Conceiving twins is rare–only three in every 1,000 pregnancies. But what if a couple got three sets of twins, all born on the same day? And even better: this was after the mother learned that she couldn’t have children. One couple in Union Grove, Wisconsin, received a once-in-a-generation family beyond their wildest dreams. Here is their story.
The Kosinskis Always Wanted A Big Family
When Carrie married her husband, Craig Kosinski, she immediately began planning for a large family. “I grew up in a family of nine,” she said. “I always wanted a bigger family than that. I know how sad you get and lonely, and you just want a family that’s going to love you.”
The couple lived on a ranch in Union Grove, Wisconsin. Not only were they financially ready for kids, but they also had a specific plan about their family.
Both Biological And Adopted Kids
The Kosinskis wanted a family of both biological and adopted kids. Carrie herself was adopted. “Adoption was always a part of what we had planned…but we wanted to try to have our own children first and then adopt,” Carrie told ABC News.
In the early 2010s, the couple tried for a biological baby before adopting. But their plan for their future family did not pan out as they intended, as Carrie was experiencing health complications.
But Something Wasn’t Right With Carrie’s Health
After years of trying, Carrie still was not able to conceive. She also began to experience some abdominal pain. She went to the doctor with the fear that she might be infertile. In the U.S., at least 12% of women cannot carry a pregnancy to term, which is called impaired fecundity.
During her doctor’s visit, Carrie received even worse news: she had a chronic disease called endometriosis. “We were told by the doctors we wouldn’t be able to have kids on our own,” she said.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition that affects “endometrium,” the tissue that lines the uterus. According to John Hopkins University, endometriosis creates excess tissue outside of the uterus. This can cause bleeding, swelling, and inflammation around the uterus.
People with endometriosis are not necessarily infertile. However, they have a much higher likelihood of infertility. For Carrie, endometriosis resulted in infertility and crushed her dream of having biological children. As she and Craig grieved, they wondered what to do next.
But Eventually, They Received A Rare Opportunity
Just when Craig and Carrie were reconsidering their entire family plan, they received a rare opportunity. An old high school friend contacted the couple and revealed that she was pregnant. She asked the Kosinskis if they could adopt the future children–a set of twins.
The mother had already had a previous set of twins, who were born on February 28th, 2013. But she did not have the money to care for these children, which were also due in February 2014.
Finally, Their Opportunity Returned!
Carrie and Craig excitedly agreed to their friend’s proposal. She said she was pregnant and wasn’t able to give the babies the lives they deserved,” Carried told TODAY. She had no problem adopting after the saddening infertility news.
“We just felt like that was what God wanted us to do,” Carried continued, “so we decided to put our own plans down and pursue the plan that God had for us and that was to adopt first.”
Born On The Same Date
The twins were born on February 28, 2014–the same date as the mother’s previous set of twins. During labor, the mother had an emergency C-section, which was also the same as her previous set of twins.
Now, the Kosinskis had two girls, whom they named Adalynn and Kenna. Carrie and Craig finally had their own family to care for. In the meantime, the couple underwent the long, legal adoption process to make the girls a part of their family.
But They Didn’t Give Up On Biological Kids
While the Kosinskis cared for their new children, they continued to work on biological kids. Carrie’s chances of conceiving were low, but not impossible. She went on IVF treatments and prayed that they would work.
IVF, or in vitro fertilization, retrieves the eggs and fertilizes them in a sperm lab. Then, the mother has the embryo implanted in her uterus. Not all embryos stick, and IVF can take a long time to succeed. But the Kolinskis refused to give up on their dream.
But Then, Another Surprise
In 2015, the Kosinskis were still in the process of legally adopting their twins. That is when the biological mother contacted them again. Remember the previous twins that were born before Adalynn and Kenna? She asked the Kosinskis to adopt them, too.
“We’d started the process of adopting the [now] three-year-old twins when the birth mom contacted us about taking the [now] four-year-old twins,” Carried said in an interview. Apparently, the biological mother could no longer care for the children.
Two Extremely Rare Sets Of Twins
The older set of twins, JJ and CeCe, also joined the Kosinski family. Now, the Kosinskis had two sets of twins who were both born on the same day. This is incredibly rare!
In America, 32 in every 1,000 births are twins, which is only around 3%. The odds of siblings having the same birthday is one in 365–only 0.27%. The Kosinskis not only had a family, but they had an extremely unique and rare family.
The Kosinskis Now Had A Family Of Four
Within a few years, the Kosinskis had a family of four children, who were all biological twins and all born on the same day. There was never a dull moment in their house.
Although it sounds like four children would be hard, for Carrie, integrating CeCe and JJ was easy. She told TODAY that she already had a schedule for Kenna and Adalynn, so she continued to use that. “I have to be very organized and keep to a schedule, or things get out of hand.”
