At some point, you’ve dreamed of a long overdue promotion — and a fat pay raise to boot. You’ve probably dreamed of the perfect, all-smiles marriage or relationship, too. And, if you’re human at all, you know how terrible it feels to fall short of your dreams.
In the early 2010s, these high school sweethearts from Utah had a vision of the perfect future. So imagine their pain when medical complications thwarted their dreams, and they finally realized it might be impossible to get what they wanted more than anything…
Even if they had wanted to, Kaley and Jeremy of Farmington, Utah, could not escape each other. As kids, they went to the same elementary school, the same middle school, and then the same high school. But that was fine by them.
Because with that closeness, comfort blossomed, and in their junior year of high school, the two started dating. Soon, they fell in love and dreamed of a future together. Of marriage. Of family.
But even the power of young love was not enough to make that dream a reality. Kaley suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and managed her health with medication. While the medication kept her well, it also prevented her from having children.
Jeremy and Kaley Blog
But having children meant the world to the couple. So she stopped taking the medicine, and, in between bouts of great pain and suffering, tried again to have a baby.
This attempt failed, too, and soon Jeremy and Kaley faced the very real possibility that they would never have children. After surely painful discussions, the two decided to wait five years before trying a third time. There was a sense of hopelessness to the agreement.
Jeremy and Kaley Blog
During the agonizing wait, Jeremy and Kaley — now married and known as The Carlings — considered adoption, a not-so-foreign concept to Kaley, whose father was adopted.
So the couple called friends and family, and asked if they knew — or if anyone they knew, knew — of anyone looking to put a child up for adoption. In fact, someone connected them to a woman pregnant with her fourth child.
The Carling Crew Blog
The woman asked the Carlings if they were interested in adopting her fourth, or perhaps her youngest child who was still a toddler. The Carlings nodded enthusiastically, only to have their hopes dashed in July 2015.
It was then the soon-to-be-mother informed them she did not want to put any of her children up for adoption, which left the Carlings back where they started: childless. Again, the two discussed ways they might finally form a family.
The Rachael Ray Show
Kaley suggested the two become certified foster parents, just as her sister had done. “It was either going to lead us to our family,” Kaley said, “or worse-case scenario, we provide shelter and love and food and all those things for a child until we get our family.”
So Kaley and Jeremy made that happen, and on August 11, 2015, the Carlings received two phone calls. The first was from the foster agency, which wanted to place sisters Haven, 13 months old, and Indie, a newborn, in their care. Joyfully, they agreed.
But happy as they were, the sisters entered the Carlings’ home with a caveat: they would, eventually, be adopted by a family member. These were not kids that would be featured in Carling Family Christmas cards for years to come. But then there was the second phone call…
The second phone call came from a woman in Arizona, who informed the Carlings she was pregnant with twins, and she was looking for parents to adopt them. Definitely interested, the couple drove south to meet the mother.
While coordinating with the mother in Arizona — and hoping she wouldn’t rescind her offer like the previous mother — the Carlings raised little Haven and Indie. Though temporary, they enjoyed their little family.
Eventually, the Arizona mother agreed that Kaley and Jeremy would make the perfect parents for her twins on the way. The Carlings rejoiced, knowing that, in just a few days’ time, they’d have their family!
And in January 2016, Kaley and Jeremy welcomed twins Weslie and Sunny into their family. Four kids exhausted them — and their wallets — but they nevertheless enjoyed the limited time they had with their foster kids.
Soon after bringing the twins home, however, the foster agency informed the Carlings the family member planning to adopt Haven and Indie, then 18 months and 5 months old respectively, gave up custody! So the Carlings had another decision to make.
Of course, for the couple who wanted nothing more than to have a family, the decision was easy. Within 24 hours of bringing the twins home, the Carlings knew they’d be keeping Haven and Indie permanently.
By October 2016, the paperwork was finished and the adoptions were official: “I went from being the last of my friends to have kids,” Kaley said, “to being the one with the most of the kids.”
And Jeremy? “I have only seen my husband cry maybe three times in 12 years,” Kaley said, “and October 20, when they were finalized, is one of those times.” After their long adoption journey, the Carlings no doubt felt an overwhelming sense of relief!
The Carlings went from zero kids to four in about 24 hours — that’s not something you see every day!
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