When the tallest person in your relationship barely hits the 4-foot mark, people are bound to look at you differently. After all, anything that deviates from societal norms is bound to draw the attention of people. Since debuting back in 2009 on TLC, The Little Couple has centered around the couple of Bill Klein and Doctor Jennifer Arnold-Klein, a happily married couple whose height and battle with a rare spinal disorder have made for interesting and compelling television. The duo has been a voice for a section of our society that's hardly heard from, and the show itself has been a success. Thus far, The Little Couple has aired 134 episodes that have spanned the course of 8 seasons. Keeping a show on television is an incredibly difficult task, so seeing The Little Couple excel the way that has is incredible. With news that the show will be returning for its 9th season in the latter part of 2017, fans are anxious to see what adventures await the couple and their two children.
With exposure to millions of people on a weekly basis, the Klein family has been pretty forward about airing their business to the world, but this doesn’t mean that everything has been brought to light. Like any television series, there are plenty of secrets that are meant to stay behind closed doors. Whether it's a matter or privacy or controversy, these 15 facts about the Klein family are guaranteed to give you a better understanding of their way of life away from the cameras.
15 The Series Staged Events
While the genre of reality television is meant to bring real-life events to mainstream audiences across the world, the bulk of what's being shown on these shows is scripted and planned ahead of time. It's a smart way to produce a television series, as the chaos of everyday life can bring terrifying and unexpected results to a show. Because directors and producers like to be ahead of the curve, many of the important family events that you see on The Little Couple are completely staged. The occasions themselves are real, but the way that they're presented for fans of the show is scripted, taking away from the reality aspect of the show.
Not only are the events completely staged, but the family also ends up celebrating each occasion twice. What we see on camera is a façade, and the family celebrates any important occasion in private. It's completely understandable that they would do this, but future episodes of the series are going to seem ridiculous as the audience possesses this knowledge.
14 Adopting Children Came With Growing Pains
Bringing a new person into any family unit can prove to be a tricky situation. After all, you’re asking a person to completely shift his or her existence to fit in with an already established way of living. These pains can be felt on both sides, especially in the case of adoption. Kids are brought into a relative stranger’s household, completely shattering his or her preexisting life. With such a massive change, it's no wonder that these kids and their new parents experience a period of adjustment that can be hard on both sides. The Klein family has adopted two children since they became married, and when speaking candidly about their experience, they revealed an all-too-familiar story.
In an interview with In Touch, Jen discussed her daughter’s transition from her original home in India, and she pulled no punches when talking about her daughter’s lack of enthusiasm about coming to live with them in the United States. According to Jen, “She really wanted nothing to do with us.”
13 Their Adoption Was Met With Criticism
Adopting a child is an incredibly important decision, and the couples that are willing to bring a stranger into their lives are incredibly brave and compassionate. It's one of the biggest decisions that a couple can make, and the decision is usually met with plenty of support from friends and family alike. Adopting two children, however, is something that's rarely done, but the Kleins aren’t your normal family unit. While both of their children weren’t adopted at the exact same time, their adoptions were close enough to each other to raise a few question marks from their fans. Because of their exposure from the success of the series, plenty of people gave the family their opinion about their personal decision.
The couple took everything in stride, and despite having some bumps in the road, things seem to be going well for the family unit as a whole. Jen compared the situation to having twins, and the unexpected nature of the situation has been handled well.
12 They're Cautious About Their Children’s Camera Time
Having a ton of exposure to people around the world can be a daunting task for an adult, and we've seen plenty of examples of people who can’t handle fame. There's an abundant amount of pressure that comes with living a life in the spotlight while maintaining a hit series after all. The Klein family, for all intents and purposes, has dealt with everything well, which should come as no surprise considering all of the adversity that they faced while growing up. Despite this, the family is very protective about the amount of time that their children spend in front of the camera. Their show is broadcast in millions of homes, giving total strangers the opportunity to learn what their children look like and what their names are.
The children are around camera crews constantly while filming, so to them, this is a normal thing in their household. Fortunately, they haven’t let their time on set affect their lives. The Kleins are doing everything they can to give their children a normal life in an abnormal living situation.
