When the Ahmed family formed, they knew they were going to be nothing like The Brady Bunch.
All photos courtesy of Paramount.
Faquir Ahmed was living with his two kids — 13-year-old Ojeyo and 10-year-old Megha — in an apartment when he met his future wife, Chaney Jernigan. And, just like in the "Brady Bunch" theme song, she had three kids of her own.
Suddenly, two separate families of three and four became one unit of seven, all living in the same house and trying to get along with each other despite their many differences.
"Us getting married is gaining additional people to love you," Chaney and Faquir told the kids when they all moved in together. And they meant it.
It was a challenge at first. For everyone.
Chaney's three sons — 18-year-old Khy, 14-year-old Kayden, and 13-year-old Cooper — now had a new brother and sister. But for 10-year-old Megha, blending the families meant she was still outnumbered. "When I moved in, there was still a lot of boys," she laughs.
While it seems funny with some distance, for a family with five kids, the reality was that things were going to be pretty crazy — not just for a little bit, but for always.
"Never a dull moment," Faquir says.
That kind of intensity led to some heated moments, but it also helped unite the family
"Everyone has their disagreements," says Khy," but at the end of the day, we all still go together."
Aside from navigating their status as a newly blended family, The Ahmeds also had to reconcile the fact that they came from two very different backgrounds.
Faquir is Muslim, Chaney is Christian, and the seven members of the family aren't the same race.
Thankfully, none of that was a problem for anyone in the family. "Our family is all jumbled up, in a good way," says Chaney. However, outsiders felt like it was something they could question.
Chaney had to learn how to deal with people telling her that her kids didn't look like her. Meanwhile, Ojeyo was confronted with the casual racism of strangers at a very young age.
Sometimes the kids were bullied for being members of a mixed-race family. However, their love for each other helped them navigate those uncomfortable moments. They became each other's fearless protectors, making sure that no one was hurting their siblings.
"There's always someone in the house that can help," Khy says.
"They genuinely care about each other," Chaney adds. "They want them to be okay."
“Our skin tones don’t match but it doesn’t matter; we're a family," says Ojeyo.
Things will never be calm in their household, but The Ahmeds wouldn't trade their family for the world. The challenges they've overcome have made them stronger.
"Nothing is easy that is worth it," Chaney says. "Family means love. It means being there for each other no matter what."
The rest of the Ahmed clan agrees. Though this isn't the path that Faquir and Chaney envisioned walking when they had kids, it's one that's brought everyone joy and new perspectives. As a result, their family now feels complete.
"When I tell people how many kids we have, I proudly tell them 'five,'" says Faquir. "This is just our family."
To learn more about The Ahmeds and their journey, check out the video below.
For this blended family, the love they share is what holds them together
Blending two families is never easy, but the payoff is more love to go around. ❤️Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, November 14, 2018