Meet Michelle and Dan Hamill of TLC’s Our Little Family!

our-little-family-tlc Lori Acken

One of 6-year-old Jack Hamill’s toddler twin sisters wants him to turn the television down. Right now. She’s not going to tell him again — which she informs him in a voice that handily drowns out the offending appliance in the first place. It’s one of several amusing interruptions in the chat I’m having with the kids’ parents, Dan and Michelle Hamill, who — along with their adorable, tow-headed brood — are the stars of TLC’s Our Little Family, which premieres Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 10/9CT.

Dan and Michelle Hamill and their kids, Cate, CeCe and Jack star in TLC's Our Little Family
Dan and Michelle Hamill and their kids, Cate, CeCe and Jack star in TLC’s Our Little Family. Photo: TLC

All five of the Hamills live with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, and throughout the series, Dan, a  48-year-old professional woodworker, and Michelle, 40, tap into their own experiences to help their kids adapt to the world around them while celebrating family milestones and events, and everyday ups and downs. I caught with the Hamills to talk about their family and their hopes for the series.

MORE: We talk Our Little Family Season 2 with Dan and Michelle Hamill!

Channel Guide Magazine: Let’s start with how you because a family in the first place. What’s the love story?

Dan: We met an event. Little People of America has an annual national event but then there are smaller regional events in the spring and fall and we met at a regional in New Jersey. That was the first Little People event I ever went to. She’s from Maryland and I’m from Canada, so we became friends at first. We had mutual friends and we hung around a lot and dated other people for maybe two years and then at some point we started dating and the rest is history. Engagement, marriage, kids …

CGM: … and a TV show! Tell me how the series came to be.

Dan: The people at Discovery Communications posted something on Facebook that they were looking for a little person contractor and a friend of mine posted my name. They asked for my permission to call me and they did. We talked on Skype and they sent people out to speak to us. I guess they liked what they saw and wanted to share it with America!

CGM: Did either of you have initial hesitations about opening your lives with the cameras?

Michelle: Well, we have three kids. The girls are too young to realize what is going on, so my main concern was for my son Jack because his life is going to be out there and he’s in kindergarten and what people might say and comment and things like that. He was my No. 1 concern

CGM: Did it help knowing that TLC’s The Little Couple and Little People Big World have been so well done and well received?

Michelle: Oh, of course! That’s the best thing. Because of those two shows and how wonderfully they have been done, I was almost positive that this show would go in the same direction. But I’ve never really had my life out there so at the same time, that was my concern. And then, as I thought more about, Jack is in kindergarten and for all those moms out there who have little-people kids, I want them to see how a six-year old can develop and become just like everyone else.

CGM: Tell me more about using your experiences to help your kids navigate growing up in an average-size world.

Michelle: It’s definitely a plus that we have been through life as little people and we know what to expect and we can relate to our kids when stuff happens. But I definitely think the world is a lot different today than when we grew up, so that’s going to be the challenge as they grow up.

Dan: It’s certainly different than if you’re an average size parent with a little-person child — you’re probably much more concerned than we are in some respects. We’ve been there and that will help at any crossroads we come to, but we also look back on our childhood and we went through it relatively unscathed. Of course it’s still scary and you want everything to go well for your child and even better than what you had. But we didn’t have any big nightmare memories, so we don’t have as much fear going forward with our children as an average-sized person who is new to all this might.

What we try to do personally — we hope the show will do moving forward — is for the average-size parents that are members of the association for the Little People of America, if their child happens to be a little person, we want them to go there and use all the benefits of the Association. We like the fact that the parents all socialize together and become friendly with each other and provide a confidante that is going through the same thing. We encourage them to speak to us to make sure that average-size parents of little people speak to the little people parent of little people. It’s not two separate groups.

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CGM: Tell me more about Jack, Cate and CeCe. What are we going to learn about them as the series progresses?

Michelle [laughing at the shrieking in the background]: You’re going to see that the girls are very dramatic!

Dan: The girls are definitely more high-maintenance than Jack was.

Michelle: You’ll see that Jack is pretty easy-going. He has fun with basically everything that we do throughout the series — you only really see him sad in one storyline. Other than that, what you see on TV is how he is. He’s pretty great.

Dan: He’s really outgoing and witty and funny and he’s been a great boy. Hopefully he continues that way and stays as polite and as caring for others as he is now. And the girls are unique in that they have a soul mate right there beside them 90-percent of the time. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s bad. They’re fun together, but they’re also uniquely different.

