain’t so babyish anymore. I’m missing a baby now… #BabyFeverAgain.” It takes a special kind of mother to get broody when she’s already got six children at home, but that’s Mia!
On January 9, 2022, Mia shared a photo of Madison wearing her mom’s heels for church. Again, the doting mother just couldn’t believe how grown-up her little girl was getting. She wrote, “Being the only girl raised with three brothers I am not used to sharing anything. Can’t believe she can almost fit them.”
Beating the odds
As of 2023, the sextuplets are better than ever, with Mia recently posting snapshots of their first family cruise. No one could have dreamed where the McGhees would end up. But the success stories of other multiple birth miracles, like the seven babies born to Bobbi McCaughey in 1997, proved it was possible to beat the odds. The McCaughey septuplets are 20-somethings now, and they have surpassed all expectations.
Shaken up mom
But prior to November 19, 1997 — the day the McCaughey kids were born — no one had successfully given birth to septuplets before. All pregnancies of 7+ children had involved the loss of at least one child, and Bobbi McCaughey worried she might suffer a similar fate. All her babies were born 9 weeks prematurely. They all lived.
How it happened
Earlier, when ultrasounds revealed septuplets, Bobbi and her husband Kenny McCaughey (pronounced McCoy) were stunned. Bobbi had been undergoing treatments for infertility, and according to doctors, her ovaries became over-stimulated. She and Kenny declined selective reduction, opting to "put it in God's hands."
The Iowa couple already had one daughter, Mikayla Marie (pictured here), who was born in January 1996, and a family of ten — two adults, eight kids — sounded lovely. As the septuplets entered the world one by one via C-section, Kenny watched, describing the intense delivery room as "quite a sight to see."
Seven in a row
Over six minutes, doctors successfully brought these babies into the world — four boys and three girls. Kenneth Robert, at 3 pounds and 4 ounces was first. Next was Alexis May at 2 pounds 11 ounces, followed by Natalie Sue, Kelsey Ann (who was the smallest at 2 pounds, 5 ounces), Nathan Roy, Brandon James, and Joel Steven, who weighed in at 2 pounds 15 ounces.
Overcoming the odds
Maybe you were raising children of your own in 1997, or perhaps you weren't even born yet. But we're all familiar with the challenges of caring for one child or two. Now, add six or seven more, and you have the McCaughey family. Surprisingly enough, the family felt there was never "a worst part" of their time together.
One cry at a time
As Bobbi and Kenny adapted to their situation, they revealed the babies went through roughly 40 diaper changes every single day. There was also the challenge of feeding each baby, bathing them, and trying to get them through the night with a little bit of sleep. The parents needed help from outside sources.
Help on the way
"...early on we had so much help from family and friends," Bobbi said in 2015. "If there was anything we needed, there was always someone there who was willing to help us." Soon, as the McCaugheys became celebrities, they started getting help from more than just friends and family.
See, even though they were given privacy by their suburban neighbors, the McCaugheys were placed front and center on national magazines like Time and Newsweek (the latter of which edited Bobbi's teeth for the cover photo, which caused a minor controversy). This led to attention both good and bad.
For the future
A flood of support came from across the country. The McCaugheys were given a van, nanny services, a large house that was completely paid for, and even a call from Bill Clinton! The greatest gift of all was from the State of Iowa, which gave the kids full-ride college scholarships. Some folks were outraged.
The good and the bad
"In the beginning, for every ten letters we would get that were happy for us, we'd get one letter accusing us of exploiting the kids and being selfish to waste the world's resources on a family this big," Bobbi said on the ten-year anniversary of the birth. "Our neighbors never gawked... But we had complete strangers come around to the back door, knock, and ask if they could hold a baby."
The McCaugheys received a letter from the Dionne quintuplets — the first known quintuplets (five babies) to survive. They were born in 1934, and they warned Bobbi and Kenny to keep their kids out of the national spotlight. For the most part, the new parents took this advice, doing just a few rare interviews following 1997. This piqued public curiosity.
For decades, people across the United States wondered what became of the septuplets. Were they well-rounded kids? Did they take Iowa up on those full-ride scholarships? Or were they struggling to get by like so many other children who were raised in a spotlight? Only in recently did we get some solid answers.
What they're doing now
Here's what we know: All seven septuplets went to Carlisle High School in their hometown, and they graduated in May 2016. Diplomas in hand, they determined their own futures. Each sibling took a unique route.
On their own
After attending Des Moines Area Community College, Kenny Jr. started vocational school for the building trade. Further away from home than anyone is the outgoing athlete, Brandon, who enlisted in the US Army and was deployed overseas. As for the other siblings?
