little did they know

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Good evening everybody!
I was reading a post on a rescue dog and I found an idiomatic expression I can't translate: little did they know
What does it mean? :confused:
Here is a passage from the post:

"Jonny Hickey was a young boy struggling with autism. The developmental disorder is characterized by difficulty in social situations, and it kept Jonny in a world of his own. Not even his parents could get close to him. Little did they know, Jonny was about to make a very special connection when they visited the shelter’s open house."

Thanks in advance. :)
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