For several years, Bill Klein and Dr. Jennifer Arnold, the Houston-based husband-and-wife subjects of TLC’s “The Little Couple,” have wanted to become parents. They tried using a surrogate, which ended in a miscarriage.
But when the show returns for a sixth season Tuesday, April 30, fans will see that the spouses’ dearest wish has come true, as they have adopted a 3-year-old boy from China who, like his new parents, has a form of dwarfism. He’s named William Rijin Klein, with his birth name now incorporated as his middle name.
Calling from Houston, Klein begins to speak when a squeal is heard in the background.
“Yeah,” he tells Zap2it, “Mr. Hungry over here. We’re getting him his breakfast. We were used to having meals when it’s convenient. It turns out it’s not OK with a kid. He tells us when he wants to eat, and it’s kind of like clockwork.”
Klein and Arnold have discovered the wonders of nonperishable snacks.
“We’ve figured out all sorts of snacks,” says Klein, “which are good at room temperature, that don’t get fuzzy in the car. My wife is now a vending machine.”
The couple hadn’t necessarily intended to adopt from overseas, but the search for a little person to adopt eventually led to William, who was born in Inner Mongolia.
“In places like China and Russia,” Klein says, “they don’t necessarily look at children with special needs in the same way, and they don’t have the same facilities internally. We don’t know the birth parents. They left him in the hospital emergency room the day he was born, or a couple of days after.
“Their loss is certainly our gain, because anybody that meets this young man is dumbfounded with his personality, which is nothing sort of awesome.”
Arnold, faces the challenge of balancing medicine and motherhood.
“My job comes home with me every day,” she says. “I want to be a mom, too. I want to enjoy this time. We worked for how many years to become parents, and I don’t want to miss a beat of it.”