How 'The Little Couple's Growing (Adopted) Family Got Started
It has been a momentous season for The Little Couple so far. Although we've watched Jen Arnold battle cancer this season, it seems like all of the good she and husband Bill Klein have experienced recently has outweighed the bad. In the season premiere of the TLC docuseries, Arnold and Klein picked up their second adopted child, Zoey, from India. And in last week's episode, their older son, Will, celebrated his first birthday in the U.S., having been born in China.
Thankfully, Arnold is now in remission, but her cancer diagnosis was just one of many obstacles she and Klein have had to overcome on their journey to expanding their family. While they may seem like a fabulous foursome now, it hasn't been easy for The Little Couple to raise a family.
After being married for about a year in 2009, Arnold and Klein were ready to start their family, and they began by researching to see how they would make this happen. Since Arnold and Klein both have dwarfism, they weren't sure if Arnold could carry a child. They decided to meet with a fertility specialist in Los Angeles to determine their options. There were risks involved for Arnold to both carry a baby and have her eggs extracted for a surrogate pregnancy. However, Arnold and Klein learned that Arnold's eggs would be relatively easy to collect, which rightfully made them (and us, too!) excited to try for a family.
Arnold and Klein eventually decided that, given the health risks, surrogacy would be the best option. It turned out growing fertile eggs wasn't easy, and after several attempts, Arnold was finally able to have her eggs successfully extracted. The couple worked with an agency to find the right woman to carry their child for nine months and decided a woman named Cindy was the one. Soon, they were ecstatic to learn that the embryo had been successfully transferred to Cindy, and she was pregnant with Arnold and Klein's first child.
But then, Arnold and Klein got devastating news: Cindy had a miscarriage and lost the baby. "Pretty much by the next day, I woke up thinking, 'I gotta try again,'" the ever-strong Arnold said after the loss. They did try again, but a second attempt at getting pregnant with a surrogate didn't work out.
Arnold and Klein decided they would put surrogacy on the back burner and turn their attention to adoption as the way to build their family for now. From the start, they knew they wanted to adopt a child with dwarfism because, having lived with the condition themselves, they felt they would have a better understanding of what the child was going through.
After working with agencies, they learned a baby boy with dwarfism from China, then-named Ben, was up for adoption. Just one look at his adorable picture with cheeks that just begged to be pinched, Arnold and Klein fell in love and set their sights on bringing Ben home. Things finally went well for Arnold and Klein in the baby department as they were approved to be an official match for Ben, and they received approval from the Chinese government to adopt their son, whom they later named William.
Even before they could welcome William to the family, Arnold was notified about another child up for adoption, a baby girl from India, who also had dwarfism. She and Klein decided that she would be a perfect addition to their quickly growing family, and they wanted to adopt her, too.
And then, the day finally arrived. It took four years, but just like that, Arnold and Klein were parents. A few months later, they prepared to adopt their daughter, Zoey, from India. But on what should've been nothing but a happy occasion for Arnold, she became ill during the trip and had to leave India early, forcing Klein to finish up preparations to bring Zoey home. When Arnold returned to the U.S., she found out her illness was cancer.
Now, luckily this long, bumpy road to building a family seems to be over. Every week, we see the loving, sweet relationship between Arnold and Klein now carried on between the parents and their children. It just makes us fall in love with the compassion and resiliency of The Little Couple over and over again.
Images: TLC (2)