Amber and Trent Johnston are living the American dream. They have been happily married for 14 years and have five children -- two biological and three adopted -- ranging in age from 6 to 13 years old. Life in their hometown of Barnesville, Georgia, isn't unlike life for most families… with one exception: All seven members of the Johnston family happen to have Achondroplasia Dwarfism.
Achondroplasia Dwarfism is a genetic condition whose characteristic features include shorter limbs and an enlarged head. Yet despite their smaller statures, the Johnston family has chosen not to modify their home with things such as lower countertops, shallow steps and lower light switches. Why? In this clip from the new OWN show "7 Little Johnstons," Amber explains that her childhood experience as a little person in an unmodified home turned out to be beneficial. "Growing up in a household that was not modified made me be able to adapt and be a stronger individual," she says.
This adaptability is something Amber and Trent want to instill in their five kids. "We're teaching our children how important it is to be able to adapt, not just in our home but also outside," Trent says. "We're telling the kids to use their resources. When they come in and say, 'I can't reach it' or 'I can't do it,' we'll tell them, 'Go back in there and figure it out.'"
Being able to adapt to the outside world as well as the home is a trait that's very important to the Johnston parents. "When you step out your front door, the world's not modified for us and it's not built for us," Amber says. "The best place for [our children] to learn how to adapt is in their home, from the beginning."
Earlier On HuffPost: Most Talked-About Celeb Parents Of 2012
Jay-Z Confirms Blue Ivy's Arrival Through Song
Two days after Hollywood's most anticipated baby was born, new dad Jay-Z released "Glory," a song in her honor. Through his lyrics, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/glory-jay-zs-song-for-daughter-blue-ivy_n_1194569.html">we found out</a> that Blue Ivy was conceived in Paris, Beyonce had a previous miscarriage, and that the infant might have a career in music (her cries are featured on the track). Beyonce, Blue and Jay continued to be at the top of public radar throughout the year -- when Beyonce was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/beyonce-breastfeeds-blue-ivy_n_1312950.html">photographed breastfeeding in public</a>, Blue Ivy got <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/25/blue-ivy-sneakers-bedazzled-photos_n_1912418.html?utm_hp_ref=blue-ivy-carter">bedazzled sneakers</a>, and that one time when she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/beyonce-and-jay-z-blue-ivy-yacht-photos_n_1857206.html">cruised on her dad's yacht.</a> “Regular” parents even <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/celebrity-baby-names-the-most-influential_n_1941005.html?utm_hp_ref=blue-ivy-carter">started naming their own kids</a> Blue this year.
Mayim Bialik Breastfeeds Her Toddler
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/jamie-lynne-grumet-breastfeeding-time-magazine-cover_n_1506096.html">Jamie Lynn Grumet and TIME Magazine</a> caught most of the heat for making a statement about extended breastfeeding this year. But it was a photo of Mayim Bialik that circled the Internet three months prior to the controversial mag cover that may have actually fueled the public’s heated debate about attachment parenting. It coincided with the release of her book <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/14/attachment-parenting-mayim-bialik_n_1515029.html">“Beyond the Sling”</a> and showed Bialik breastfeeding her 3.5 year-old on the New York City subway. <a href="http://www.kveller.com/blog/parenting/it-may-be-time-to-wean-my-three-year-old/">The photo first appeared on Bialik’s own blog, housed on Kveller.com. </a>
January Jones Eats Her Placenta
In March, “Mad Men” actress January Jones told People magazine that she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/27/eating-the-placenta_n_1383046.html">ate her own placenta for the health benefits.</a> The practice was then highly debated –- bloggers, moms, and media outlets all had something to say. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/03/26/mad-mom-january-jones-eats-her-own-placenta/">ABC labeled her a “Mad Mom.”</a>
Alicia Silverstone Pre-Chews Son’s Food, Spits It In His Mouth
The 35-year-old <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/alicia-silverstone-premastication-pre-chew-food_n_1389544.html">uploaded a video</a> to her website of her son, Bear Blu, eating mashed up food out of her mouth. The video went viral almost instantly and led to a bazillion percent* increase in the amount of people who can define “premastication.” *estimated
Hilary Duff Kept Luca’s Umbilical Cord Stump
Duff told People magazine in April that she insisted on keeping the umbilical cord though her husband was against it. “It’s in a Ziploc bag in the back of my makeup drawer. Luca’s going to think I’m a freak!” <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/hilary-duff-umbilical-cord-luca-birth_n_1440028.html">she said.</a>
Giuliana and Bill Rancic Have Baby Via Surrogate
Guiliana discovered she had breast cancer in 2011 when she started fertility treatments. The E! host decided to undergo <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/05/giuliana-rancic-breast-cancer-update-double-mastectomy_n_1129055.html">a double mastectomy</a> partially so that she could eventually have a child. Then, in April, she announced that she and husband, Bill, would use a surrogate to start their family. In August, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/giuliana-rancic-bill-rancic-baby-boy-edward-duke_n_1724091.html">the couple welcomed</a> Edward Duke Rancic.
