All smiles! Natalia Grace Barnett looked radiant in a selfie on Instagram just after the 4th of July holiday. 

Natalia, whose real age is still widely debated, appeared in a photo on her adoptive family’s Instagram account, The Mans Family, on Thursday, July 6. The close-up shot showed the Ukraine-born young woman smiling brightly as a filter added blue butterflies around her head. Likewise, the caption discussed growth from a caterpillar to a butterfly. 

“Butterflies are a great example of being made new. When a butterfly is first born they are caterpillars. But the more they grow they come to the point where they make a cocoon and transform into beautiful butterflies,” the caption read. “When they transform, they fly into the world and become who they were meant to be! That’s the same thing with God! When we first come into Christ we are the caterpillars and we have to grow into our butterfly selves by learning God’s word and forming that relationship with him. Grow Into A Butterfly!”

Natalia gained newfound global recognition with the release of Investigation Discovery’s documentary, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, in late May. The six-episode series featured Michael Barnett as he told the story of himself and his now ex-wife, Kristine Barnett, adopting Natalia in 2010. At the time, they believed she was 6 years old. However, Michael and Kristine alleged that Natalia began threatening to kill them and had mature physical features, which led them to believe she was really an adult living with a severe form of dwarfism.

In 2013, Michael and Kristine petitioned to have Natalia’s birth year changed from 2003 to 1989, and a judge granted their request. The former couple then left Natalia to live on her own in a rented apartment in Lafayette, Indiana, while Michael and Kristine moved with their biological sons to Canada. Michael and Kristine were charged with several counts of neglect in September 2019, although the charges were later dropped. 

While living in Lafayette, Natalia befriended neighbor Cynthia Mans. Cynthia and her husband Antwon took Natalia in and eventually became her new adoptive parents. They have maintained that Natalia never exhibited violent behavior toward their family and that she really was born in 2003. 

Natalia Grace Barnett
The Mans Family/Instagram

Natalia has lived with Cynthia and Antwon ever since. In late June, Natalia was spotted in public for the first time since the docuseries at a Walmart in Greencastle, Indiana, with her adoptive father. She has also appeared frequently on The Mans Family Instagram and TikTok. 

In a TikTok video on June 23, Natalia thanked fans for all their support as the account grew to more than 12,000 followers.

“We just want to let you know that we love you and we thank you. God bless you guys,” Natalia said.

Natalia is set to appear later this summer in ID network’s follow-up documentary, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks. The doc does not have a release date at the time of publication. 

“It’s very frustrating to hear everything that’s being said from Kristine and Michael because I already don’t know who I am, and I want to know who I am, what happened to me,” she said in the trailer. “But I’m hearing all this stuff that never actually happened from Kristine and Michael. … And people are believing what Kristine and Michael are saying without even hearing my side.”

Natalia concluded, “Y’all have heard Kristine and Michael and what they have said, but you need to hear both sides in order to know what really happened.”

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