But The Surprises Kept Coming
In September 2015, Craig and Carrie were still adjusting to their new family when they received another surprise. They discovered that Carrie was expecting! Since IVF had succeeded, Carrie could have the biological kids she had always dreamed of.
One month later, the Kosinskis got even more surprising news: Carrie was having twins! “We were in shock, but super happy,” she said. They now had six children and three sets of twins to take care of.
Danger Occurred 19 Weeks In
Initially, Carrie’s twins were due on June 12, 2016. But 19 weeks into her pregnancy, her water broke. She went to the hospital and had to remain on bedrest for six weeks.
When a mother’s water breaks this early, it can be dangerous for both the mother and child. The mother can develop an infection, and babies are not considered “viable.” Their lungs, heart, and brain are underdeveloped, and they are not ready to live outside the womb.
A Hard But Rewarding Birth
After six weeks on bed rest, Carrie had to undergo an emergency C-section. Although grueling, the surgery succeeded. Her new twins, Clarissa and Karraline, had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) until they were strong enough to leave.
Both twins were underweight and had some scar tissue on their lungs, but they were alive and kicking. They had to remain in the NICU for weeks, but it was a small price to pay for these babies.
A One In Billion Chance
Although Clarissa and Karraline were due in June, they ended up being born early. They were delivered through a c-section on–you guessed it–February 28, 2016.
The Kosinskis now had three sets of twins who were all born in the same way, on the same day. This is not only a miracle, but it is also unbelievably rare. For perspective, the Guinness World Record for biological siblings born on the same day is five. The odds of that are 17.7 billion to one.
Sadly, Clarissa and Karraline Couldn’t Come Home Right Away
Although CeCe, JJ, Adalynn, and Kenna wanted to see their new sisters, they couldn’t yet. Clarissa and Karraline had to remain in the NICU for weeks. At just 25 weeks old, each twin weighed one pound, six ounces.
Karraline and Clarissa underwent several surgeries and had viral infections. They developed scar tissue on their lungs and had to remain on oxygen. Although they were in critical condition, they were still stable, and their parents hoped that they could come home soon.
How Could The Parents Handle This?
While Karraline and Clarissa were in the NICU, Carrie visited them every day. She drove from her farm in Union Grove to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa, back and forth, for several months. Since Craig worked as an accountant for Kenosha, he visited three times a week.
When The Journal Times asked Carrie and Craig how they made it through, they both answered, “prayer.” The couple attended the Living Light Christian Church in Kenosha, and members of the church helped them through this rough time.
Finally, The Babies Came Home!
After a tense couple of months, Clarissa and Karraline gained enough weight and developed their organs. They could finally come home. For the first time, the newborns met the other two sets of twins, who were all under three years old.
“They almost didn’t make it,” Carrie later told ABC News. “They’re definitely our little miracle babies.” Craig described the experience as, “You’re just trying to put out the big fires and hope that the little fires aren’t too serious.”
But The Couple Might Still Lose Their Children
Although the six siblings were all united, the Kosinskis still had an issue. They had yet to legally adopt the four older siblings, CeCe, JJ, Adalynn, and Kenna.
“We’d started the process of adopting the [now] three-year-old twins when the birth mom contacted us about taking the [now] four-year-old twins,” Carrie explained. They decided to pause the adoption process until the four-year-old twins arrived. “It’s cheaper to do it all together than separate adoptions.” But then, the biological twins arrived.
The Little-Known Challenges Of Adoption
Many people do not understand how expensive adoption can be. Although the prices vary by state and method, most couples pay well over $30,000 for one child. Why? Because adoption requires legal assistance from attorneys and government administrators, along with social help from adoption specialists, counselors, social workers, and physicians.
Because Craig and Carrie were adopting four children, their adoption fees quickly hiked. If they could not afford the fees, there was a chance that they could not keep their children.
The Kolinski’s Savings Were Rapidly Depleting
Along with the hiking adoption fees, the Kolinskis also had to pay for IVF. Without medication, IVF ranges from $12,000 to $17,000, but with medication, it’s closer to $25,000. Carrie and Craig already invested tens of thousands of dollars before they could finish the adoption process!
To make matters worse, Carrie was a stay-at-home mom and the family relied on Craig’s accountant income. If they were going to pay for their other four children’s adoption fees, then they needed help.
Asking Strangers For Help
With few other options, the Kosinskis launched a GoFundMe campaign. They called it “The Quad Squad Adoption Fund” and aimed to raise $13,000.
“We are saving a lot of money by adopting both sets together,” Carrie wrote on the page. “So now that we have legal guardianship of all four, we have decided to proceed with adopting ALL of them together. We can’t imagine our lives without our little quad squad.” But would enough people donate?
Fortunately, The Kosinskis Were Already Well-Known
Although the Kosinskis lived in a small town, they managed to get hundreds of donations. How? Because they were already in the news! Sits like ABC News, TODAY, and The Journal Times all reported on Carrie’s story.
