Ellen DeGeneres should really be called Ellen DeGenerous. The talk show host has made so many wonderful gestures over the years, whether it be giving fans new cars or donating to charities. It always seems like she's ready to step up and help others, no matter the cost.
Of course, that's something we all wish celebrities would do more of. When they are blessed to have so much, why not give to others who are not as lucky? One family from North Carolina learned the generosity of Ellen first hand after a video of their gender reveal went completely viral.
Cher and Stephen Lair have a big family, and that's just how they like it. With six boys in the house, it can get rowdy, but they wouldn't have it any other way. The Lair boys range from ages 4 to 15, so there's always something happening.
"Sometimes we look at each other and say what are we doing? It's crazy but it's awesome," Cher said. "We were never like, let's have 45 kids, we were just married, we're in love. We like each other and we like the kids. It just kind of happened!"
Because their family is so large, money can often be tight.
"We have a lot of kids and no spending money. Everything is precious and appreciated," Cher said.
But even though they love their "boy family," the Lairs always felt like something was missing. A little girl.
"We love boys, we're crazy about boys. We love being the boy family, but I had a longing for that thing...I'm close with my mom, she's close with hers. It's a thing. That mom-daughter thing. I've wondered about it, I've wanted to experience it. So we've done the mother-son thing, and unabashedly, yeah, we would have loved a girl at some point."
When Cher and Stephen found out they were expecting their seventh child, they were overwhelmed with excitement. They decided to do a gender reveal party, where they had a friend find out the gender of the baby and bake it into a cake. If the cake was blue, they were having a boy. If it was pink, they'd finally be getting that girl they've always wanted.
The day finally came, and it was time to cut the cake.
"Our friend Stacey did it, so she ran off, made a cake," Cher said. "Only she knew. Everyone's there, we cut into the cake, and it's either pink or blue. We were thinking 'obviously blue.'"
Stephen says that despite their love of boys, Cher was prepared for disappointment.
"She had been practicing her 'blue cake face' for about three days," he joked. "She just knew."
But it turns out, Cher was wrong, and the second they cut into the cake their dreams came true.
Cher was over the moon. She was finally going to get that girl she had always been hoping for. There was just one problem, money was tight and they only had boy hand-me-downs. There were shoes, sandals, winter clothing, summer clothing, and anything else you could possibly imagine, but it was all for boys.
"If you go to our attic, it's sort of like the Smithsonian of hand-me-downs," Stephen admitted.
However, Cher had been keeping a secret stash.
"What Cher didn't realize I knew for the longest time, was that behind the bins, which are stacked six high, there was one little bin that she has been collecting little girl things in over the years. Each time she gets pregnant, she buys one little thing hoping this will be 'the one.' And after the sixth boy she gave it away, she donated it. So we're starting from ground zero, we don't have anything pink."
It was going to be a struggle, but the family knew they would be able to figure it out. What they didn't know, was that Ellen was going to help.
The Other Reveal
After their video went viral, they caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres.
"Our friend Andrea posted the video because she thought our friends would want to see it, and maybe some far flung people," Cher explained. "That first night, she's like, 'Six hundred people watched your video,' and I'm like "˜Who?'"
"We're still trying to figure out who the other 6,500,000 people are," Stephen laughed.
The Lairs were invited onto Ellen's show, with the pretense of them being there to talk about their viral video. Which, admittedly, was half true. Ellen asked questions about their family and why they were so excited for a girl.
"[Ellen] seemed excited about our family, which we're excited about, and she seemed to share in our joy and our excitement about our kids," Cher said. "She was wonderful, sweet, thoughtful."
But then Ellen brought out a cake that changed the Lair's lives.
"The reason you're here is your reaction was so fantastic," she told Cher. "And we got you a cake because I want to see a reaction from you."
"I'm just gonna lift this up...it says you're coming to our Mother's Day show," Ellen revealed. "Thousands of dollars of everything you need as a new mom."
Soon after appearing on the show, Cher gave birth to a little girl named Ruby. Now almost two years old, Ruby is definitely stealing the show.
"Ruby has messed us all up. She reigns supreme. She's at an age now where she's funny and they're all teaching her to say their names," Cher said. "They love everything about her...they even love seeing what she's going to wear every day. They think she hung the moon."
"The boys think that the sun rises and sets in her room," echoed Stephen.
But if the Lairs thought that was the end of their surprises, they were wrong.
And Baby Makes Eight
Eighteen months after Ruby's birth, the Lairs announced they were expecting baby number eight.
"[The boys are] so crazy in love with Ruby that they wanted another one," she said.
This time instead of a cake, Cher and Stephen decided they would announce the gender on Superbowl Sunday using silly string.
"My friend was the only one who knew and she got cans of silly string for all the kids at the party. She covered the cans with labels so we couldn't see what color they were," Cher explained.
Turns out, Ruby was a 'fluke,' because the Lair tradition of boys started again.
"It was in my eyes and in my mouth and all I could see was blue," Cher recalled.
In June of 2017, the Lairs welcomed Fisher Boaz Lair to their already big family. His biggest fan? Ruby.
"She wants to eat him," Cher said. "She keeps saying she wants to hold the baby. When she came to the hospital to meet him she stuck her arms straight out and said, "˜Hold baby, hold.'"
As for the boys? Well, they liked the idea of another sister.
"For a hot second the boys were not thrilled that Fisher was a boy because they love Ruby so much, they were thinking they'd like another girl," Cher laughed. "But now that they've met him I think they feel like they're adding to their tribe."
And if you thought that was the end for the Lairs, they're not so sure. Stephen and Cher haven't ruled out having more kids, even though it means they have to drive in a 12-seater van now.
"That means there's room for two more!" joked Stephen.