Natalia Grace on Dr. Phil

Well, today was the day. For the first time after all these months hearing Michael and Kristine Barnett slandering their adoptive daughter in the news with nothing but speculation they’re trying to claim as ‘evidence’, Natalia finally got her chance to share her side to the story.

There are varying degrees of opinions following the interview today. A lot of people online still painting her to be a liar, still doing… what I would consider to be online bullying with their words.

While I admit, there are some things I would love to have been asked/answered that weren’t, I trust that if Dr. Phil thought anything ridiculous going on he either would have 1) Stated that, or 2) Not aired the episode at all. He, as an executive producer has the power to decide what makes it to air and what doesn’t. He doesn’t need the ratings, his show isn’t in jeopardy. So, there was no reason for him to air this interview other than him wanting to let Natalia share her story.

In my personal opinion, Natalia is a 16 year old. I thought this before I watched Dr. Phil and after watching Dr. Phil, my opinion is only stronger that that is, in fact, the case.

A couple of important things happened on the show today:

  • Dr. Phil asked Natalia over and over and over again what her thoughts were so far as to the Barnett’s and their actions and, not once, did Natalia say a bad or negative thing about them.
  • When asked if she thinks the Barnett’s should serve jail time for their actions, Natalia said that all she wants to happen is that she gets her life back. She wants her age changed back to what it should be. She said that the court could give them jail time, and if they do that would be the courts decision. She said that she just wants her age changed back on paper and to be able to move on with her life.
  • Natalia said it wasn’t two months into her adoption that the Barnett’s started questioning her age and stopped treating her like family.
  • Dr. Phil asked Natalia about the speculations the Barnett’s have blasted through media cycles the past couple of months and Natalia responded to each of them. And honestly, it just seems like things the Barnett’s are blowing out of proportion to try and play a victim card.
  • Natalia’s parents, the people who have looked after her since she was abandoned, speculated a couple of things. 1) The father speculated they were trying to discredit her mental stability and when they couldn’t do that, that’s when they came up with the plan to change her age so they could leave her ‘because she was an adult’ and 2) The mother speculated that Natalia’s medical conditions and need for surgery would slow down their ability to devote their lives to their boy genius son and be touted in the media as an incredible mother looking after a son with Autism and advocating for people with disabilities, and that Kristine just didn’t want the negative press.

Honestly, I do think it’s a bit of both.

As mentioned in the previous posts I have done about Natalia Grace, I do believe she is a child. I do believe she is still a minor. Call this opinion biased if you’d like, but I am stating this is, in fact my opinion because I don’t want people to ‘come for me’ for saying it’s fact.

I’m grateful for the Mann family for taking in Natalia, a little girl who was forced to grow up way too quickly and who deserved better from both the Barnett’s and the United States government.

I sincerely hope, when all is said and done and the trial is over, that her age is legally changed back and she gets to lead a normal life. The Barnett’s are callous. The State of Indiana fucked up here. They really did. The judge who legally changed her age needs to be investigated. To me, it’s abundantly clear the Barnett’s crafted a way to ‘dispose’ of her that wouldn’t hurt their image and public notoriety gained from being the amazing parents to their child prodigy son Jacob. Natalia wasn’t an daughter to them. Natalia was an inconvenience to them. She’s the victim here.

I’m so disappointed in the media. I really am. All of these people who’ve been promoting Kristine and Michael’s lies and dragging this girl through the mud, they should have to apologize. I really hope they swallow the sword and grow up and apologize. Because until they do, Natalia is never going to be able to lead a normal life. Her name, face, likeness and person has been dragged through the mud for months… at the hands of this couple who refuse to admit their wrong doings.

** Oh, Dr. Phil also said that he’s arranging for Natalia’s birth mother to come to the United States to reunite the two. Which is awesome. I hope this birth mother is, in fact her birth mother and that Dr. Phil can help prove that. Because if so, that’ll be a big help into getting to the bottom of this case!


