Children are a blessing from the Lord as they bring so much joy and happiness and make a family feel complete with their presence. But sometimes it can be an overwhelming experience for those who have large families and need all the encouragement possible to take care of them.
One family with 16 children are sharing their story today of how God has been with them all along the way and sustained them and why they won’t stop having children.
Patty and Carlos Hernandez are counting their blessing after initially struggling to conceive. They say they have left the option of having more children in the hands of the Lord. For 39-year-old Patty Hernandez raising kids is a joyful act even though it can be stressful at times.
This beautiful couple from NC first met at church and fell in love with each other. After getting married they knew they wanted children but never knew that the Lord would give them so many. “We started with one and ended up with 16,” Patty said. “We never imagined it would be that many.”
Recalling the trouble they had while trying to have kids for two years, Patty says, “I had trouble getting pregnant with Carlos for almost two years,” Patty recalled. “I guess my body wasn’t ready yet.” Maybe it wasn’t the Lord’s timing for them as he was preparing them for a greater call in life. The couple never used birth control and were regularly intimate, but still couldn’t conceive and Patty started feeling hopeless.
But after that season of waiting, God did a miracle for them, Patty says, “Then God did the miracle,” she explains. “We were asking God for a child and he just started giving us children. We started getting pregnant every three months.” The couple welcomed their first child, Carlos, in 2008 and started their journey of having 16 kids including 3 sets of twins. “I’m so happy when I’m pregnant,” she said. “Around three months after I have a baby I usually get pregnant again.”
After having 16 kids, couples would consider stopping, but these two say they have left that decision in the Lord’s hands. “We have left everything to God so whatever God wants to give us we will be happy,” Patty explained. “We don’t use contraception.” Talking about her latest pregnancy being the most difficult one she says, “He just didn’t want to come out.” Clayton, her 16th, didn’t come out before 40-weeks that was a different experience as all her other babies came out at 38 weeks.
Being a mom and dad entails a lot of things and it can be quite a hectic experience especially when they are little, Patty says, “It is a bit more stressful and difficult with a newborn. The babies are always crying and I have to take care of them,” she says. “But it is a blessing, we enjoy it.” The family that makes a living from running a cleaning company lives in a 5-bedroom house in Charlotte, with a nursery room with 5 cribs in it.
With Patty taking care of all the kids at home, Carlos works hard at work and counts it a blessing to take care of his growing family’s needs. As an appreciation for him, they have named all the children with names that start with the letter C. Patty says, “We name everyone with a ‘C’ because my husband’s name starts with ‘C’, and also because of Christ. So in honor of both, we pick that letter,” Patty said.
The family has 6 sons and 10 daughters with 3 sets of twins: Carla and Caitlyn (11), Calvin and Catherine (7), and Caleb and Caroline (4). The names and ages of the other children are Carlos Jr (13), Christopher (12), Cristian (10), Celeste (9), Cristina (8), Caroll (5), Camilla (3), Charlotte (2), Crystal (1), and the latest being Clayton, who is soon to turn one. The family starts their day with a devotional, praying, singing, and reading the word together.
Patty and Carlos are bringing up their children with the fear of the Lord, she says, “We love the Lord, so are teaching them about the Bible. we want them to be good people; that is one of the best bonds we all share,” Patty explained. Every child has chores to do and while the older ones are at school, she tries to complete as much housework as possible. When asked if they want more children in the future, they say that decision is up to the Lord.
“God has blessed us with all these kids,” Patty said. “I know some people don’t agree and there are nasty comments online but for us, it’s a big blessing. If God wants us to have another child we will have another one.” What an encouragement this story is to all those who are struggling to have children and also for those with many children, who feel condemned due to it.