For many couples across the world, there may come a time when they have to make a big decision and discuss the idea of starting a family together. Jeremy and Kaley Carling from Farmington, Utah, can certainly relate to that, as they toyed with that notion a few years ago.
Jeremy and Kaley first met back in elementary school, before attending the same middle school and high school. During their time together at the latter, the pair then formed a romantic relationship, which eventually led to their marriage. Indeed, the couple told The Rachael Ray Show in February 2017 they were pretty much “soulmates.”
With that in mind, Kaley and Jeremy wanted to add a new face to their growing family following their wedding. As youngsters, the couple both harbored a real ambition of becoming parents. However, they would have to overcome a number of difficult obstacles to realize that particular dream.
Sadly, Kaley discovered that she couldn’t have children as a result of some health issues. So Jeremy and his wife looked to adopt a child instead, but two potential opportunities fell through. Despite that disappointment, though, their lives changed forever over the course of one day in October 2016.
During various stages of a person’s life, they might engage in a number of romantic relationships. However, there are other people who find love at an early age and stay with that same individual for the foreseeable future. On that note, two lovebirds from Utah could certainly place themselves in that latter category.
Jeremy and Kaley Carling have known each other since they were young kids, progressing through the same schools together. As teenagers, the pair then took their relationship to the next level, with things turning romantic. And looking back at that time, Jeremy believed that their bond was always going to last.
“Kaley and I went to grade school, junior high and high school together,” Jeremy told the Rachael Ray Show. “We started dating [in] our junior year of high school and knew from a young age that we would just be together. We’re soulmates.” From there, they finally tied the knot.
After celebrating the wedding, Kaley and Jeremy looked to realize an ambition that they’d held for several years. The former said, “We had always wanted a family. [It’s] something we had always looked forward to since we were young.” Despite their enthusiasm, though, the Utah couple suffered a major blow at that point.
During Kaley’s youth, her doctor gave her some life-changing news. Following a visit to the physician, the Farmington resident discovered that she had both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The medical ailments bear some similarities to each other, but the former is the more serious of the two.
Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are two types of autoimmune disease, which can cause a number of different problems in a person’s body. The website Diabetes.co.uk explains, “Autoimmune disease refers to [an] illness or disorder that occurs when healthy tissue (cells) gets destroyed by the body’s own immune system.”
At that point, the web page then offered some more in-depth insight into the condition. It continues, “The immune system is the body’s protection against harmful substances such as bacteria, viruses and toxins. All of which contain harmful antigens. To counter this, the immune system produces and sends antibodies (special proteins) to destroy these antigens.”
The post adds, “However, in some cases the immune system cannot distinguish between healthy, harmless tissue and antigens. And, as a result, it attacks and destroys normal tissue. This autoimmune reaction (or ‘attack’) is what triggers the development of an autoimmune disease.” With that in mind, Kaley had to deal with her two conditions.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints of certain appendages, ranging from a person’s feet to their hands. In turn, the condition can permanently damage those areas if it’s left untreated for too long. Furthermore, this form of arthritis can also lead to issues like a reduction in weight and fatigue.
Unfortunately for Kaley, this ailment can’t be cured, but there are ways that it can be managed throughout a person’s life. A post on the NHS website reads, “Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment enables many people with rheumatoid arthritis to have periods of months or even years between flares. This can help them to lead full lives and continue regular employment.”
As for the treatment, sufferers are usually prescribed medicine to help ease the painful symptoms, while some take part in activities such as physiotherapy. For many people, dealing with a condition like rheumatoid arthritis would be stressful enough. However, Kaley had to contend with an additionally serious problem alongside it.
Much like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus can affect the joints of an afflicted individual, but its symptoms don’t end there. The disease may lead to the inflammation of several vital organs as well, like your heart, lungs, brain and kidneys. But despite its severity, lupus isn’t an easy condition to identify.
“Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments,” reads a description on the Mayo Clinic website. “The most distinctive sign of lupus – a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks – occurs in many but not all cases of lupus.”
From there, the Mayo Clinic then offered a bit more information about how lupus can emerge in a person. It continued, “Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While there’s no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.”
Alongside the risk of organ inflammation, lupus can lead to another worrying complication, especially for individuals like Kaley who wanted to start a family. The Mayo Clinic post added, “Women with lupus have an increased risk of miscarriage. Lupus increases the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia) and preterm birth.”
Despite the risks, Kaley and Jeremy still pressed ahead with their plans, but over a two-year period they struggled to get pregnant. Consequently, the couple looked to solve their fertility issues with some treatment. Sadly, though, that didn’t work either, with the lupus and rheumatoid arthritis playing a role.
At that point, Jeremy and Kaley had a contingency plan. The latter recalled to Parents.com in 2016, “We had tried to conceive for a couple of years, however due to my lupus and RA, that road was proving to be extremely hard on my body. My husband and I decided to take a break from ‘trying’ and to focus more on fostering and/or adoption.”