Because of the extra attention, Carrie made a Facebook group to advertise her GoFundMe. Within a year, her GoFundMe page received almost 800 shares and 160 followers. Something about the Kosinski’s story inspired thousands of people and encouraged hundreds to donate.
Eventually, They Got Help From A Certain Charity
The news reports on Carrie’s family attracted more than just internet strangers. It caught the attention of Karen Kingsbury, bestselling author and founder of One Chance Foundation. The nonprofit foundation supplies grants to families to help them pay for adoption.
According to Kingsbury, her and her staff felt touched by the Kosinski’s story, especially the fact that all four adopted children are biologically related (which is uncommon). “These siblings could grow up together — that’s what captured our hearts,” she told ABC News. “We were in tears in our office.”
The Kindness Of Strangers Exceeded Their Expectations
With the extra donation from the One Chance Foundation, the Kosinskis did not need the entire $13,000. But strangers exceeded their expectations anyway. One hundred and twenty-four people donated, some only $5, others over $500.
In the end, the family garnered $14,400 from the GoFundMe alone. They now had more than enough money to pay off the adoption fees for CeCe, JJ, Adalynn, and Kenna. “It’s such a huge blessing to us,” Carried told TODAY.
Finally, The Worst Was Behind Them
Because of the kindness of strangers, Craig and Carrie could slowly pay off their adoption fees. On January 24, 2019, they updated their GoFundMe for the last time. “On January 18, we were able to finalize the adoption of our four children,” Carrie wrote.
“Thank you all so much for all your donations,” she continued. With that, she closed the GoFundMe page. The Kosinski family was finally together with no looming threats. But this is not the end of their story.
Although Similar, All Of The Twins Are Different
With three pairs of twins, two of them being biologically related, many people assume that they have similar personalities. But Carrie denies this. “They are all very different,” she told TODAY.
“Each has their very own personality, which is very fun, but we get pulled in six different directions.” With six toddlers and a Wisconsin farm, the couple runs a “very, very busy” life, according to Carrie. But this is exactly what the couple wished for.
The Family Will Appear On National TV
In November 2017, The Journal Times reported that the Kosinskis are getting their own show. The family was approached by PeopleTV to be featured on the show “Family Portrait.” It is a documentary series that explores diverse families across the United States.
The docuseries was produced by SoulPancake, although it is unclear when the Kolinski episode will come out. With this TV partnership, the family could very well make their own reality series. But the family is reluctant.
Craig And Carrie Are Reluctant To Go On Reality TV
When the Kosinski family went viral, several production companies approached them with show deals. But according to Carrie, the family turned all of them down. They decided to take a chance on one documentary episode to see how it goes.
“We just thought that it would be beneficial to our family in the long run financially,” she said. Any money they make from the show will go towards the children’s future. If all goes well, they might make a show.
They Worry About Misrepresentation
Why are the Kosinskis so wary of reality shows? According to Carrie, they do not want their family to be portrayed poorly or inaccurately. “We told [the producers] if we felt our family and our faith wasn’t portrayed the way we wanted, we would cancel,” she explained.
Reality shows have a reputation for inaccurately representing a family, episodes are often edited in a way to create more drama. “We don’t want [the producers] to jump all over us. We’re still up in the air about it.”
Fans Can Follow The Kosinskis On YouTube
If you don’t want to wait for the Kosinski show to come out, you can log onto YouTube. On December 13, 2018, the parents made a YouTube channel, Life with Twins & more. The vlog channel follows the family on their 40-acre farm. Along with caring for the children, Craig and Carrie also manage several animals.
In the channel description, Carrie reveals that they now have seven children. Their youngest son was born on February 27, six hours short of his siblings.
Meanwhile, The Youngest Twins Are Swiftly Recovering
Because they were born premature, the youngest twins, Clarissa and Karraline, had developmental delays. As expected, they seemed to be developing more slowly than the other siblings. But Carrie said that they are doing well.
“They’re scooting around the house, not quite walking yet,” she reported in 2017, when the twins were a year old. “Eating everything in sight and babbling — not talking words quite yet.”
The Other Four Children Were Also Growing Quickly
While the youngest twins were recovering from the NICU, the other four siblings were also growing up quickly. CeCe, JJ, Adalynn, and Kenna all attended Montessori preschool around the same time.
“They’re learning all their numbers and letters and they’ve learned the five Great Lakes,” Carrie said, as many fans wanted to know how the kids were doing. “We love all our children the same,” she continued. “We wouldn’t want our lives to be any different.”
Never A Dull Moment
With six children and a ranch to handle, the Kosinskis stay busy. The couple claims that there is “never a dull moment” in their house. “It just kind of happened all at once. You can’t fuss with the stuff too much,” Craig said.
“We think it is definitely meant to be that we would have all of them,” said Carrie. “It’s just God’s way of saying, ‘Here I’m giving you these children as a blessing, and I am going to make it interesting and fun for you by having them all born on the same day.’”