Couple of Dr. Phil clips:

Natalia responding to specific claims made by Kristine Barnett
Natalia answering with what she wants when all is said and done.

Previous posts about this subject:

Natalia Grace Speaks! – Nov 4, 2019

Natalia Grace – I can’t even with this crazy story… – October 9, 2019

Don’t wait for the new year for resolutions. Things for you to quit TODAY

  1. Trying to please everyone.
  2. Fearing change.
  3. Living in the past.
  4. Overthinking.
  5. Being afraid to be different from everyone else.
  6. Sacrificing your happiness for others.
  7. Thinking you’re not good enough.
  8. Thinking you have no purpose.

People always wait for New Year’s Day to make resolutions and honestly, why? Make these resolutions today. Make change today. Better yourself today. You deserve it. You’re worth it. Don’t wait for some arbitrary day to try and change you thinking – start to try and change the way you think today.

It’s not going to be easy. And it’s not going to happen at the snap of your fingers. But if you make the effort to enrich your life with serious changes that will ultimately benefit you long-term, the change will be worth it.

Do it. Do it today.

A tale of two millennials

How much of who we are is a reflection of circumstance versus a reflection of our own freedom of thought, expression and power of will? Could two millennials from two very different walks of life be very much the same?

Josh is a 35 year old male who grew up at the helm of one of the most Conservative states of all of the USA. I am a 30 year old female who grew up in one of the most progressive cities in the world. Josh enrolled in the Marines after high school. I enrolled in University after high school. Josh is married with a children. I have yet to marry and start a family. Josh works for the police. I am unemployed. It’s true, on first appearance, we’re very different people.

We’re very different on paper, that’s for sure. But we’re also very similar in a lot of ways. We’re both very much aligned in our desires for equality, how to treat people and how we wish to be treated. We both studied the same subject in school and understand the importance of good communication in all aspects of life. We both have sincere appreciation for travel, for culture, for people being able to be their authentic and true selves. In a lot of was, we’re two peas in a pod.

What do you think? Are we a product of circumstance, or is there something more to who we grow up to become? Josh and I are sharing some discussions had, some questions answered and some lessons learned. Half of this will be displayed here, on #MillennialLifeCrisis, whilst the other half can be found on Josh’s blog. So, without further ado, these millennials come to you with its noisiest authorities insisting on it being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.


Where did you see yourself by the time you were 30 and where were you actually by the time you were 30?

Josh: I set a lot of goals for myself before I was 30, but many of them were experience orientated.  I wanted to have traveled the world, seen a lot of different cultures, served in the military and maybe… had kids and got married.  I didn’t really think a lot about the marriage card until my mid-twenties.   

I ended up achieving most of them.  I served in the U.S. military as a marine. I had a very successful military career and I traveled. I think I hit 15 countries and 4 continents by 24.  I did a lot of traveling outside the military, so I got to experience a lot of cultures. I stayed with families in Cambodia and South Africa.  I got lost a couple times in Europe and South America.  It’s nice accomplishing goals, but it doesn’t always bring happiness.  I wish I had worked more on myself and well-being in those years.  I have a lot of regrets during that time, drank a lot and slept with a lot of women. I didn’t have a lot of meaningful relationships, but meaningless ones, if that makes sense

Vee: I set a great deal of expectations for myself for where I would be when I was 30. I wanted to work in management, I wanted to be changing the face of how people thought about and felt about sports. I wanted to have travelled the world, have mastered my skill-sets and have really enriched the lives of my nieces and nephews. I wanted to be the woman who had it all.

Right now, at 30, I am unemployed, still working on changing the way people feel about sports… but I think that will always be a work in process.

If you could go back in time and tell your 19 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Josh: I could probably write a novel for my 19-year-old self, but one single piece of advice… that’s tough. I probably would tell myself to immediately pursue education and continue doing it until I couldn’t anymore and not give up when moments get hard. I’d also tell myself to not be scared of girls and be respectful to them.