As it turned out, Kaley had harbored an ambition to adopt a kid prior to the troubles she experienced with Jeremy. The Farmington resident told ABC News in 2016, “Ever since I was a teenager and I knew what fostering and adoption was, I wanted that to be a part of my life. Whether I was able to have children biologically or not.”
With that in mind, Jeremy and Kaley took in a number of foster kids over the following period, trying their hand as parents. In addition to that, the pair also tried to adopt, but the process proved somewhat frustrating. Indeed, they missed out on two potential opportunities, with the second occurring in June 2015.
“We were determined to have a family of our own,” Jeremy told the Rachael Ray Show. “We went through two failed adoptions and it was heartbreaking.” Touching upon the second opportunity, Kaley said, “We had a birth mom [who] we got really involved with – we took care of her for four or five months leading up to the birth…”
Kaley added, “[The mom] changed her mind a week or so before the birth. We had a nursery that was all set up ready to go and just having that constant reminder of the loss was a really difficult thing.” However, no one could’ve predicted what happened next, as there was a shocking twist.
In August 2015 Kaley said that the mother in question was imprisoned due to her involvement with child sex trafficking. As a result of that, she and Jeremy looked to become the permanent guardians of the baby and her sibling. Ultimately their plan didn’t work, as the little girl stayed with her family.
But the story then took a tragic turn, as Kaley revealed that the youngster and her relative died not long after the ruling. Unsurprisingly, the news left her and Jeremy absolutely heartbroken. She told ABC News, “It was a roller coaster ride that wouldn’t end.”
Meanwhile, Kaley and Jeremy finally received some good news on the same day that they heard of the mom’s apparent crime. The couple discovered that two young foster children named Indie and Haven required a home at that point. But the big surprises didn’t end there, though.
Later that day, an expectant mother contacted Jeremy and Kaley. The woman, expecting twins at the time, wanted the prospective parents to adopt her babies. Incredibly, within a matter of hours, the Farmington residents looked set to add four new faces to their family.
However, there was still some way to go following that whirlwind day in the summer of 2015. After the twins’ birth, one of them needed to stay in a neonatal intensive care unit for a significant period. A few months on from that, the babies Weslie and Summer arrived in Utah in June 2016.
Not long after that big moment, Jeremy and Kaley then received some more positive news. The budding mom told the Rachael Ray Show, “Over the following year, everything proceeded with the twins. And then in September, that’s when we learned that the foster sisters were able to be adopted as well.”
Following an incredibly difficult journey, Kaley and Jeremy finally realized their dream over the course of a very busy day. She added, “Both of the adoptions for the foster girls and the twins were finalized within 24 hours in October last year,” she added. Off the back of that, the new mother quickly shared the news on social media.
Kaley posted a photograph of herself, Jeremy and their four adopted children stood alongside a judge in a courtroom on Reddit. Writing under the username zerotofourinfive, she titled the post, “Four kids in less than 24 hours!” From there, the picture went on to generate just under 10,000 upvotes and over 700 comments.
Among all those comments, Kaley posted a message herself, summing everything up. She wrote, “Last week my husband and I were finally able to make our family official! On Wednesday we finalized the adoption for our twins (private adoption). Thursday we adopted our foster children that we have had for 14+ months.”
“Four kids two and under is no joke, but our dreams were realized (times four!) and we are so grateful and happy!” Kaley continued. After that, Jeremy’s wife then reflected on the hardships they’d faced leading up to the big day. In her mind, the outcome made it all worthwhile.
Kaley added, “Our journey to get to this point has been anything but easy. Health issues, infertility, failed adoptions, death. Heartbreak. And more heartbreak. It seemed like it would never end. We are here to give hope to those in a similar situation to persevere, to push through. It will all be worth it in the end.”
However, there was one more twist to this particular story. Following the arrival of the four girls back in the fall of 2016, Kaley quit her job to look after them. As a result of that, the family were now relying on Jeremy for their income, but the money wasn’t just covering their daily expenses.
Indeed, there was a lot more. “Between the immediate expenses [and] our adoption expenses unfortunately we racked up over $20,000 worth of debt,” Jeremy explained to the Rachael Ray Show. So to help combat the financial issue, one of Kaley’s relatives came up with an interesting idea.
Kaley’s aunt Jennifer Deyton set up a GoFundMe page for the pair, with a target of $20,000. The mom said, “The response has been inspiring and amazing. And the ones that made me the most emotional are the $5 and $10 donations from people who just want to help.”
Meanwhile, Kaley and Jeremy then received some significant help from an unexpected source. During their appearance on the Rachael Ray Show in February 2017, the couple were given $15,000 by U.S. Bank. And as for the GoFundMe page, that’s since raised over $9,000 in donations from the public.