11 The Couple Began Dating Online
Because of their rare condition and being around the same age, Bill and Jen had met for the very first time when they were around 10 years old. In an interview with TLC, Bill talked about their first meeting, a meeting that his wife, Jen, has no recollection of. Despite having a childhood encounter, the two lovebirds had to wait roughly two decades before finding each other online and eventually kindling a romance that turned out to be true love. When they were in their 20s, the two had people who attempted to set them up, but all efforts around that time failed. Nevertheless, true love always finds a way, and a decade later, the two found each other.
Hearing the couple talk about their first conversations is endearing, and Bill was the one to make the first move. They began talking regularly, and eventually, the two fell in love. The website that they used was geared towards smaller people, and while finding love on the internet is rare, these two made it happen.
10 Jen Underwent 22 Surgeries Before Turning 18
Already dealing with a bone disorder that caused her dwarfism, Jen has been through more medical problems than most people in the United States will ever deal with. Her entire life has been spent going in and out of hospitals, and she's no stranger to being operated on. Despite this, she was always scared to go under the knife, and each time she was operated on, Jen feared for her life. Fortunately, her fears were unfounded, but the number of surgeries that she dealt with at an early age is a staggering number.
By the time that Jen turned 18, she had undergone 22 surgical procedures. This had to be an incredibly demanding routine for the younger Jen, and it's what helped her become the strong woman that she is today. Because of her condition, her surgical history didn’t end at 18, and she's since undergone many more procedures.
9 Jen’s Cancer Battle
As someone who's continuously overcome the odds with regard to her health, you would hope that someone like Jen would have an easier go of things later in life, but this hasn't been the case. When she and her husband tried to conceive a child, Jen tragically miscarried the baby. She developed a mass in her uterus, and surgery was required to remove it from her body. From there, Jen developed pneumonia, causing plenty of medical complications for the reality star. Chemotherapy sessions were required, which are a taxing ordeal for those unfortunate enough to have to experience them. It was revealed to People that she had her final chemo session in 2014, and the cancer has since gone into remission, giving the family a moment to breathe.
Through it all, her husband Bill has been by her side, giving help whenever he can. It's a true testament to the type of relationship that they have.
8 Jen Dealt With Discrimination While Applying To College
When most people picture a doctor in their minds, a person who's under 4-feet tall usually doesn’t spring to mind. More often than not, people's preconceived notions can get in the way of what's really in front of them, and this can cause problems. During the application process of getting into medical school, Jen experienced a type of discrimination that no one should have to go through. While interviewing at the University of Miami, the conversation at hand centered around Jen’s stature, leaving a sour taste in her mouth. Imagine interviewing for a job to make an impact in someone’s life, and the only thing the interviewer cares about is your stature.
Fortunately, not everyone in the world is stuck looking through a narrow lens, and she was eventually accepted into the medical program at Johns Hopkins. It just goes to show you that your dreams are possible even with a roadblock in the way.
7 Jen’s First Memory Is A Terrifying One
Many people can hardly think back to their very first memory, and in all honesty, this could be because most first memories center around being at home with your parents or doing something entirely mundane. The same, however, cannot be said for Jen Arnold, whose first memory is downright terrifying. Her life has been filled with some hectic moments, so it should come as no surprise that her first memory isn’t a pleasant one.
She's quoted as saying, “My first memory ever is of riding in the back of the ambulance that came for me. The lights were flashing, and my parents were tucking towels around my head, trying to make sure I was secured for the trip to the hospital.” That had to have been a very scary experience for the young child, and that memory has left a lasting impression on her life. Now that she's a mother of two, let’s hope that her children have a better first memory than she does.
6 Jen Was Operated On By Ben Carson
Doctors, along with teachers and those from several other professions, are the unsung heroes of the world today. While actors and athletes are often treated as heroes by most people in society, it's the people in hospitals and classrooms who are the real heroes. Doctors have a monumental impact in each of our lives, ensuring that we stay healthy and doing their best to help out those in need. Because of the number of surgeries that she's had throughout her life, Jen has been operated on by a number of different surgeons, though only one of note will ring a bell with mainstream audiences. Back in 2016, Dr. Ben Carson was a presidential hopeful in the election, though he ultimately fell short of reaching his goal of becoming President.
