Heather MacLaren Johnson and her husband, Todd Johnson, are the parents of three children they adopted from Russia at ages 6, 4, and 19 months. Anna, Zach, and Nick are now 24, 22, and 18. Neither Heather nor Todd knew that all three kids had numerous, invisible, permanent disabilities resulting from prenatal exposure to alcohol. Chronic grief over shattered dreams has resulted in unending praise for spiritual lessons learned in the valley of shadows.
In her twenties, Heather taught elementary school children with emotional and behavioral challenges. During that time, her first husband was hospitalized and diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. He eventually abandoned their marriage and later committed suicide. Consequently, Heather pursued a doctorate in clinical psychology to understand and help people with chronic mental illness.
Heather has extensive experience working with the chronically mentally ill in numerous outpatient and inpatient settings. She completed her doctoral internship at the North Chicago Veterans Administration Hospital in Illinois and maintained a private practice prior to adopting her children.
Heather views loving and advocating for her kids’ numerous physical, psychological, and cognitive special needs as the most challenging and spiritually fruitful experience of her life. She is thrilled to serve on the Board of Chronic Joy Ministry!
Radical hope. Compassionate change. Equipping those affected by chronic physical and mental illness through community and education rooted in Jesus Christ.