Ukrainian dwarf's new family crowdfund for a VACATION in Israel

Ukrainian dwarf Natalia Grace’s new adoptive parents are crowdfunding to take her on dream VACATION to Israel because the ‘sweet young lady has been through so much’ – as photos show her beaming with entire family

  • Natalia Grace’s adoptive parents Cynthia and Antwon Mans have launched a fundraiser to help the ‘sweet young lady’ go on her ‘dream’ vacation to Israel 
  • The family say she had ‘always wanted to visit the Holy Land Jerusalem’, but they needed a new wheelchair-accessible van
  • The appeal has a $10,000 goal and says they need a wheelchair-accessible van
  • The appeal comes after Grace dubbed her previous family ‘liars’ for claiming she conned her way into their family pretending to be an orphaned child – but was an adult sociopath who made their lives hell

Ukrainian dwarf Natalia Grace’s new adoptive parents have launched a crowdfunder to raise money to take her on a ‘dream’ vacation to Israel because she has ‘been through so much’. 

Cynthia Mans, Natalia’s adoptive mother, wrote that the ‘sweet young lady’ has ‘always wanted to visit the Holy Land Jerusalem’. 

The GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $7,000 of the $10,000 goal, says it is the ‘whole family’s dream’ for her to take the trip. 

The post features a series of family photos that appear to show that Grace now has at least seven siblings. 

Natalia Grace (circled) is pictured beaming alongside her adoptive parents Cynthia and Antwon Mans and seven other children in a photograph on the family’s new GoFundMe where they appeal for donations for a wheelchair-accessible van and funds for a dream trip to Israel

Appeal: The Mans family launched a GoFundMe with a goal of $10,000 to raise funds for a trip to Jerusalem

Mans, who is pictured in the photos along with her husband Antwon, says the family needs a wheelchair-accessible van to transport Grace and revealed that recent visit to a spine specialist she was told that any surgery could leave her ‘paralyzed or worse’.

Mans wrote: ‘Natalia is such a sweet young lady that has been through so much.

‘We want her to be able to get in the vehicle easier which is why we are needing this wheelchair accessible van.’ 

Cynthia also revealed that Natalia was now expecting to start ‘attending school once she gets her new ID’. It is unclear what this means given her claimed biological age would now be 19 and her legal age would be 33.

Grace, who uses a wheelchair, is pictured alongside eight children in the back of a vehicle on the Mans family’s fundraiser. Cynthia Mans said they also need a new wheelchair-accessible van

Mans thanked everyone for ‘all the love and support’ in her GoFundMe, which also featured this photo of Natalia Grace

Grace’s previous adoptive parents Michael and Kristine Barnett, accused her of being a sociopath adult masquerading as a child who conned her way into their family when they took her in in April 2010 thinking she was a six-year-old orphan. 

They suspected she was older than her supposed years within days – and claimed their once-happy life was ruined and that Grace, who was claiming to be just six, ‘had full pubic hair’, was hiding her menstrual periods from them, loomed over their beds with a knife in-hand and tried to poison their coffee. 

The bizarre series of events saw the couple from Lafayette, Indiana successfully file a petition in probate court in 2012 to have Grace’s birth year pushed back 14 years making her a 22-year-old adult in the eyes of the law. In July 2013 they left her to live alone in an apartment while they fled with their three biological sons to live in Canada. If her Ukrainian birth records were accurate, she would have been nine years old at the time. 

The Barnetts claimed they began to suspect Natalia (pictured when she was in their care) was older than her supposed years within days of her arrival at their home in Lafayette, Indiana

The Barnetts were charged with neglecting their child after ditching Natalia in the early 2010s and moving to Canada after they petitioned a court to move her birth year back 14 years, which was granted. In October 2022 and March 2023, their charges were dropped 

The Barnetts said they couple showered Natalia with attention, taking her to Disney World, enjoying ice creams, treats and playful pillow fights with her three brothers to slowly bring her out of her shell  – but they soon became suspicious

Natalia allegedly terrorized her previous adoptive family before she was legally re-aged in 2012. She denies the allegations and in a recent documentary called the Barnetts ‘liars’ 

Despite her age being legally changed, five years later in 2019, the Barnetts – who had divorced – were charged with neglect because, even if she wasn’t actually a minor, Grace’s dwarfism meant she was dependent on them. Michael was acquitted in October 2022, and Kristine had her charges dropped three weeks before her trial in March 2023. 

