Valentine€s Day Quads Celebrate Sixth Birthday
Valencia Mohammed | 2/18/2009, 12:05 p.m.
Photo by Roy Lewis
Jubilance filled the air as the McDade quadruplets of Prince George€s County celebrated their sixth birthday at the Chuck E Cheese€s in Laurel, Md. on Feb. 14. Four happy youngsters with bright smiles and sparkling eyes, each with their own unique features and personalities, jumped up and down as guests wished them a happy birthday.
€I just love my great grandchildren,€ Thelma McKnight said. €The hard times are over. Now, we just sit back and continue to nurture them with love, kindness and direction.€
In 2003, Tasha McDade discovered she was pregnant with quadruplets. McDade did not use fertility pills or artificial insemination methods; McDade had spontaneous quadruplets and planned to have natural births without the aid of any medication.
Tasha and her former husband, Honre McDade, a correctional officer, already had two children they were raising, Brianna, eight, and Tasia, four. McDade was placed on bed rest for two months prior to delivery and had a planned C-Section on Feb. 14, 2004. Preparing for the biggest challenge of her life, McDade began writing major companies for assistance, but got little response.
€I wrote Oprah who gave a flat out €no.€ I was hurt because a few months prior I watched her give huge gifts to a White family that used fertility pills that gave birth to quintuplets,€ McDade recalled. €I wrote so many places. It seemed no one wanted to help out a Black family with natural multiple births.€
Sharon Wise, a family and child advocate agreed.
€I really believe that €color€ matters,€ Wise said. €I lost a lot of respect for Oprah when she turned her back on this family like everyone else. Tasha did not try to have multiple births, it just happened.€
The Pamper Diaper Company did send discount coupon books for diapers for each quad.
€I still couldn€t understand how people who pay for fertility births get all the perks, but someone who goes through it naturally gets rejected,€ McDade said. McDade refused to continue to wait for aid and decided to go back to school while working at the Children€s National Medical Center. The pressure of the quads and their siblings eventually led to the breakup of the marriage.
€He provided financially but he was absent to help me around the house where I needed him most,€ McDade said. So the family pitched in. Every school day, Brianna would hurry to put on her clothes to help her mother clean and feed the quads. Other family members rotated their time to assist McDade.
€Some people say that Black families do not stick together. Well, Tasha€s story is an example in a huge way that we do,€ Wise said.
McDade got remarried to Michael Cain, a White man, who fathered three other children, including the twin sons €" Jayden and Christopher. Cain, 38, a roofing contractor, moved the family to a five-bedroom home in western Maryland.
€I love Tasha. I love all the children. I will do anything and everything to make them happy,€ Cain said.
McDade received her Bachelor€s degree in criminal justice and her Master€s in behavioral health. The family plans a cruise this summer.
€We€ve weathered the storm. Now I hope that my children can receive scholarships to college,€ McDade said.