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Inspiring Stories
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Jen Bricker, the amazing acrobat who was born without legs

Jennifer Bricker-Bauer

@jenbricker | Instagram

Katarzyna Matusz-Braniecka - Aleteia - published on 09/27/23

Given up for adoption at birth, Bricker has become famous and successful doing what she loves -- and she even discovered a sisterly connection with her hero.

Jen Bricker is a dancer, acrobat, aerialist, and motivational speaker. She inspires people around the world, and she is truly happy.

Jen was born without legs and given up for adoption at birth. Anyone who might think that she feels sorry for herself would be wrong, however. Fortunately, Jen was adopted by a new family who loved her and encouraged her. She has chosen to look at herself and at her life in a positive way; despite her difficulties, Jen sees that her life is beautiful and worth living beautifully.

Surrender control

In her autobiography, Jen recommends surrendering to God and letting him take care of our affairs. And she argues that we are much better off for it, because his gifts, ideas, and blessings are bigger and more wonderful than anything we could ever imagine. She says that her life is successful because she lets God guide her instead of constantly trying to be in control.

What has this attitude brought her? Jen has performed with Britney Spears on tour to promote her Circus album, has been a guest on many TV shows, gave a TEDx Talk, spoke at the Special Olympics in Southern California, performed at many prestigious venues and spoke in Hong Kong, among other places. She has also been inducted into the Gallery of Legends Hall of Fame by the World Acrobatic Society.

To live a successful and fulfilling life, Jen Bricker recommends surrounding yourself with people who strengthen and encourage you, not people who limit you. At the same time, she says, you need friends who will be honest with you. Dream big and dare to push your limits.

Discovering her hero was her sister

Since her childhood, Bricker had been a fan of Dominique Moceanu, an Olympic gymnast. One reason she identified with Moceanu, she told Guideposts, is because she knew that both she and Moceanu had Romanian backgrounds, and even looked a bit alike.

At a certain point, Bricker asked her parents if they knew anything about her birth family. Her mom revealed to her that Moceanu was actually her sister. They hadn’t told her earlier because they had found out when Jen was still very young. Also, the family situation was complicated — Moceanu had obtained emancipation from their biological parents.

Bricker says, “I respect them for keeping that information until I was ready to learn it because that was not easy, but in this instance, it was really the right thing to do.”

Bricker found out she and Dominique also had a younger sister, Christina. With some trepidation, she sent Dominique a letter with documentation showing their connection. A few weeks later, she received a letter in reply, starting what would become a warm relationship. In the same letter, Moceanu told Jen, “You’re about to become an auntie!” Jen appreciated being made to feel like part of the family so quickly.

Since then Bricker has also developed a relationship with her birth mother. By contrast, her biological father initially rejected attempts at contact. He later repented and expressed a desire to meet Jen, but he died before they could meet in person.

A growing family

On July 12, 2019, Jen married musician Dominique Bauer. After some years together, the couple now have a baby.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jen Bricker-Bauer (@jenbricker)

The boy was born on July 31 this year, ahead of schedule. “Absolutely nothing went as we planned for our birth, but in the end God gets the glory!! Meet our little man Malachi Bauer,” Jen joyfully announced on social media. The baby weighed 6.6 lbs at birth and was 20 inches long.

Her sister Dominique Moceanu rushed to congratulate her: “Yay sis!! So happy for you both!! Auntie can’t wait to meet Malachi!!”

Proud parents

The parents are delighted with their child. “This little man is just the cutest, he has the best personality! We are so blessed,” shared Jen joyfully, tagging the post with the hashtag #ThankYouJesus.

In an earlier post, made a few weeks after giving birth, Jen also expressed her gratitude. “Thank you Jesus for sustaining, refining, & growing us everyday in this journey!!” wrote the proud mom.

The gymnast recently returned to training at the gym. “I haven’t been away from the gym this long in about 12 years!” Jen admitted. “My body is nowhere near where I want it to be, (and that 2nd pic is hard to post), but I’m content with where I am and I’m confident I’ll be where I want to be soon🙂🙏🏼 Taking care of Malachi and making sure he gets all he needs from me is the most important job I have right now, being a mama! It’s a title I’m happy to have.”

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