The saga captured America and Grace – along with her new adoptive parents the Mans – appeared on Dr. Phil in 2019 to deny the claim she was a sociopathic adult. 

On the show, Cynthia recounted the first time she met Natalia outside the apartment she was given by her previous adoptive parents. 

Cynthia said she initially didn’t believe the girl’s story about living all alone, but said it was obvious when she saw the inside of the apartment.

‘She took me over to her house and it was definitely her apartment. She had a bed in there, she headed TV, she had a boxed food in her freezer,’ Cynthia said.

‘I was like: “I have a couple of kids at home, come down you can play with them and talk with us.” So she came to our house and hung out down there and she never left.’

While the law may deem her to now be 33, the process used to re-age the dwarf was called into question by legal expert Beth Karas, who told that after examining the saga, she was left feeling that ‘something just wasn’t right about this case’. 

The attorney said Natalia was never represented in court and was left uninformed over the process, which she argued should raise doubt over its accuracy. 

The bizarre case began when Natalia’s previous adoptive parents, Michael and Kristine Barnett, welcomed her into their home in April 2010. 

In the months after, they claim her behavior ‘escalated’ and left them fearing for their lives, as she allegedly poisoned their coffee with bleach and threatened to stab them in their sleep.

This led them to petition to have her age changed in court, which was granted without a hearing, and the then-eight-year-old became 22 overnight. 

Last month, the Barnetts and Grace appeared in a six-part Investigation Discover (ID) documentary where each side detailed the horror of the other and denied each other’s claims. Grace branded the Barnetts ‘liars’.

In ‘The Curious Case of Natalia Grace’, Michael alleged that Natalia made his family’s life a living hell soon after they adopted her. 

Michael said his family started to question her true age on one of the first nights after her adoption.

In a 2019 episode of Dr. Phil (pictured), Natalia, pictured holding hands with Cynthia Mans, denied being an adult and her new parents defended her, stating she was a ‘genuine loving girl’ and not an ‘adult sociopath masquerading as a child’ 

Michael Barnett (pictured on the Investigation Discovery show) claims Natalia tried to poison his family’s coffee and threatened to stab his children 

While giving Natalia a bath after spending the day at Disneyland, he said Kristine let out a blood-curdling scream from the bathrooom when she noticed the girl they thought was just six had ‘full pubic hair’.

In the months after that, the couple allege that there was ‘a lot of escalation’. This included discovering she had been hiding her period from them for months.

On one occasion, when Natalia met another six-year-old with a rare bone disorder named spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, the stark difference in age became seemingly undisputable.

Natalia, who did not speak with a Ukrainian accent, towered over her playmate, while her bone structure and vocabulary were far more advanced.

As the months wore on, Michael claimed it became apparent they were living with a menace, to the point she ‘threatened to stab’ her new siblings.

‘She tried to poison and kill my wife,’ Michael added. ‘(And) one night, I opened my eyes and Natalia is standing at the foot of the bed with a knife in her hand.’

In never-before-seen footage, the documentary shows Natalia’s suspect behavior inside her adoptive home, including sitting at a table reading the bible. When asked why she chose to read it, she responds: ‘To get rid of these evil thoughts.’

‘She would do as much as possible to cause hurt or harm or mental distress to the entire family,’ Michael said.

Natalia (right) pictured with her adoptive mother Cynthia Mans (left), who launched the fundraiser to take her to Israel 

Cynthia Mans (center) has always insisted Natalia is a ‘genuine and loving young lady’

Natalia’s adoptive parents have leapt to her defense in the past, including in an appearance on Dr Phil in 2019 where they said she is a ‘genuine and loving young lady’. 

They branded the Barnetts heartless liars who deserve to be brought to justice for what they did to the child they promised to take care of. 

Dr. Phil played portions of Kristine’s interview when speaking to Natalia, causing her to become emotional as she denied the claims and insisted that she never wished any harm on the Barnetts or their sons. 

While they claim she loomed over their bed with knives, Natalia wept as she said the only reason she would go into their room while they slept was for comfort after a nightmare.

The question remains however: Is Natalia Grace a wronged orphan abandoned to fend for herself as a child in need who finally found a family to care for her – or as the Barnetts maintain, an adult ‘sociopath who conned’ her way into their family? 

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