Learning away from home
Like her "older" brother, Alexis passed up on the full-ride university scholarship and registered at the Des Moines community college. The remaining four septuplets, Natalie, Kelsey, Nathan, and Joel, chose to attend Hannibal-LaGrange University in Missouri, which also offered full scholarships. Their majors reflected their personalities.
Becoming the dream
Sweet and perceptive Alexis focused on early childhood education. Quiet and reflective Joel studied computer information systems alongside determined Nathan. Kelsey majored in public relations, and the high-achieving perfectionist Natalie majored in exercise science. Parents Bobbi and Kenny discussed these decisions in 2015.
Bobbi shared with Today, "In some respects it's been fun because Kenny and I have been able to do a lot more things, just the two of us, but at the same time I kind of miss the business of having everyone at home. When they are home, it's really enjoyable and something we look forward to a lot." Even the oldest daughter, Mikayla Marie, has found success outside the nest.
Gen Z McCaughey
When she was 19, Mikayla (pictured as a toddler) married, and a year after that, she had her first child, Becham. The septuplets were officially aunts and uncles, and the next generation in the McCaughey family began. Bobbi and Kenny dote on their first grandchild, though they don't see him as much as they'd like.
That's because Mikayla is also far from home in Missouri, living with Becham and her husband. She still brings little Becham over to see grandma and grandpa every now and then, and Bobbi and Kenny jump right back into parent mode — with a few noticeable differences.
The grand experience
"The love for them is the same, but the responsibility is so different" Bobbi shared. While the parents are becoming more used to time with each other and their grandchild, their young children are making new memories of their own.
For Alexis, Joel, Nathan, and Kelsey, going away to college was a big change. "It was a difficult transition to be away from our parents and be outside of Iowa" Kelsey said, "but I think that we all did welcome it." They were all given a chance to find themselves.
The college experience
Aside from their studies at Hannibal-LaGrange University, Alexis, Joel, Nathan, and Kelsey are also busy making new friends, networking with professionals, and doing a little community service on the side. They look forward to reuniting every year on their birthday over Thanksgiving break, but their childhood home has changed.
An end to childhood
Just two years after leaving their home for school and service, the McCaughey septuplets were given some big news from their parents. Bobbi and Kenny felt their house was too big for two, so they would sell. However, they didn't want to give it away to just anyone. The parents wanted the house to go to a good cause.
So, in 2018, Bobbi and Kenny met officials from the Des Moines nonprofit, Ruth Harbor, which provides housing and support to young mothers of unplanned pregnancies. The nonprofit was looking for another home to expand its program, and the McCaughey's felt that their home would be ideal.
Bobbi and Kenny were proud that their home would carry more happy memories for others in need. "Nothing would please us more than the idea of our home being used as a place of refuge to others in need," Bobbi said. As the McCaughey clan continues to grow — now Natalie and Brandon are married — people can't help but admire how well-rounded they are.
Not like the Duggars
That's because whenever we see a huge family, we can't help but think of 19 Kids and Counting, the famed TLC reality show that brought the Duggars into the public conscious. The Duggars were swiftly canceled after ten seasons when the skeletons in their closet finally saw the light of day.
Jill’s midwife credentials have been disputed
The founder of the Labor Sit midwife service, Jill Duggar even assisted in the delivery of Gideon – the son of her sister Joy-Anna – in 2018. However, some fans have wondered whether she’s truly equipped for such a role. Jill’s midwife education doesn’t actually extend beyond the CPM competency certificate. And most people in that field also have to study for the Certified Nurse Midwife license before finding a job.
Jeremy Vuolo avoids the internet to reduce temptation
Jeremy Vuolo is the minister husband of Jinger Duggar, and he goes to drastic measures to maintain his purity. Apart from email, he reportedly doesn’t use the internet at all. Appearing on a Little People, Big World podcast in 2019, Vuolo admitted that he hasn’t been able to access the world wide web on his phone for roughly six years. He said, “I don’t want all that temptation in my hand.”
The Duggars were accused of staging a charity event
We all know the majority of reality TV is semi-scripted. But even so, you wouldn’t expect a charity event to be staged just for the cameras. Yet, that’s exactly what the Duggars were accused of doing in 2015 at a thrift store in Arkansas. The family were seen handing out food items to those in need during one particular episode. But those grateful recipients were allegedly fans who’d been prompted by producers to act like they were impoverished.
Derick was rumored to have had an affair
In 2017 Jill’s husband Derick quoted a scripture passage on social media which led many of his followers to believe he was coming clean about an affair. Taken from Proverbs 6:32, the post read, “He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.” The following day Derick paraphrased Proverbs 7:4 with the words, “To keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.”
Michelle participated in an anti-LGBTQ campaign
Apparently, Michelle doesn’t appear to believe in equal rights for the LBGTQ community. In 2015 she encouraged her fellow locals to oppose an anti-discrimination law called Ordinance 119 which allowed transgendered individuals to use the restroom of their choosing. The matriarch sent out a robocall to local residents which said, “I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space.”
