When you look at Jen and her brood of girls, the last thing you expect is that she’s a former Air Force linguist and would have classified herself as a ‘helicopter mom’. Brood is an appropriate word in this case, both because Jen has five girls and because of the dozens of chickens that roam through the backyard.

Jen’s raising the girls on her own in North Carolina and they regularly visit their dad in Colorado. They’re home schooled and their world initially seems like a chaos of creative projects, animals, and gardening. But it’s a deliberately cultivated environment, that supports the girls’ self-exploration and creative discovery, things Jen feels she didn’t have growing up in her adopted family.

"I always felt like I had all these thoughts, these artistic feelings. I always said I was a frustrated artist inside because I had all these things that I wanted to express and I knew that a way of artistically expressing them was what I needed, but I had no outlet for it."