Michelle: You’ll definitely see there are different sides to the girls, even though they are twins — they’re definitely very different individuals.

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CGM: What are you most hoping people enjoy most about Our Little Family?

Dan: Well, we want them to be entertained first and foremost. We want to tell the story that we’re little, but we don’t want that to be the only story that we tell. We want people to see how our lives are different from theirs because we’re little and things we run into, but we also want people to see that our lives are really close to theirs — probably closer that they think. And people who have twins might watch it for the twin thing. Hopefully people get different things out of it.

Michelle: There’s a lot of humor it. Like dinner — we’ve done a couple of dinner scenes and they’re quite humorous.

Dan: I’ll also be interested to see some of the things that went on with Michelle and the girls while I was at work.

Michelle: Ha!

CGM: The Little Couple and Little People, Big World have lasted far longer than either family imagined, turning them into bona fide TV stars. Have you given that part any thought?

Michelle [laughing]: It’s a little scary. I’m trying to take one step at a time! [laughs]

Our Little Family premieres Tuesday, February 17 at 10/9CT on TLC.

Photos and video: TLC

45 Comments

  1. This show is so boring. I will not be watching anymore. The mom is extremely aggressive and rude. I was put off too when she told the people “no pics” while waving her finger in their faces. Ummm, you have a show on TV and are showing your lives to the world. You want the money and fame but don’t want the other normal things that come with it? Well, good luck to them. Just another boring family trying to get rich and then whine about people bothering them. The twins are out of control and constantly screaming. It’s not interesting tv at all. These show are getting so bad on TLC.

  2. My grandaughter and I are in love with this family. she is 8 and comes to visit every weekend. Since the show started we all laugh about how many times we watch it in a day. I tape it every week so that we can watch it together. We are totally star struck by Jack and the family. We were talking and wondering where in Canada Dan is from. We would travel from PEI to visit with this family anywhere in Canada. This is our dream together.

  3. Love this little family! Hopefully the show will serve to abolish some of the ignorant stereotypes about little people. I am already a fan! Canada loves “Our Little Family”! 🙂

  4. They have the most beautiful kids. They look so sweet and seem very happy. What more could you ask for?

    • You are the adorable family, Jack is bright , funny Cece and cate are adorable smart
      Congra you are a very great family.
      Keep up hope you show will continue

  5. Wow. I looked up this family because I wanted to share with Michelle that I am a woman of above average height and I needed her to know that people have been cruel to me, more specifically, tourists. I also wanted to say that the pictures may have been related to the fact that her children are adorable and people love twins! After reading some of these posts I am beginning to see that her fears may be true. Not having children because they may be little? Are you kidding me?? What the heck happened to humanity? How about ignorant, intolerant, homophobic people should not be allowed to have children. That is an America I want to live in! I had a good reason to post. I wanted to uplift someone and let them know that they are not the only one struggling with the public opinion. Some of you need look deep inside and find peace with the fact that you are mean and sound stupid. I am not saying that I love her TV personality but I don’t want anyone to feel bad or worry about what people think. I would have an “edge” too if this is the way people treat other people! whoa.

    • Sorry, still upset. No one can deny that she is a beautiful woman and her family is beautiful! She is a great mom and yes, I know that subjecting yourself to reality TV opens you up to criticism but this is too much. Get over yourself and do something nice for someone tomorrow(it might help your terrible karma).

    • It is irresponsible for anyone with a serious genetic medical condition to have children. That’s the fact. It’s not about being little or being different – it’s about all the pain and suffering that comes along with achondroplasia. These include joint issues, bone deformations, lung issues, ear infections, dental and nasal problems, even heart problems or hydrocephalus and more. Why would you inflict that on an innocent child if you didn’t have to? It is incredibly selfish and unethical.

    • You’re asking whatever happened to humanity? These parents chose to exploit their differences for personal gain and fame. I wonder if the kids even had a say? Question the humanity there.
      These adults opened up their famiy to scrutiny as soon as they cashed that tlc check. Ma and Pa Hamill sold out. Look in the mirror Michelle and wave that finger at yourself. They may be little but there is nothing little about their thirst for fame.

  6. I liked the show at first but they are way too political, praising the Tyrant ,Obama ,supporting gay marriage and Michele is rude. I like 19 kids, the little couple, little people. And the gypsy from Ireland.

