Kate and Jon Gosselin’s oldest children, twins Mady and Cara, were only six years old when we first met them on Jon and Kate Plus 8, the TLC hit show that made them famous.
Although their sextuplet siblings stole the spotlight from them, the pair were still an integral part of the show, and every so often entire episodes were dedicated to them.
Over the course of five seasons, we've watched the girls grow up, go through the trials and tribulations of life in the limelight, and in the later seasons, try to cope with their parents' divorce. At one point in time, the twins were so impacted by the collapse of their parents' marriage and the ensuing media frenzy that they had a fall out with their father.
Last year, shortly before her 16th birthday, Mady revealed that they hadn't been in touch with Jon for awhile.
"This year I'm going to turn 16," said Mady. " I'm going to be learning to drive, taking the PSATs, thinking about college...so much is going on in my life. And the last thing I have time for is a toxic relationship."
Jon later confirmed that at the time he did not see his daughter "that much, or often", then added that they were "kind of not talking right now."
Fast forward to a year later, it looks like the family has put all the drama behind them just in time for Mady and Cara's 17th birthday. The pair celebrated turning a year older on October 8, and to mark the special occasion, both Kate and Jon had some heartfelt things to say on social media about their daughters.
Kate took to Instagram and posted an adorable throwback photo of Mady and Cara, along with the caption, "And then you blink, and they TURN SEVENTEEN!! Happy birthday to my girls! My heart hurts because you’re almost adults and will soon leave for college, yet it smiles because I am seeing who you’ve become: brilliant, beautiful, kind, caring, logical, responsible, empathetic, honest, amazing individuals!"
She added, "I love you both SO VERY MUCH! Let’s have a wonderful day together celebrating Y<3 U!” she continued and added the hashtags “#Cara #Mady #SeventeenthBirthday #ILoveYou #ForeverAndAlwaysNoMatterWhat."
....And then you blink, and they TURN SEVENTEEN!! Happy birthday to my girls! My heart hurts because you're almost adults and will soon leave for college, yet it smiles because I am seeing who you've become: brilliant, beautiful, kind, caring, logical, responsible, empathetic, honest, amazing individuals! I love you both SO VERY MUCH! Let's have a wonderful day together celebrating Y❤️U! #Cara #Mady #SeventeenthBirthday #ILoveYou #ForeverAndAlwaysNoMatterWhat 🎁🎈🎂🎁🎈🎂🎁🎈🎂🎁🎈🎂🎁🎈🎂
Later on that day, Jon also shared his own tribute, which was also accompanied by a photo of the twins when they were much younger.
"Happy 17th Birthday Mady and Cara!!! Love you, Dad," wrote Jon in the caption.
Despite growing up in the spotlight, the teens have maintained a relatively low profile. They're occasionally spotted running errands alongside their mom, and more recently they were featured on People.com.
Contrary to popular belief, the girls told People in another interview that fame has not harmed them in any way.
"People expect us to be damaged,” Cara said, as Mady chimed in: “People think we’re supposed to be messed up, like, ‘Oooooh, the poor Gosselin kids, they’re going to be scarred for life, waaaaah.’ Here’s the big news: we’re not messed up.”
Cara is said to be the quieter twin, whose dream is to go to college somewhere "far away" and become a doctor.
"Cara holds more inside, but she processes it in her own way," Kate said of her daughter.
As for Mady, she's full of energy, and is considering pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.
"I would love to perform in some way. And I feel like I could write some sort of memoir already," Mady told People.
We look forward to seeing what the future holds in store for the Gosselin twins!
Do you remember watching Mady and Cara on TLC?