Meet the Johnston Family: The Real Seven Little Dwarfs
Known as “the real life seven dwarfs” the Johnstons are the largest known family of achondroplasia dwarfs.
Interesting enough, parents Trent and Amber Johnston refuse to customize their home or their lives to fit their unique size.
“We strive to raise our children in the world that’s not built for them,” they tell ABC.
With regular sized furniture and fixtures, the Johnstons have adapted to these “larger-than-life” items. The family uses step stools to reach cabinets and sinks at home. And to turn lights on or off, they use sticks attached to light switches.
And while dwarfism is considered a disability, the Johnstons have refused to collect any disability payments. “I do believe there are little people that are truly disabled,” Amber said. “But our family is not.”
“We live within our means,” Trent Johnston added. “We try to do everything ourselves.”
Amber Johnston is a stay-at-home mom who leads their children’s PTA meetings. Trent Johnston, not only works as the grounds supervisor at their local college, he also manufactures car pedal extensions for people with dwarfism.
While Trent came from a family of dwarfs, Amber stood out as the only dwarf in her family. When they met at a convention, got married, and later had a child, they found out that their son was also diagnosed with achondroplasia dwarfism. Later on in life, they had a second child, also with dwarfism. While some parents would be alarmed, the Johnstons were happy; they wanted kids who were like them.
While they wanted a big family, Amber’s body could no longer tolerate any other pregnancies (When pregnant with their daughter Elizabeth, her 48′ frame measured 51′ wide).
The couple then made the decision to adopt. Now dubbed as the “Brad and Angelina of little people”, Amber and Trent adopted three other dwarfs from around the world: Ana from Siberia, Alex from South Korea, and Emma from China.
It’s not always easy for the family, especially the kids who face bullies when they’re in school and stares when they’re out in public.
“It’s frustrating more than sad,” their eldest son said. “I don’t think they would want us to stare at them.”
And while it may be difficult at times, the Johnstons have learned to live through life as a family. When asked what sets them apart, they replied, “We’re no different than other people. It’s just our height difference.”