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April 17, 2020

Meet '7 Little Johnstons' — a Glimpse into the Big Family's Inspiring Adoption Story

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"7 Little Johnstons" is an American reality television series that debuted on March 31, 2015. The series follows the lives of the Johnstons — a family of seven that lives with achondroplasia dwarfism.

The cast of the series includes Trent Johnston, Amber Johnston, Jonah Johnston, Elizabeth Johnston, Anna Johnston, Alex Johnston, and Emma Johnston. 

Since the series first aired on TLC in 2015, it has gained a strong fan base because people felt the authenticity and transparency in the depiction of the lives of the Johnstons. The show is currently in its sixth season. 

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MEET THE JOHNSTONS

Trent and Amber Johnston have been married for twenty-one years. The couple shares two biological children — Jonah and Elizabeth, and three adopted kids, Anna, Alex, and Emma.

The patriarch of the Johnston family, Trent Johnston, who is popularly known as Mr. Fit-it, works as a grounds supervisor at a local college in their hometown, Forsyth, Georgia.

The matriarch of the family, Amber Johnston, is a full-time housewife and takes pride in making sure her family is healthy and happy. The 4-feet-tall mother-of-five takes her time to instill the right morals in her children to help them deal with the challenges of the world.

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Jonah Johnston, 19, is the oldest biological child of Amber and Trent Johnston. The teenager juggles JV soccer, driving lessons, and marching bands.

Elizabeth Johnston, 17, is the second biological child of the couple. She is a hard-working honors student, and back at home, she is the family's social butterfly.

Anna Johnston, 18, is the third child of the family and was adopted from Siberia, Russia, at the age of four. She is recently healing from final fusion surgery.

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Alex Johnston, 13, is the fourth child of Trent and Amber Johnston. He is the jester of the family. Emma Johnston, 13, is Trent and Amber's fifth child. She was adopted from China at the age of five. The teenager is a big ball of energy and always makes her presence felt.

Amber doesn't seem to be concerned with the speculations and explains that their rocky relationship is as a result of living with five teenagers.

Despite the challenges of raising five children, Amber and Trent have managed to do quite an exceptional job in building a tightly knit family. Although Amber admits that they have their differences, they put their egos aside and work things out.

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During a recent interview, while speaking about what has helped her marriage last through the years, Amber said:

"Always remember the two of you are a work in progress! You will always be changing, growing, and you must stay committed to working at it together."

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The Johnstons are the largest family known with achondroplasia dwarfism, but Amber and Trent take extreme measures to make sure their children experience a normal life. 

The couple does not modify any of their furniture to fit their size. Instead, they emphasize to their kids the importance of adapting to their environment and making use of the resources at their disposal. 

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AMBER AND TRENT JOHNSTON'S AMAZING ADOPTION STORY

Unlike Trent, who came from a family with a history of achondroplasia dwarfism, Amber, on her part, was the opposite — her parents and siblings were average sizes.

Amber's first encounter with other dwarfs was as a teenager when she started attending little people's conventions. She met Trent at one of these events, and after dating for about four years, the pair decided to tie the knot. 

Five months later, Amber was pregnant with their first child, and the couple wasn't sure if the child would be like them or average size.

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During the 31st week of the pregnancy, they learned their baby boy would also have achondroplasia dwarfism. They remained happy and eager to welcome their baby.

The couple revealed that their second pregnancy was a grueling and dangerous one, and at some point, endangered the lives of both Amber and their daughter Elizabeth. 

Amber and Trent always dreamed of having a big family, but it was evident that Amber's body could not go through another pregnancy, so they decided to adopt.

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Inspired by their desire for a family that would fit into their mold and moved by the sad plight of some dwarfs abroad, who are deprived of education and other necessary opportunities, the couple swung into action.

The pair who are fondly called the "Brad and Angelina of Little People" adopted Anna from Siberia, Alex, from South Korea and completed the adoption of Emma from China in 2010. 

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In 2017, during an episode of TLC's "7 Little Johnstons," the couple considered the possibility of adopting a sixth child, but nothing materialized.

Apart from continuously advocating for little people, the Johnstons are big advocates of adoption and encourage more people to either adopt or provide support.

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"SEVEN LITTLE JOHNSTONS" NEW SEASON

"7 Little Johnstons" new season is packed with so many highs, including Jonah's first semester in college, Elizabeth and Anna's prom special, and the family spending their first Christmas in their new home.

But as the fifth season of the TLC series concluded, much controversy was generated from the growing strain in the relationship between Amber and Trent Johnston.

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The rumors have gone wild, with some fans speculating that the couple might even be heading for a divorce in the new season. 

Amber doesn't seem to be concerned with the speculations and explains that their rocky relationship is as a result of living with five teenagers. The mother of five told GoodHouseKeeping:

"We not only hit a big mark with the kids and all of them having their personalities, but it's definitely put a heavy strain on Trent and I."

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While she admits there is a strain, she is confident that they would work through it as they have done all through their marriage.

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