Sending your kids off to college can be a challenge for parents—so imagine sending six off at once! That’s what’s happening to Chris and Diamond Harris, whose children—America’s first surviving Black sextuplets—all graduated from high school last week.
“The morning of the ceremony, I sat in bed looking at their baby pictures and felt depressed,” Diamond, who is a nurse, told Today Parents. “It’s going to be too quiet.”
The Birmingham, Alabama sextuplets will all be continuing their education in their home state, so their parents don’t need to fret too much—there will surely be plenty of visits in the future.
Since their birth in 2002, the Harris sextuplets have been followed by the media. Diamond, who has a five-year-old from her first marriage, was prescribed fertility medication by her doctor. When she first found out she was pregnant, she was told she would be having twins—but later, they discovered that the number was far greater.
When Diamond developed a blood clot, she had to deliver at 26.5 weeks via C-section. At birth, each baby weighed between 1 lb. and 3 oz. and 1 lb. 12 oz. The children remained in the NICU for three months.
That all seems like such a long time ago as the kids prepare for their future.
“Girly-girl” Kiera is heading off to Lawson State Community College to study cosmetology. Her “outspoken” sister Kaylynne is going to Alabama State University to study physical therapy. Kaleb and Kieran are both going to Alabama A&M, where “father figure” Kaleb will major in computer science and “thoughtful” Kieran will explore art. Kobe, “Mr. Smooth,” will join Kaylynne at Alabama State and try out for the baseball team. Kyle, who has autism, will do a life skills program.
Chris and Diamond, who divorced in 2012, still remain friends and are both very involved in their children’s lives.
“These kids have been my life for almost 18 years. They have been my reason,” Chris, a second-grade teacher said. “I keep reminding myself it’s just going to be different, but everything will be OK.”