Taking over the world. The Johnston family originally made their onscreen debut with their own reality TV show, 7 Little Johnstons, which followed their family of seven.
The big brood is run by parents Trent Johnston and Amber Johnston and includes their five children. The entire family has been diagnosed with a type of dwarfism called achondroplasia.
Trent, 45, and Amber, 42, who tied the knot in 1998, gave birth to their first son, Jonah, 21, that same year. They later welcomed their daughter Elizabeth, 19, two years later. Anna, 21, Emma, 16, and Alex, 16, were all adopted from different areas in the world. Even though Trent and Amber adopted Alex before Emma, he’s actually the youngest in the family. He was born on November 15, 2005, while Emma was born on July 1 of the same year.
Alex’s journey from South Korea was documented by the TLC series, with Amber admitting that it wasn’t easy for the family at first.
“South Korea requires the adoption fee to be paid in full at the beginning of the process, therefore, we did not have the funds or the time to fundraise,” Amber detailed to Rainbow Kids in 2011. “Every day it took us to acquire the funds necessary was one more day our son was not receiving the medical treatment and care he needed.”
The Johnston family’s pastor initially attempted to offer his help with raising the money.
“Overcome with emotion, I explained we do not have weeks or months!” Amber noted. “Fifteen minutes after returning home from that conversation, our phone rang. It was our pastor informing us that a couple from our church inquired about our adoption that same evening and volunteered to write out a check for the entire amount, $15,150.”
After Alex joined the Johnston group, he experienced several health scares over the years. In 2015, Alex went in for a routine MRI at the doctor’s office and stopped breathing while he was sedated. The little one didn’t have any further issues after the appointment, but two years later the family revealed that Alex required brain surgery.
“It’s something that I know is best for Alex but as a mom, it’s scary. He’s going under anesthesia. He’s having his head opened up. His spinal cord’s going to be exposed,” Amber explained on the reality show in 2017. “There’s always risks involved. He could come out paralyzed. He could not make it through the surgery. If I could take away all the pain, if I could lay down and be the one to be operated on, I would in a heartbeat.”
Trent, for his part, also weighed in on his son’s medical procedure, adding, “When they come and push him through those doors, it’s tough. Sending your child back to have their brain operated on — it’s a totally different level.”
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Alex recovered from the surgery without any complications and viewers have continued to see him thrive on screen. He now runs his own Etsy store, Alex Paper Co, which specializes in origami gifts and other art items. Alex’s transition to high school has also allowed the youngest in the family to prosper.
“Alex BEHIND the camera 🎥,” the family’s official Instagram account captioned a photo of Alex filming a football game for his school’s broadcasting club in August.
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