Back in 2009, a woman named Nadya Suleman earned the nickname "Octomom" after she delivered a healthy set of octuplets — on top of the six other children she had conceived via IVF. The media swarmed the single mom of 14, creating the Octomom persona that stuck with Nadya for years.
In the meantime, the busy, overwhelmed mom did all that she could to provide and care for her kids — including dabbling in the adult film industry, for which she was widely scrutinized.
Fast-forward to today, and Nadya seems to have proven the naysayers wrong. Because by all accounts, her children seem well-adjusted, kind, and hardworking. Let's take a closer look at what Octomom and her kids are up to now.
Although Nadya continued to make headlines for a couple of years after her octuplets were born, for the most part, she's flown under the radar since then. Within the past few years, the mom of 14 has started posting periodically via Instagram under the name Natalie Suleman — and it's become increasingly obvious just how much time has passed since her Octomom days.
Octomom's famous kids are 11 now.
On Jan. 26, Nadya took to Instagram to share a photo of the octuplets — Noah, Maliyah, Nariyah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Josiah, and Makai — on their 11th birthday. And they look so grown up.
"Happy birthday to my beautiful angels. You are some of the kindest, most compassionate, caring human beings I’ve ever known. Words cannot express how grateful I am to be your mother," she wrote. "You all have blessed my life immensely and I thank God daily for trusting me to care for, shape the lives of, and influence all of you."
The octuplets are in fifth grade.
The octuplets are in fifth grade for the 2019/2020 school year. Nadya shared a photo on Instagram of the smiling siblings — backpacks ready — for their first day of school in August. "You are all becoming some of the most kind, selfless, caring human beings I have ever known," the doting mom wrote at the time. "Thank you kids for being so patient with mom and posing for this last second, first day pic! "
Fun fact: Six of the octuplets sing in their school's choir — Makai, Nariyah, Maliyah, Josiah, Jonah, and Jeremiah. Meanwhile, Isaiah and Noah play instruments.
One of Octomom's older children is on the autism spectrum.
On Jan. 7, Nadya shared a photo of the octuplets posing while outside together — while also referencing her 14-year-old son, Aidan, who is severely autistic. “While Aidan was sitting, distracted with sensory exploration in the dirt, I snapped a quick picture of all the little kids together,” she captioned the post. “This is a rare occurrence considering how crazy active and energetic they all are!”
Just a few months prior, in August, the mom of 14 had opened up about the extent of Aidan's autism and how it impacts her family's life. "Aidan is non-verbal, requires feeding, changing (he is not potty trained), bathing, and one to one supervision, as he has no safety awareness and would walk aimlessly into traffic," Nadya wrote alongside a video of Aidan playing outside.
She continued, "I, his mother, am, and always have been, his only care provider (I only trust my kids to help out, and on rare occasions a sitter I’ve known over a decade). This “job” is my life (other than caring for 13 other children singlehandedly)."
Nadya's kids seem to be thriving following the "Octomom" ruse.
During her time as "Octomom," Nadya worked as a stripper and even released an adult film titled Octomom Home Alone. However in 2016 — following bankruptcy and community service after pleading no contest to a count of misdemeanor welfare fraud — she turned things around.
She shared she had started working part-time as a counselor after moving her family back to Orange County, California, during an appearance on The Doctors. "I went back to my life as a counselor. I went back and my kids had a healthy, happy life," she said. "The problem is it’s followed us, because people never knew what I did. They never knew the true story."
These days, Nadya and her kids live (relatively) normal lives. A December 2018 article in The New York Times described the octuplets as "small for their age, but they’re polite, they cook, they’re vegan, they read two books a month and do their homework without being prompted."
The article continued, "In spite of all of the horror stories in the tabloids since birth, they’re model fourth graders. How did she do it?" (Seriously though — I'd love to know. This frazzled mom of four can't even imagine caring for 14 kids; I'm impressed.)
Although the family definitely had a rough patch there for a while — with all of the "Octomom" drama, coupled with her financial difficulties — it's so nice to see that at age 11, the octuplets are now thriving. Hopefully, Nadya keeps sharing updates via Instagram so her followers can continue to follow their journey.