A famous parenting author and motivational speaker Kristine Barnett and her ex-husband, have been charged with the neglect of their daughter Natalia, whom the couple left to fend for herself in an apartment. But according to a new report, Kristine thinks Natalia, who was adopted from the Ukraine in 2010, was actually 22 when she lived with them. She claims her adoptive daughter is a psychopathic adult posing as a little girl, and that she threatened to kill them.
The case mirrors the plot of 2009 horror film Orphan, where an adopted orphan Esther, attempts to murder her family when it’s revealed that she’s actually 33.
The 45-year-old mom claims she and her family are actually the victims in this case, as she claims Natalia’s documents are false and she was actually 22 at the time.
Kristine and Michael reportedly adopted Natalia, who has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, two years after she came to the U.S. from the Ukraine through an adoption program in 2008. They were told Natalia was 6 years old.
They claim she threatened to stab the family in their sleep, tried to poison them with bleach, and shoved Kristine towards an electric fence.
Kristine described her fear of Natalia to the Daily Mail:
‘She would make statements and draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members, roll them up in a blanket and put them in the backyard,’
I saw her putting chemicals, bleach, Windex something like that, in my coffee and I asked her, what are you doing? She said, “I am trying to poison you.
She explained how she and her ex-husband came to believe the child was not a child at all.
The media is painting me to be a child abuser but there is no child here…Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth. She never grew a single inch, which would happen even with a child with dwarfism.
I was giving her a bath and I noticed that she had full pubic hair. I was so shocked. I had just been told she was a six-year-old and it was very apparent she wasn’t
Natalia had an unusual way of speaking and an advanced vocabulary for her supposed age.
At the time I ran a little school and I remember she said to me, these children are exhausting, I don’t know how you do it.
Natalia began suffering from mental health issues and the family took her to a number of physicians and therapists.
One clinical therapist in January 2012 said Natalia claimed to them that she was 18.
Then, at Larue Carter Hospital in Indianapolis, in June 2012, staff said she had described how she had tried to kill family members and had no remorse about it, with Natalia going as far as to describe it as fun to staff.
The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults,” she said. “She was jumping out of moving cars. She was smearing blood on mirrors. She was doing things you could never imagine a little child doing.”
The Barnetts put Natalia in an apartment in Lafayette in July 2013, then moved to Canada the following month. Kristine Barnett told the Daily Mail that she helped her get a Social Security number, apply for an ID, and get food stamps.
Michael Barnett told officers that he and Kristine Barnett paid rent on the apartment but did not provide Natalia extra funds.
Natalia was evicted in May 2014 after not paying rent.
It is unclear what Natalia is doing now, or whether she is being cared for.
Kristine and Micheal Barnett, now divorced, had adopted 5 children previously. One, an autistic physics prodigy named Jacob had even been featured on 60 Minutes. Natalia appears briefly at the dinner table at 3:40.