Warning, sensitive content and spoilers.
Oh boy. After diving into the new docuseries The Mysterious Case of Natalia Grace last night, I binged too many episodes and called it a night just before they went into the mother’s trial.
If you haven’t heard anything about the story, Natalia was a Ukrainian orphan girl who has dwarfism with deformed feet and hands, adopted by an Indiana couple who had three boys already. Throughout the years, the news has been swirling based on the adoptive parents’ allegations, that Natalia was a 22-year-old woman posing as a child and tried to murder their family.
In the first couple of episodes, they paint out Natalia to be a monster, gathering most information from the unhinged adoptive father with his version of the story changing throughout the series, whilst sipping a large cup from his lazy boy, becoming more overly dramatic as he sips. Even orchestrating the cameras to come in while he reenacts a beating, punching the floor with his fist, then holding his fist in pain after.
In phone videos that the couple filmed of Natalia when she’s in trouble, being manipulated, and reading the bible, they twist everything. After telling a horrific accusation, they show a photo of her smiling, which is insinuated to be a devious smile. Behind the hype, all you see is a scared little girl giving the answers her adopted parents have coached her to say, in fear of having the hell beat out of her, as is revealed in later episodes. Also, WHO videos their child in Time Out for 24-hours or when they are questioning her? This was total gaslighting and you can see her fear as to what answer she should give. Knives were shown under her bed in the reenactment. If this were true, it would have been her fear of the entire family. The boys weren’t innocent, either.
Every answer Natalia gave was coming from the mouth of a child, and what she had been taught. She was fighting for her life and was cautious with all of the neighbors she befriended, who threw her under the bus for their fifteen minutes of fame.
A judge in Indiana, which apparently doesn’t honor the Americans with Disabilities Act, changed Natalia’s birth certificate from eight to twenty-two. You read this right. EIGHT to TWENTY-TWO. Therefore, the adopted parents put her in a completely non-accessible apartment in a sketchy town, no electricity, sixteen steep steps to climb, on a hill – even tricky for a person without foot and hand deformities, and not one appliance was accessible. They controlled her life, deleted contacts from her phone, prevented her from talking to child protective services, kicked her down stairs, and beat the crap out of her. When a man was interviewed and mentioned they tried to pimp her out for sex, telling him that “Michael had already been”….it ended for the next episode and I am not going to watch it further. That would explain why some neighbors said she said sexual things. That’s what these people were teaching her to do. This entire situation is disgusting.
Let’s just assume she wasn’t a child. They still controlled, owned, and abused a dependent person with a disability. Let’s assume she was a sociopath. Get her help. Take her to a hospital. Get therapists, medications if needed. OR why didn’t they drop her at any adoption agency or at CPS if they were that scared? Because they wanted her check.
Producers interviewed neighbors from different apartments she lived in. Some of the neighbors said she was just like a child when she played with children but talked like an adult to them. Of course. Someone who has not had a stable home, physically, psychologically, and sexually abused has to do what she can to survive. At eight years old, this little girl didn’t have life skills to live by herself. Do you know an eight-year-old who does?
Somehow, the parents filmed her “trying to jump out of a moving car”, from the POV on the sidewalk. Huh. Who as standing on the street filming the video and handed over the footage after? Also, the car didn’t appear to be moving when it happened.
Finally, a loving family met Natalia in a library near her last apartment and took her in as their own. She joined their family with other children and hasn’t had her ‘sociopathic’ episodes with them. Sorry, but being a sociopath doesn’t just go away like that. When Michael, the adoptive father, got word that Natalia is now in a loving family who wanted to adopt, and could legally, with her forged age, allowed to sign her disability checks over to the new family caring for her, he was enraged. He and his wife and their big lifestyle and luxury cars needed that extra bit of government cheese from Natalia’s disability funds. They mentioned the accolades of one of the sons who has autism. It would be interesting to know if all three boys had some type of disability and were getting SSDI.
Where are the disability rights attorneys in this country? Where is the ADA? Where is justice for Natalia?
Then you go on the comments of Instagram, Reddit, etc. All the ableist armchair experts explaining how they ‘know’ she isn’t a child because….I can tell you how they know. Because they watched the film The Orphan, another piece of so-called-art to exploit people with disabilities. This is a hot binge at the moment, which could put these producers in the running for awards season. While they get all the applause, what does Natalia get for all that she’s been through? Exploitation. Just watch. The parents’ will have interviews and books, made for TV movie, while they should be spending time in prison.
Let’s hope there’s justice for Natalia in the end.