When a North Carolina couple welcomed their 16th child, they were stuck for what to name him. With their family tradition being to give their kids names beginning with the letter "C," they were running out of ideas.
Patty, 40, and Carlos Hernandez, 39, settled and enjoying life in the city of Charlotte, welcomed their new arrival on May 5 last year. A healthy, bouncing baby boy, they called him Clayton.
“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, originally from Guatemala, told The Epoch Times.
Busy running their own successful cleaning business, the couple have a very full life with their big family. Strong in faith, Patty and Carlos are dedicated to raising their family as Christians, trying to instill a sense of integrity and responsibility.
“Our children, they love each other and enjoy all going to school together,” said Patty. "They all have chores to do. They wake at 5.30 a.m. to go to school, come back, and help care for the seven babies and the household."
While the children are at school, the couple takes care of the house chores and does everything they need to do besides running their company before the babies prepare to take a nap at 1 p.m. every day.
“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.”
The family is a team, and Patty says she is proud they don’t rely on state support. The average person can only imagine the size of the food bill, and Patty agrees it’s astronomical.
“We spend over 500 dollars on food every week—and that’s not including diapers and other things,” she said.
The loving mother, who clearly adores all of her children and relishes parenthood, confesses that the news of her 16th baby was “a big surprise.”
“We found out in 2020 that God was blessing us with one more. Though I had a really good pregnancy, it was the longest pregnancy ever," she said. "I was almost 42 weeks when Clayton came.”
Patty and her husband say they do sometimes get confused when calling out names in their lively household. Among their offspring are three sets of twins: Carla and Caitlyn, 11; Calvin and Catherine, 7; and Caleb and Caroline, 4.
In descending order of age, the rest of the children are as follows: Carlos Jr., 13; Chris, 12; Cristian, 10; Celeste, 9; Cristina, 8; Caroll, 5; Camilla, 3; Charlotte, 2; Crystal, 1, and baby Clayton, 8 months.
Is the Hernandez family complete, or do the couple foresee any more additions?
“The most important thing is that God has blessed us and we’re open for more babies if our Lord wants to bless us with more”, Patty said.
“The best thing about being a mother to 16 kids is that I feel blessed and have a sense of pride—because at the end of the day, we manage everything.”