    • What is too liberal? The definition is to be open to new behavior or opinions and broadening knowledge. Is the opposite better? I am guessing you will say yes. It makes me sad that people use liberal (open) to be bad. The opposite means closed and not seeking knowledge. College helps:)

  7. If you were out with your family doing a show or not people can still have a little manners then to do that. I wouldn’t care for it. Working or not wasn’t bout cameras and being filmed it was cuz of the family being small & thought parents taught better manners then that! I’m just saying

  8. Well it sounds like someone didn’t get a photo they wanted and are angry. I like the show and if they make the money for that fancy boat, good for them. Its not for any of us to judge. I will be watching to night.

  9. I thought this might be like the rest of the shows on little people. Yes, I was right except the statement was made on an ad about the show that didn’t bode well with me. The parents are excepting money for this series. They know they are on TV. Why then is she hurt that people want to take pictures of them? Isn’t that why they are on television; because they are different? Can’t have it both way lady!

    • I agree. There is a family with 15 camera people, audio and video people, a whole production and the mom says…NO Pictures!! Why does everyone want to take pictures? Is she joking?

    • The family comes off as two faced. They want the money from the show, but don’t take pictures. You can’t have it both ways. You don’t want people to stare, then I won’t watch. I deleted the shows from my DVR and will not return. Let the series tank.

  10. Absolutely! The Hamills have a TV show now, so they need to get used to having their picture taken! If they can be on a weekly show, what’s the beef about someone taking a picture? It goes with being a celebrity. It doesn’t mean they are considered freaks! They could see all the videographers filming your family, and the sound guys with the boom microphones, so I’m sure they were thinking, “Hey! Celebrities! I need to get a picture so my friends will know I saw them in person!”….. Or maybe they just thought what a cute family! She shouldn’t automatically assume the worst of people. Michelle treated that person very rudely, but it is those very people who will make or break that show….and subsequently affect their future income. They should appreciate and respect the fans or they won’t appreciate or respect them, either, nor watch them. If she think everyone sees them as freaks or different just because they are dwarves, why on earth did they want to do a TV show that exploits that very thing? That’s the question! Especially on TLC, a network known for exploiting “different” people. Dwarves, large families, people with freaky fetishes and habits, weird lifestyles, conjoined twins, extreme cheapskates, people with extreme deformities, hoarders, morbidly obese, you name it. I just don’t get why they want us to watch the show, but we can’t take a picture of our own. They signed up to do a reality show about a family of dwarves, yet she is outraged, thinking we see them as “different!” Isn’t that a bit odd?

  11. I saw a preview of this weeks upcoming show, where Mrs. Hamilton was complaining because someone was taking their picture. She was mad, and said it is sad that the world still sees them as different. This struck me as strange, that they sought fame by committing to a national TV show where the whole nation can see their family, yet she is angered when someone tries to take a picture. As for being considered different…..NEWS BULLETIN: You ARE different!! That’s why you got a TV show!! Why do YOU think you got a show?? And since you wanted the fame that comes from a TV show, why are you complaining?? Enjoy the attention and the money! That’s what you wanted! You’ll be able to get a nice home of your own instead of rental! And by the way, it’s no more an insult for someone to take your picture than to watch your show! And it’s the show that brings the dough! So stop complaining! You ASKED for it!

    • I completely agree. If you are going to allow the show to be filmed and cameras following every move, then there shouldn’t be any complaining about someone taking picture of their own. Your family is getting paid to have this series. If one is going to cash in on the fruits of the TV show then lighten up on the curiosity of the public. Take the example of “The Little Couple” and don’t belittle the public for being curious. It is HOW you perceive the public is how your children will grow up in society in a good healthy way.

  12. I just happened to stumble onto this new show for the “the little family “…..and I was wondering where they lived and found this website. I began to read some of the comments and was amazed at the ignorance. It’s one of those things, if you don’t want to watch it, then don’t. It’s as simple as that, you dimwit! I live in the Glen Burnie, Maryland area, which is in the middle between Annapolis, and Baltimore ….so that’s pretty neat. I think the Hamill’s are very brave to have their family in the spotlight, and for them to open their arms for those that are interested in all aspects of life. To see how different, and yet how similar all of us our. They are taking an opportunity that’s given to them to help guide their children, and to educate us, the public. I think they are a great family, and we owe them applause. Thanks

    • Well, your a typical jerk. Duh…I gave the program a chance and I watched 3 episodes be for they went political. I turned off the show and will never watch it again.

