James Van Der Beek has a big brood and loves spending time with all of his little ones — and documenting their cutest moments on social media.
The Dawson’s Creek alum and Kimberly Van Der Beek wed in 2010 and welcomed Olivia that same year. Their daughter became a big sister two years later when Joshua arrived, followed by Annabel, Emilia and Gwendolyn.
In October 2019, the Dancing With the Stars contestant told Us Weekly exclusively how he and the producer discipline so many children at once.
“The nice thing with this many [kids] is that you see your parenting mistakes in real time,” the actor explained. “Anything you do to them, they immediately do to each other. You realize, ‘Oh wait, we’ve got to really dial in this conflict/resolution thing. [It’s about] just setting the right example.”
One week after the Connecticut native told Us exclusively that he and Kimberly were open to having another child and had “not closed up shop,” he announced that baby No. 6 was on the way with an ultrasound clip.
“Hearing the heartbeat was something we never take for granted,” he said on DWTS at the time, referencing his wife’s previous three miscarriages.
He went on to write on Instagram: “@Vanderkimberly and I have been through three of those first appointments to discover either no heartbeat, or no baby, and she wanted to share this moment. Miscarriage (a word that needs a replacement – nobody failed to ‘carry,’ these things sometimes just happen) is something that people rarely talk about, and often go through in secret. But there needs to be zero shame around it, or around giving yourself the time and space to grieve. We decided to put ourselves out there – not knowing what we’d find – in an effort to chip away at any senseless stigma around this experience and to encourage people who might be going through it to open themselves up to love & support from friends and family when they need it most. Happily, for us – this time — we walked out with tears of joy. #AndThenIDancedAQuickStep.”
But just a month later, James revealed that he and his wife had lost their baby in a miscarriage. “My wife Kimberly went through every expectant parent’s worst nightmare. We lost the baby,” he tearfully said as he shared the news during the November 18 episode of DWTS. “The little soul that we had expected to welcome into our family took a shortcut to whatever lies beyond. You never know why these things happen. That’s what I’ve been telling my kids.”
The couple secretly welcomed a baby boy named Jeremiah in November 2021. “After experiencing late-term #pregnancyloss twice in a row (both at 17+ weeks), we kept this one quiet,” James explained via Instagram at the time. “Truthfully, I was terrified when I found out.”
Keep scrolling for an adorable look at James’ best moments with Olivia, Joshua, Annabel, Emilia, Gwendolyn and Jeremiah.