Vee: Oh goodness, it’s really hard to pick just one. I think I’ll have to settle with ‘Dump that asshole and do it right now!’

Did you feel pressure to complete school within a time period and find steady work, immediately after college or high school? 

Josh: Yes and no, I felt like when I graduated High School it was kind of the thing to do.  If you didn’t go to college I felt like society looked down on you and I felt shame for not wanting to pursue education.  I feel like a lot of motivation is brought about by shame, its good to avoid doing things because you feel shame for not doing them.  

But, I did start working pretty quick. I had a bunch of crappy jobs and then I got a good one. And, then in the middle of the Iraq stuff I joined the military. It was something I’d always wanted to do and it changed my life.  I don’t know if I’d say it was good, but its effect was really massive.  I felt like I gave the best years of my life to the marines and I know I can’t get those back.  

Vee: I went to University right after high school because I received a scholarship. To me, it just seemed like a no-brainer… get the degree now, do the fun stuff later. After I graduated from University I packed up all of my things and went on a road trip for several months. It was incredible. Then, when I returned from my trip, a job just sort of fell into place… almost as though the universe had a plan for me.

Do you feel like if or when, you’ll have to be involved in their lives to a certain extent, pta, sports? 

Josh: I hate the expectations that go with kids.  I feel like as a parent you’re supposed to be at all the school events, join the PTA, play youth baseball and dance.  It’s really hard finding time for everything and I don’t want my kids to miss out, but I’d rather spend the time one on one with them rather than watching them dance.  I’ve learned I can’t do it all.

Vee: If I ever do have children I hope that I am involved in their lives. I don’t think I’d ever have kids just to pawn them off on their dad, or my family members. If I have kids, I want to be my own version of Lorelei Gilmore.

Do you feel like there is a salary or amount of money you’ve expected to be making?

Josh: Yes and no.  I used to think I should make at least as much as my parents, but now, years later I don’t care.  My family was pretty middle class.  My Dad worked on the assembly line making cars at Ford and my mom was an Interior Designer.  I don’t know why I felt this way, it really doesn’t bother me anymore.  I want to give my kids a good life, but I feel like I can do that with less money or more, it’s just about how I spend and save it.

Vee: I have never had a fixed salary in my mind that I desired. I simply wanted to be able to support myself. I’m a very simple person in nature, so it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. I feel like so long as I can make enough to make myself happy and keep myself housed and fed and healthy, then I’ll have done well.

Do you feel shame or any unfair expectations? 

Josh: This is a tough question.  I think the world is full of shame and unfair expectations.  For me, I freak out about money.  It’s a big trigger for me.  I want to be able to feed my family, keep a roof over their heads and provide. I also want to take care of them emotionally and developmentally.  I want to support their dreams and leisure pursuits.  I know it’s all pretty deep, but when those expectations get derailed, I stress out and have to center myself.  When I was single I could have cared less about a lot of this stuff.  

I feel like I’m also comparing myself to my peers from High School and College.  And it’s not fair because everyone is different.  Every person has unique expectations put on them and self-inflicted.  I think it’s incredibly helpful to get past the shame and understand our triggers. 

Vee: I feel as though there are most definitely unfair expectations placed on all females in this world. You see it in the media every day – in the laws that are being created, or rewritten to give women less choice and in the lack of representation of females around virtually every executive table and so very many industries.

Furthermore, I feel there are unfair expectations put on millennials. Gen X wants us to follow in their footsteps, and if we don’t they get angry. Baby Boomers don’t understand that we have different values then they did when they were young. I don’t think they want to understand. Both generations see us as entitled, neither generation really tries to understand.


Want to read more about how Josh and I are both extremely similar and extremely different people at the same time? Check out the other half of our interview questions on Josh’s Blog. Visit Creative Words of Life >

Natalia Grace Speaks!