  13. Seen the family in person and I see the love and joy as any family experiences out and about. I am extremely happy for Dan as I know him.

  14. @ Julie B: who says I am intolerant or uneducated? actually I am very educated and do not waste time with the garbage like this that is on television these days. I have a fulfilling career and wonderful family life. I do volunteer work regularly and am a prominent member of my community. I guess you are so quick to judge others because you are unhappy and unfulfilled with your existence. I simply stated that this family looks annoying and that I, for one, will not be watching.

    • you need a slap upside the head savannah you sound like a spoiled little drama queen to me why don’t you get your head outta you ass and look at the world how it really is

  15. Adorable family. I hope people take this only to better understand that each life is beautiful, different, and full of obstacles that can enrich you and those who surround you. If you are mean and ignorant, you should take a look at yourself and know your negativity is harbored out of your own insecurities.

    On a side note does anyone know where they live, seems like a super cute town!!!

  16. I think this family looks annoying. I am sick of all the reality shows in general and now their “where will the journey take them”? It looks like to the bank and maybe to buy that $55,000 boat they are looking at.

      • I agree, came to this JUST by seeing the ads for this new show!! She comes across as a NOT VERY NICE person and I decided, ain’t watching this mess !!!! Doubt that I’m missing ANYTHING WORTH WATCHING !!

  17. Lots of people should not have children. Especially those that spew intolerance and hate, but they do. The Hamills, appear to love their children, which many that have children do not.

  18. I think these people are the absolute worst of selfishness. Bringing more children into this world. Knowing.knowing. the health risks and complications. And surgeries they will. Face their entire lives. Why would anyone purposely do that to children. And tlc you should be ashamed.

    • Dear Linda,

      I assume by your comments that you are an expert in the field of Skelatal Dysplasia and are well aware of the risks that Dwarfism carries. This is good, because clearly you are no expert in writing. It saddens me to see comments with so much emotion, so poorly written. If you disapprove of the lives of others shared on television turn off your T.V. And read a book. As to your position on others reproductive choices, be glad your parents chose to keep you despite the chances you might turn out to be an angry, judgmental, nosey, busybody.

      • Melinda….you hit the nail on the head!!! LINDA is a sad, angry individual whom obviously lacks attention in some way or form to the point she must lash out on websites about happy families wanting to share their story! People like LINDA, need to take a very long look at themselves because they only spread their foolishness to other like minded fools that have nothing better to do! May God have mercy on your judgmental soul LINDA.

      • I totally agree with you Melinda,
        Linda seems to think she knows sooooooo much, she should get a life, The Hamill family are the most wonderful people, their children are very well behaved, I just love this family, they are awesome there are so many kids out there that are just so disrespectful of other people. I hope this show continues on TLC

    • I agree with Linda and further more why are there getting to be so many reality shows. I’m getting sick t death of all the things people can come up with and call it a show. But what gets me is the Little people shows. It’s getting to be worse than the “Say yes to the dress” shows.
      And that lady on the little family commercial says “I can’t wait to see where the journey takes us” she really means look at all the money we can make if we can go further. I want to know if they sent in a video of themselves to TLC and they jumped at it or what the heck is going on here???

      • If you read the interview, you will learn that Discovery found the Hamills, Reese. And Linda, the couple themselves say that they could not be happier with their lives and believe the same will be so for their children. They could not have known if the kids would be born of small stature since both are the only little people in their own families, and as the parent of a child with special needs, myself, I can assure you — having a fulfilling life has absolutely nothing to do with whether you have what others can immediately recognize as a disability or not. As with everything on television, if you do not approve of the shows or the people on them, you are more than welcome to watch something else. Lots to choose from out there.

    • Linda, Savannah, other intolerant and uneducated people…. How is anything this apparently loving family is doing hurting YOU? Live and let live, I say. Hatred and intolerance come out of people that are unhappy with their own existence.

    • Linda,

      You need a life. Go join a self help group, volunteer, go help someone other than yourself. I’m sure you are older than a teen age girl but you do not act like it. The internet is a great outsource for your ignorance. Your words are just soooo big here, I hope your this blunt and disgusting through your own life.

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About Lori Acken 1195 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.