Prior to this, however, Dr. Ben Carson was a neurosurgeon, and Jen was just 2 years old when he operated on her. Dr. Ben Carson successfully performed a cervical spine fusion on the child.
5 Bill’s Alcohol Abuse
Throughout his entire life, Bill was different from everyone else, and while most people are able to put stuff like this aside, there are those who find it funny to tease and belittle people for simple amusement. Growing up, Bill was teased mercilessly and beaten up by bullies who were several times his size. Though you may think something like this would stop once adulthood hit, you'd be wrong. Bill continued dealing with nonsense even while in college, and this drove him to abuse alcohol in order to cope with what was happening to him.
Substance abuse is a dangerous road to travel, leading many down a path from which they never return. Many people’s lives are ripped from them thanks to poor decision-making, and Bill was heading down this dark road. Thankfully, he was able to get things together, ultimately steering clear from substance abuse in order to cope with what was going on in his life.
4 Bill Was Suicidal When He Was Younger
Seeking help when finding yourself in the depths of despair can prevent a tragedy from occurring, though some people won’t always seek this option. Everyone deals with adversity and hardship in his or her lifetime, but most people don’t find themselves contemplating taking their own lives. Because of the rough time that Bill was having while in college, he grew incredibly depressed, leading him down a path that involved substance abuse. While this in and of itself can destroy a person’s life, Bill didn’t just stop at the bottle. At one point, he stood on the ledge, looking down at the city street beneath him, ready to end his life right then and there.
After contemplating his mortality, he made his way back inside of his dorm, choosing life over suicide. Thankfully for Bill and his family, his decision to stay alive gave way to what's become an incredible life.
3 The Couple’s Surrogate Had A Miscarriage
As we mentioned earlier, Jen had a miscarriage while the couple was trying to conceive naturally. This alone must've been an unbearable pain to live through, and many of us have seen what a situation like this can do to a family. Because of medical complications, the couple decided to take another route, utilizing the help of a surrogate in order to have a child. Initially, all was going according to plan for the couple, and they were excited at the prospect of having their own child. Sadly, their joy eventually turned to pain when they learned that their surrogate had miscarried their unborn child.
To make matters even harder, Jen was at work when her husband called her to deliver the devastating news. In the blink of an eye, this family’s life was turned upside down, but fortunately, they were able to stay strong for each other while dealing with the loss.
2 They Have Strict Relationship Rules
Relationships are never an easy thing, and in order to make one work successfully, it's important to find common ground with your partner. Couples will never see eye-to-eye on everything, and that isn’t a bad thing. What can be a bad thing, however, is not being on the same page as your partner, and once a trend like this begins, a relationship is often doomed. For Bill and Jen, they may not agree with everything, but they have similar principals that have helped make their relationship a success. Moreover, the couple has a set of rules to ensure that they remain happy and healthy together.
First, they never go to sleep mad after an argument. They make sure to have a clear conscience and no lingering issues before bed, which is smart. Next, they divide the housework based on who's more tired. Everyone living in a house should chip in, so this one seems obvious. Lastly, communication is paramount. Everything has worked so far, so maybe they're on to something.
1 The Production Lawsuit
The war for film rights can get downright ugly between film studios, and the world of television is no different. Discovery, the owner of The Little Couple, engaged in a legal battle with LMNO about the rights to the content of several programs, one of which was The Little Couple. Few know this, but Discovery owns TLC, the channel that airs The Little Couple and a number of other popular reality shows. Because the legal battle between the two companies raged on, the shows that were caught in the crossfire were shelved, leaving fans wondering if they had been canceled.
In these situations, the studios would normally duke it out, but Bill and Jen have gotten themselves involved in the battle, siding with Discovery. The couple was making claims alleging fraud and breach of contract against LMNO. Despite the extended break, the show resumed, much to the delight of fans.
Sources: Huffingtonpost, Intouchweekly, Inquisitor, People