Derick claims Jim Bob negotiated contracts without the family’s knowledge
One of the many accusations Derick has leveled at his father-in-law revolves around contract negotiations with TLC. In 2019 he alleged to his Twitter followers that Jim Bob had sorted out financial terms with the network without his family knowing. Derick also claimed that he and wife Jill never received a cent for allowing the cameras to film the birth of their son.
Josh was sued by a DJ for using his photo on dating sites
In order to keep his identity on OkCupid a secret, married man Josh used a picture of Hollywood DJ Matthew James McCarthy on his profile. Unfortunately for Josh, his catfishing landed him in court in 2016. James sued him on the grounds that both his emotional wellbeing and professional reputation had suffered as a result of the media attention. However, the judge ended up ruling against him the following year.
Derick was accused of animal cruelty
In 2015 PETA demanded that Derick say sorry after he uploaded a video in which he appeared to be aiming his sled towards a cat. Jill’s husband can be seen barreling downhill in the snow shouting, “Move, cat” at a nearby feline in the Instagram clip. The animal rights organization subsequently responded, “I hope you’ll publicly apologize for your actions and remind your followers that Jesus’ command to ‘do unto others’ includes all of God’s creatures.”
Jim Bob is allegedly restricting Jill’s family time
According to Derick, his wife Jill has to ask her father permission to see her family. In December 2019 Derick wrote on Instagram, “We’re not allowed at the house when JB isn’t there.” He also claimed that midwife Jill had to wait to enter the family residence even when her sister went into labor because she didn’t have the go-ahead from Jim Bob at the time.
The Duggars are allegedly aligned with a misogynistic Christian group
Also known as the Quiverfull Movement, the Christian Patriarchy is a fringe movement which believes that women should be entirely subservient to men. According to reports, the Duggars also subscribe to this theory and are friends with one of its most vocal advocates: former Vision Forum Ministries president Doug Phillips. The latter was forced to resign from his position of the Vision Forum Ministries after he admitted to adultery.
Michelle tried to stop a local business obtaining a liquor licence
In 2009 Michelle protested against a Fayetteville business’ application for an alcohol licence. She told 40/29 News at the time, “Personally, I don’t think alcohol needs to be convenient. I think it needs to be placed in a place where adults can get to it and they will have a choice to get it.” But Michelle came under fire from other locals who argued that she was ruining the store owner’s livelihood.
Jim Bob is thinking of suing Derick
Derick Dillard has often threatened to expose the Duggars’ secrets in a book. But his father-in-law seems determined to prevent this from ever happening. According to reports in May 2020, Jim Bob is thinking of suing the husband of his daughter Jill to ensure that his family don’t get caught up in any more controversy.
Amy claims to be wild in the bedroom
Of course, this may be a little TMI for some. But in a 2018 chat with People magazine, Amy revealed that she and husband Dillon King enjoy a very healthy sex life. In fact, she claimed that the pair are often at it like rabbits. Amy was also happy to confess that she and Dillon also like to “keep it fresh [and] keep it wild.”
Jim Bob reportedly once disowned Jinger
In 2019 reports emerged that Jinger had been disowned by her father over her move to Los Angeles. Often seen as the most rebellious member of the family, Jinger hadn’t been on particularly good terms with Jim Bob for years. An insider claimed to The Hollywood Gossip a year later that the patriarch had since reunited with his daughter, but only out of fear that he would otherwise be portrayed in a negative light.
Ben has different political beliefs from the rest of his family
Jessa’s husband Ben Seewald may share many of the family’s religious beliefs, but it’s a different story when it comes to politics. Raw Story reports that Ben has previously lent his support to Black Lives Matter, remarked upon the hypocrisy of anti-abortion campaigners and revealed that he didn’t vote for Donald Trump to become president. And these are all viewpoints which sit at odds with the Duggars’ conservative stance.
Jim Bob “snubbed” his grandson’s fifth birthday
In April 2020 the Duggar family took to Instagram to wish Jill and Derick’s son Israel a happy fifth birthday. Michelle also stopped by to see to mark the celebration with her grandson. However, Jim Bob was nowhere to be seen, leading some to believe that the patriarch had snubbed the celebrations due to his ongoing beef with Derick.
Michelle reportedly once got a gay crew member fired
Michelle’s apparent homophobia surfaced once again when she reportedly got an openly gay crew member fired from the production of the Duggars’ reality show. The matriarch found out about the man’s sexuality after allegedly asking producers whether New York City was “overrun by gays.” After being confronted directly by Michelle about the issue, the individual was apparently dismissed “due to causing conflicts with the talent.”