This blended family is nothing like The Bradys. That's more than fine with them.
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Paramount Instant Family

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
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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.