In follow up to ‘Natalia Grace – I can’t even with this crazy story…

Photo: Screenshot of the trailer for the Natalia Grace appearance on Dr. Phil.

A few weeks back I actually heard that Natalia was going to be on the Dr. Phil show to share her side to the story. I’ve been waiting to write more on this story because I wanted to find out when she was actually going to appear on Dr. Phil before saying anything so that if people were interested they could watch as well.

Natalia Grace, along the foster parents she’s been living with since being abandoned in 2013, will be on the Dr. Phil show on Nov 7 (this Thursday).

If anyone is interested in hearing Natalia’s side to this story, I strongly encourage you to tune into Dr. Phil on Thursday. In my opinion, I believe of any person on television that could possibly get to the truth of the matter, Dr. Phil is probably the most reliable.

A few interesting things have happened in this story since I first spoke about it a few weeks back. Without further adieu, here we go:

Firstly, Michael and Kristine Barnett (mostly Michael) continued selling their story and making media appearances for any outlet that would hear them and… basically believe their side. To my account they appeared on at least fifteen different shows on three different continents spewing their ‘speculations’.

Following this ‘media tour’ of sorts, Prosecutors in Indiana filed an injunction to get a gag-order placed on Michael and Kristine Barnett that would stop them from speaking about Natalia in the media. They argued that Michael and Kristine Barnett were essentially trying to sway public opinion in their favour as a means to 1) Taint any possibly jury that could be selected for their upcoming January 2020 trial and 2) Look less guilty if they could get the general public believing their egregious storytelling.

The judge agreed and the gag order was issued!

Secondly, the couple who initially intended to adopt Natalia when she was brought to the United States in 2009 has come forward with their paperwork from the Ukrainian government showing the birth date of 2003. Not only that but they have shown photos of themselves with Natalia from 2009 when Natalia was having overnight and weekend visits with the couple to determine if they could be suitable parents for the girl. One of those photos included below:

Photo credit: Vincent and Nicole DePaul

Vincent and Nicole DePaul, speaking with Inside Edition shared their dismay at the Barnett’s for abandoning Natalia and leaving her to fend for herself. They also showed young pictures of Natalia having, including one of her having lost baby teeth while in their care and others of Natalia enjoying time with their daughter Mackenzie.

Vincent, Nicole and their daughter Mackenzie all suffer from dwarfism themselves. The couple go on to share a reminder that the Barnett’s claims are egregious and ridiculous and that they have a special understanding of Natalia’s needs and disabilities because they’re dwarfs themselves. Natalia’s dwarfism causes severe disabilities with walking, seeing, hearing and… holding up her own weight on such a small skeletal frame. The couple asked (the very real question that I’ve asked myself many times during the reading of this story) how on earth a young girl with Dwarfism and disability causing her to not even be able to stand up straight could possibly have done the things the Barnett’s claimed, such as pushing Kristine Barnett towards an electric fence.

Valid question, right?

How did Natalia, at roughly three feet tall and probably fifty pounds of weight, struggling to properly stand straight and walk on her own, manage to push Kristine a full grown woman more than two feet taller than her towards an electric fence?

Another claim the Barnett’s made was that they awoke one night to find Natalia standing over their bed with a knife. Again, how does someone roughly three feet tall stand over a bed with a knife? Are they sleeping on the floor?

While the video didn’t say exactly why the DePaul family didn’t end up adopting Natalia, there could be a million reasons why. It was a bit of an oversight on Inside Edition to leave that information out. Could it have been purposeful? I don’t work at Inside Edition, so I can’t say for sure, but I if I were to bet money… I’d say that information was left out on purpose.

Anyways, regardless of why they didn’t adopt Natalia, I still believe she is a child, and I’m sticking with my belief that the Barnett’s are lying and have been since the start.

I’m excited to see Natalia on Dr. Phil on November 7. Have you been following the story? Will you be tuning in?

False Marketing.

Screenshot of the DuckDuckGo browser.

