America seems to have a fascination with large families. And we’re not talking twins or triplets. We mean biblical times. Little League team, large families. That’s why in the past decades, we’ve seen shows like 19 Kids and Counting and John and Kate.
Plus, date becomes so popular. So it wasn’t a surprise when a new outsized family came into the spotlight. But the story of how they shot to Fame will surprise you. Hello, wonderful people. I’m Scott Lefler for wonderbot.
And here is after six years, the McGee sex tuplets recreate the photo that made them famous.
Rosano McGee and Mia Shelby met in high school. Rosano was impressed by Mia’s tenacity. I used to see her walking down the hallway, and she always held books in her hands like she was on a mission. They began to date and soon knew this was the real thing. Married at 20, it would be many more years before they could begin to grow their family.
Both Mia and Rosano’s childhood had not been easy. Raised by single mothers, Mia’s brothers got mixed up in crime, and Rosano’s mother battled drug addiction. That meant they both had to mature at a young age to survive in such fraught environments. They became strong, responsible adults. But life was not done throwing them curveballs.
After a few years of trying to start a family, the couple realized they needed external help to conceive. Even though they weren’t well off financially, they put their money and faith into fertility drugs and treatments. A couple of tries later, Mia eventually became pregnant with twins. Seemingly, their prayers had been answered, but they would soon be suffering a painful blow due to a premature delivery. The twins didn’t make it.
The McGee’s were devastated, but their desire to be parents was not deterred. They cautiously tried again, and Mia became pregnant once more. This time, though, they were in for a big surprise. They were having sex tuplets. When they were born safe and healthy, the couple was overcome with joy.
But soon a feeling of dread would start to creep in. How are they going to provide for six kids? Risotto had started a carpet cleaning and upholstery business, but Mia had to quit her job to care for the children. The babies went through dozens of diapers a day, not to mention all the formula they consumed. Even though the McGee still felt blessed with their family, little did they know their next decision would turn their lives upside down.
Risotto and Mia had a small photo shoot with their six babies as a celebration of their family. The resulting photo of Mia sitting and Rozano laying down with the children curled up around him was sent to both of their inlaws. The images were so charming, though, so it soon went viral. The McGee couldn’t believe it when a huge celebrity came knocking on their door. Oprah Winfrey invited the family to appear on her show and talk to them about their lives and struggles.
She surprised them with a gift of $250,000 in Walmart credit and a fully paid trip to Las Vegas for the couple. The pair had not been able to go on a honeymoon when they got married, so they were extremely moved by the gesture. But that wouldn’t be the end of the McKee’s good fortune. Soon the family was being flooded with shows of generosity and received donations on a regular basis from celebrities, brands and many others. Then the Oprah Winfrey Network offered them their own reality series, Six Little McGee.
The show’s popularity even helped Rozano’s business grow. But Fame comes with a dark side. Would the McGee suffer the doomed fate of other reality TV stars? Six years later, the family is happy and in great shape. Rozon’s success helped them buy a new house big enough for the kids to live comfortably.
And they also moved to a new town with a big school where these six tuplets could be placed in different classes. The children were growing so fast, so they decided to commemorate their blessed life once more. Can you guess what they did? They decided to recreate the photo that had put them on the due path. There were some changes to be made since the kids were much bigger.
In the new version, Rozono wears a black shirt just like Mia, and the kids are all clad in matching outfits. People wondered how they got all six kids to pose so nicely at the same time, and the secret was soon revealed. The McGee had hired the same photographer, Brian KellyAn, to do both shoots. Given that his photo had become so viral, he decided to share the details of his technique. He kept the parents in the same position, but placed two kids at a time, then joined them all together using Photoshop.
He’s clearly very talented because both photos look extremely real. What does Killion think about working with sex couplets? They just want to hug you, he said. They’re full of love and full of joy. They were great.
Perhaps having grown up in the reality TV world has helped them become comfortable around cameras and know what to do. It looks like Little Risotto Junior, Isaac, Josiah, Madison, Elijah and Olivia are happy to continue their lives in the spotlight, which is great news because the McGee would soon have an amazing new opportunity. After season three of Six Little McGee’s ended, the kids weren’t so little anymore, so the show got a new name Growing Up McGee. For its next season, it got picked up by up TV, a network geared toward religious African American families. This worked out great for the McGee, since their biggest fans are in that demographic.
They’ve also gotten to do some pretty cool things as part of the show, like when Mia came up with this crazy idea. In one of the episodes of the season, Mia notices the success of extreme couponing shows and decides to try it out. She sets a budget and heads off to the grocery store where she struggles with the coupons fine print. In the end, she goes over budget. But shopping for eight is not easy.
The show is not just crazy challenges though, as the tearjerker of a season finale can attest. On the last episode of season five, Rosano and Meo got to check off one more thing from their bucket list. Renewing their vows since they were on a budget when they got married. This time they went all out and flew the whole family to Turks and there barefoot on the beach the couple showered each other with praise and love, then held their children’s hands as they looked out onto the beautiful Caribbean horizon.