Family Guide 2024

Page 12

achel and Brent Fox both look younger than their ages. Consequently, when they’re out with their 3-and 6-yearolds, they sometimes find themselves on the receiving end of encouraging comments or even unsolicited parenting advice. The older moms and dads they encounter believe they’re offering a young couple experiential wisdom, the Foxes explained. They find the comments sweet, but amusing. “It’s harmless,” Rachel said. “They mean well… but they don’t know our lives.” What they don’t know is that Brent and Rachel should probably be the ones giving the parenting advice. Not only do they have a blended family of 11 children ranging in ages from 3 to 26, but they now also have two grandchildren. The cohort living at home has shifted as the children become adults. Currently, twins Christopher and Christian, 26, are both in the U.S. Air Force, with Christian stationed overseas and Christopher stateside. Cheyanne, 23, is married with two young children and living in Nebraska. Cameron, 21, is a U.S. Marine stationed on the East Coast. Israel, 20, lives in the area and works with adults

more than one child’s academic struggles. They’ve enjoyed much laughter and good-natured roasting, being adopted by a sweet stray dog who proved to be a kennel Houdini, introducing a new puppy and several cats to the household, and sharing stories of the adventures of Bruno, the tortoise. Brent characterizes the family in one word: Resiliency. If the family had a motto, it would be “Never give up,” Rachel added. “Our family has gone through so many different challenges and we have overcome a lot of different things, a lot of stormy seasons. We never allow those challenges to define us,” she explained. “We don’t quit. That’s not in our DNA as a family.” “I do know that they keep God first,” said Dr. Sheena Reynolds, CEO of Remedy Road LLC, who met Rachel through work in 2017. “[Rachel and Brent] have good communication, and they see eye-to-eye. They have the same goals in parenting and their relationship…they’re able to talk about anything and everything, and if they disagree, they work things out. They love working with others and giving back to the community.”

Blended and Splendid:

Rachel and Brent Fox Enjoy Family in a


with developmental disabilities. Eighteen-year-old Isaac is a recent graduate of Millard North High School who works in construction and is studying cybersecurity. Genesis, 17, is a senior at Millard North High School and works at a part-time retail job. Millard North Middle Schooler Rhema is 12. Ethan, 9, attends Cather Elementary (Millard Public Schools). The youngest are 6-year-old Jayce and 3-year-old Jaxon.

“It really is a mic-drop moment…when people hear that we have 11 children. They’re like, ‘What?!’” Rachel shared. “I think everybody’s immediate response is, ‘Your house must be crazy.’ And they wouldn’t be too off-base. Everybody doesn’t live here, but I think we have every stage on the spectrum: We have adults; we have teenagers; we have the pre-teen and toddler stages—all going through it at one time.”

The couple met through their church in 2012. They each were parents to four children and had three more children together after marrying in 2013.

It’s been wonderful to see everyone bloom in their own way, Rachel added. “But, some of the most beautiful things we describe also present the most challenges,” she said. “They have different personalities. They have different wants, different needs.”

“We established right away that there are no ‘steps,’ there are no ‘halves,’” Rachel noted. “You’re all ‘ours.’” Together, Rachel and Brent have experienced their share of ups and downs. They’ve taught teenagers to drive and ushered young adults into independence and adulthood. They’ve welcomed three babies and mourned a pregnancy loss. They’ve seen career success: Brent as a small-business owner (Fox Flooring) and Rachel as a leadership and development expert whose roles have included consulting, training, coaching, and public speaking; Rachel also launched a nonprofit, You Go Girl Omaha. They’ve celebrated many happy moments and children’s achievements. They’ve also navigated through a child’s life-threatening illness and long recovery, another child’s teenage brush with the law, and

Brent is a self-described “neat freak.” As a single parent to a much smaller group of children, he said his former home was immaculate, or as he puts it, “You would have thought it was one of those models.” That standard was impossible to sustain with a larger family— especially when babies were brought into the mix again, Brent explained—and he adjusted to living in a still-organized, but lessthan-perfect environment. To keep order, the couple has created a fair division of work between them and encouraged the children to be as independent and responsible as possible from an early age. “It might be chaotic to you,” Brent said, “but see, we know how to make this work for us. Some people are not built for this.”

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