Family & Pets
"She tried to kill us”: Mother who adopted 9-year-old girl claims her new daughter is really a 22-year-old “sociopath”
It sounds far-fetched but it’s an unfortunate reality for a family in Indiana, USA as they realised that the child that they adopted was really a 22-year-old woman.
Kristine Barnett and her husband Michael are alleged to have dumped Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace at an apartment in Indiana in 2013 before heading to Canada and having contact cut off by Natalia.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Mail, Kristine has outlined the horrors of living with Natalia.
“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,” she told DailyMailTV.
‘She was standing over people in the middle of the night. You couldn't go to sleep. We had to hide all the sharp objects.
“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."
“The media is painting me to be a child abuser but there is no child here,’ said Kristine through tears.
“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.
“The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults.”
Natalia also had some odd behaviour issues, according to Kristine.
“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 couple had just 24 hours to complete the emergency adoption and had no hesitation in accepting Natalia into their family of now five.
There were few details of Natalia’s background, as she needed a home immediately, but she did have a Ukrainian birth certificate reading that she was born on September 4, 2003 and had been in the US for two years.
Natalia also needed a home immediately as her previous adoptive parents had given her up for undisclosed reasons.
“Out of compassion for their situation, I didn’t want to press them for information on what had gone wrong,” Kristine went on.
As the family got closer, Kristine started to realise that something wasn’t adding up.
“The boys rushed into the water and Natalia wanted to be carried into the ocean. Michael and I were physically exhausted, so we asked her to wait just a few minutes,” she said.
“With that she just got up and ran into the ocean. I remember looking at Mike and thinking, what’s going on? She couldn’t walk a second ago and now she just got up and ran.”
There were other circumstances that had the family questioning whether Natalia was who she said she was, as she didn’t have any traces of a foreign accent and when the family asked a Ukrainian friend to speak their native language, Natalia couldn’t understand a word.
As Natalia’s mental health declined sharply, she was placed in a state-run psychiatric unit as she allegedly posed a risk to others. It was here that she confessed to being older than she appeared.
A clinical therapist in January 2012 said that Natalia claimed to them that she was 18. The Barnett family successfully applied to Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis to have Natalia’s age corrected so she could receive the help she needed as an adult.
Kristine and her husband rented an apartment for Natalia and helped her get a social security number as well as apply for benefits.
The Barnett family headed to Canada as their older son Jacob was attending the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and left Natalia behind in the rented apartment.
It was as they were in Canada that Natalia vanished.
"The last time we spoke on the phone, she told me she was cooking spaghetti for her new family,” said Kristine.
"I did not abandon anyone. I went to Canada to further my son's education. These accusations are absolutely devastating."
Photo credits: Kristine Barnett and DailyMail.com
Join our community of over 400,000-plus members today and get the latest Over60 news, offers and articles.
Get all the latest Over60 news, offers and articles.