Friday, July 9, 2010

Casting Closed

We were inundated by responses from our casting call! Thank you, one and all, for your enthusiasm.

Due to this unexpectedly overwhelming response, casting has now closed.

Those who submitted their information will be contacted by July 16, 2010 if you've made it to the next round of the casting process.

Please keep checking back at Hopeful Parents for updates about the show!


  1. My son Myles, was born just over 10 months ago with a condition called Symbrachydactyly affecting his left hand. Symbrachydactyly is characterized as having shortened or absent digits. Myles has a severe form which has left him with a shortened thumb nub and three skin nubs which we had amputated about a month ago. Symbrachydactyly occurs around the 8-12th week of pregnancy and has no known cause although it is thought to be genetic and not hereditary.
    My husband and I planed our pregnancy so I was fully prepared to take all precautions necessary to have a healthy body to carry our child. I refused to use lotions or cleansers that were not all natural, I ate and drank as well as my morning sickness would allow, I was never around smoke or alcohol so when we heard the news at our 20 week ultrasound that our son was going to be born without a hand we were shocked and devastated. We are not religious people so answers to our "WHY" this happened were not satisfied with "God wanted him this way". I was so unsatisfied with ethereal explanations that I started doing my own rudimentary research for causes of such disorders. I found a study being conducted at the University of California at San Fransisco. I contacted the lead researcher and got our family enrolled to donate saliva once our son was born. I spent the rest of my pregnancy on line contacting other parents and surgeons looking for prognosis and possible surgical interventions.
    After a very difficult few months of pregnancy ending in three days of labor and an emergency two hour long c-section my son was born with an apgar of one. He was not breathing and was in critical care do to being stuck in my small pelvis. His hand was not of the greatest concern. Once he recovered and was sent home our family was able to grieve for my son's missing fingers.
    I have faced a lot of criticism on on-line support groups from parents and people living with Symbrachydactyly for deciding to have his skin nubs removed. We decided to have his nubs removed at the same time he was having PE tubes put in his ears. We had the nubs removed for a number of reasons. The first being we feared that he may pull the pinkie nub off while playing or doing some other activity. This nub was held on by a really small piece of skin and looked really delicate. The second reason was when he got cold his nubs would turn a really dark purple which showed the circulation was poor. I was afraid that when he played out in the snow he would get frostbite and not realize it and if this happened he would risk loosing more tissue than just the nub. The third reason was social. The surgeons as well as my husband and I felt that the nubs were an added source of ridicule when he starts school. We are very happy with the results and hope that in the near future he can have his little thumb released from his palm to give him a pincher but this has yet to be decided. My heart is broken for his differences and I would give him my left hand if I could.
    I have said from the moment we found out about his hand that I would need to have my bad feelings out now while he is still too young to understand because once he is aware of his differences I will need to teach him that sometimes life sucks and you just have to work harder than some but your rewards will be greater too if you have a positive attitude and never give up. We will not teach him that "God made him this way". If he chooses to believe in a higher power I don't want him to be resentful for his difference. We will teach him that he is unique and loved for his inner beauty and strength and happens to have a visual and difference.
    I am saddened by the lack of people with visual limb differences shown on TV. I hope your documentary will show a child with limb differences who is cognitively sound. Thank you for your time in reading my statement.

  2. My name is Laurie Hovater Meadows and I am part of the Mantel in the Morning Show on 99.5 WGAR in Cleveland, OH. I am also the sister of an "extreme parent" who deserves to be part of your reality-based show. My sister, Jackie Smolinski has 3 children all under the age of 5 and her middle son, my nephew Luke (who is only 6 weeks younger than my own son) suffers from many medical conditions that still remain a mystery to many of his doctors. Luke has seizures, he turns blue when his brain apparently forgets to tell his lungs to BREATHE, he has sleep issues, eating issues and he is developmentally delayed. I think my sister spends more time at doctors and hospitals with Luke than she does at her own house but she still manages to do the normal housewife activities of cleaning, cooking and caring for two other kids (and a husband) while also maintaining a passion towards her hobby of scrapbooking which helps her keep track of Luke's growth and all of his medical information. Jackie often sounds more like a medical professional than a special needs teacher which ironically is what she used to be before having her own special needs child. In fact, Jackie used to babysit for just about every special needs child in our neighborhood and her now-husband, Steve used to help her before they became parents of a special needs child themselves and they must often make Luke their sole focus as he requires CONSTANT supervision and attention. This past October, Service Dog Clarabelle joined the family after my sister was able to raise more than 11-thousand dollars for Clarabelle's training so that the dog could detect seizures and alert Jackie and Steve in the middle of the night and give them some peace of mind knowing that Luke was as safe as he could be while sleeping. My sister has been through more during her 5 years of parenting than most parents go through in a lifetime and she deserves some special attention to share her story and help others cope with the challenges of "extreme" parenting. Thank you for your consideration and feel free to contact me at if you'd like more information.

  3. Well I was busy with my "extreme parenting" and working on my application and by the time I went to submit it casting was closed. Wishes I would have got the opportunity to share my story. Although I am sure there are millions of "Extreme amazing parents" in this world who are very deserving of this opportunity, I do wish you would have kept with the original deadline you posted! The paragraph I was perfecting is now to be a waste of my time where in my life I do not have any extra! If you consider opening up the application process until the 16th please let me know- Thanks!

  4. Thanks for expressing your concern, Jaclyn. My guess is that there are others in your same predicament. We were unexpectedly flooded with responses, and can only choose a handful of families. We are reading and considering every single submission. At this point, we are incapable of considering more -- that's how many we received in a very short time frame.
    If we do open up submissions again -- which is unlikely -- we will post it on the site.