Get to Know the 7 Little Johnstons
MEET THE JOHNSTONS!
Trent and Amber Johnston and their five children make up the world's largest known family living with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, and star on the TLC show 7 Little Johnstons (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET). The point of the series, the two say, is to show that they are like any other American family. "I grew up in an all-little-people family," Trent tells PEOPLE. "[But] we didn't have a 'woe is me' attitude. My parents raised us just like every other parent would raise their child." Amber has a similar spirit of self-reliance: "I was the only little person in a family of average people, but my parents raised me the same as my siblings. Plus I'm the oldest, so even though I was smaller, I was always in charge!"
After welcoming children Jonah and Elizabeth, the Johnstons decided to adopt three more children from countries where babies with dwarfism are often abandoned — so along came Anna, Alex and Emma.
Get to know the kids here, then watch the full episode of People Features: 7 Little Johnstons, available now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN or download the PEN app on your favorite device.
The first of their adopted children, Anna was raised in a Russian orphanage until age 4. "There was an adjustment period," says Amber of bringing her home. "She wasn't used to men."
Born a premature baby, Jonah spent six weeks in the NICU fighting for his life. Now "he's our athlete — and the most argumentative!" says Amber of their oldest boy.
The "social butterfly" of the family had brain surgery at 8 weeks old, plus corrective ankle and femur surgery as a teen.
After Alex's adoption was approved, an airline escort flew the then-6-month-old from South Korea to Georgia. "They handed over the baby and the diaper bag, and that was it," Amber recalls.
Trent and Amber flew to China in 2010 to adopt abandoned 5-year-old Emma: "She had a meltdown when we left the orphanage, but as soon we got home she fit right in," and " "never looked back," Amber z