Snooki Trades Fist Pumping For Breast Pumping
The news of Snooki’s pregnancy alone was shocking, yes. But her most newsworthy moments as a mom had to do with breastfeeding. First <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/11/snooki-breastfeeding_n_1586101.html">she confessed</a> that she was afraid to on "Good Morning America". Then, after baby Lorenzo arrived, she did a 180 much to everyone’s amazement and tweeted that she LOVES to breastfeed. And her statement “#BreastPump instead #FistPump,” was <a href="https://twitter.com/snooki/status/240565581194067968">retweeted over 9,000 times. </a>
Jessica Simpson Dresses Her Baby In A Bikini
The singer and fashion mogul shared a picture of baby girl Maxwell in a yellow crocheted bikini during an appearance on “Katie.” The in-house crowd “awed” but the photo drew much criticism online and by a certain British child welfare charity. Over 700 people on HuffPost alone <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/13/jessica-simpson-baby-picture-bikini-photo-katie-couric_n_1880611.html">weighed in </a>on whether a bikini is an appropriate outfit for a baby.
Kourtney Kardashian Practically Delivers Her Own Baby On Air
The Kardashian family is infamous for sharing very private details about their personal lives. But no one expected the graphic birth scene that Kourtney delivered (pun slightly intended) during the season finale of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” A close-up shot showed Kourtney practically pulling out her own baby, Penelope Scotland. "Kourtney just loves to pull out her own children," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/17/kardashians-finale-kourtney-baby-penelope-video_n_1889145.html">Khloe said on the episode. </a>
Tom Cruise Goes 48 Days Without Seeing Suri
When TomKat announced their divorce, everyone asked what would happen to 6-year-old Suri. It was quickly reported that Cruise would turn into an absentee dad to the little fashionista. He went <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/suri-cruise-hasnt-seen-tom-cruise-in-days_n_1898178.html">48 days without seeing his daughter,</a> RadarOnline.com said. Following that, the media kept a close eye on the dad-daughter duo – and discovered that he was making an effort. In true Cruise fashion, he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/tom-cruise-and-suri-cruise-day-disney-world_n_1725159.html">took her to Disney World</a>, broke the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/03/tom-cruise-scientology-church-bends-rules-seeing-suri_n_1936735.html?utm_hp_ref=suri-cruise">rules of Scientology</a> to see her, and brought her to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/22/suri-cruise-tom-cruise-thanksgiving-england_n_2175940.html">London for Thanksgiving.</a>
Julie Bowen Thanks Her Sister Wives
Twitter was quick to react when actress Julie Bowen thanked her “sister wives,” ie her nannies, when accepting her Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy. Some felt the comment was odd while others, including our own<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-belkin/julie-bowen-sister-wife_b_1909332.html"> Lisa Belkin thought it was perfect </a> (putting aside the whole polygamy thing, that is).
Kate Middleton Gets Pregnant With A Royal Baby – Or Two
The palace confirmed that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting under duress. Of course, the baby news almost broke the Internet, but it also helped to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/03/kate-middleton-morning-sickness-hyperemesis-gravidarum_n_2232015.html"> shed light on Hyperemesis Gravidarum</a> – a form of acute morning sickness that had put Middleton in the hospital. And because Hyperemesis Gravidarum is more common in twin pregnancies, the world is waiting with baited breath to see if Kate might deliver more than one royal baby.
More HuffPost Parents
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/14/cute-baby-videos-of-2012_n_2295032.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009">The Year In Cute! Viral Videos That Made Us Smile</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/kid-note-of-the-day">The Most Awesome Kid Notes Of 2012</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/20/parenting-news-predictions-2013_n_2301298.html">What Moms And Dads Should Expect To See In 2013</a> </strong>
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