As one might conclude from my previous posts on this blog, I’m a bit of a ‘self-dubbed’ analytics nerd. I like tracking movements that people make online (tracking habits), and, with respect to my blog, I like tracking what brings people to my blog and what keeps them on my blog.

Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of people have been finding me from the search engine ‘DuckDuckGo’. I’ve never used DuckDuckGo before. I’ve pretty much solely used Google Chrome and Safari for about ten years now, so seeing such a high refer rate from DuckDuckGo had me interested.

I must be ranking highly on the search engine, right?

I went to DuckDuckGo to see how I am ranking and the first thing I read is “DuckDuckGo – The search engine that doesn’t track you.”

lol

DuckDuckGo doesn’t track you. It just tells me what state you live in, what time and date you found my blog and what you searched online that allowed you to find my blog.

That doesn’t sound like tacking at all…

This is what I would suggest is very false marketing.

While my posts seem to rank really highly on DuckDuckGo (and that’s pretty cool), I’d like to remind anyone reading this, if you’re someone that uses that browser, it’s being tracked… regardless of what the front page of the browser might advertise. I’m pretty sure we’re always being tracked online. Unless you’re a seriously articulate A+ level, 1 in a million underworld hacker, your movements online are being tracked.

Sporadic AF Thoughts, Nov 3.

I had such a good time writing the last post like this that I’ve decided I might do it more often. Though I still don’t like ‘AF’, so I need to come up with a new title. We’ll call that a work in progress.

After a week of feeling as though I really just wasn’t going to survive (yes, I am extremely over-dramatic when I am sick), I am finally starting to feel somewhat/relatively human again. I’m not 100%, but I can feel myself getting better, and that’s what’s important.

The sweet and wonderful Hilary from SereneLuna Blog sent me the kindest early birthday card/present and it absolutely brightened my spirits this week. There’s something about a hand written letter/note that will just never go out of style in my heart. It’s timeless, it’s so thoughtful and it really makes you (in this case me) feel as though someone genuinely cares. I think that’s why I really appreciate thoughtful birthday cards. Does anyone else keep their birthday cards? I keep mine. Is that weird?

I’ve been on the hunt for a ‘natural’ deodorant for a couple years now. And yes, I fully understand the dichotomy that ‘natural’ deodorants present. I think the biggest struggle that I am having in this search is that the majority of deodorants marketed as ‘natural’ are ingredient based in essential oils. I happen to be wildly allergic to most essential oils and using these products often causes me to get blistery rashes. So how does one find a ‘natural’ deodorant without any essential oils in it?

There’s been a growing narrative in Canada about a divided country, as the ‘Wexit’ movement gets propagated in the media and is gaining steam. Meanwhile, more and more multi-million dollar corporations have collected their tax-cuts from the Alberta government and are fleeing. Jason Kenney is running the narrative that this is ‘Trudeau’s fault’, ignoring the very basic fact that trickle-down economics don’t work. Trickle-down economics have never worked. The rich stay rich by hoarding their riches. They don’t invest it into their employees and the economy through sponsorship and infrastructure, they lock it in bank accounts in far off lands that have limited laws with respect to banking.

Following in the footsteps of his idol, the holier than thou Trump of Donald Senior, Jason Kenney handed out a corporate tax cut earlier this year promising the public this was a smart move for a better Alberta and that this would benefit everyone. And, as the corporations have subsequently taken their money and run, the Wexit movement now has more than 40,000 members on their online platform. Interesting…

It didn’t work when Donald Trump did it. It hasn’t ever worked for any government before and we all knew that it wasn’t going to work for Jason Kenney, but he did it anyway. He sold the public on a bill of goods that was built on pillars of salt and sand, meanwhile silencing anyone who dared remind him that trickle-down economics don’t work.

Now, I know that politics can get rather boring for people to follow at times, so I relate this to pop culture. Remember this fact: the rich get rich by hoarding their riches.

Kylie Jenner has recently been named the youngest self-made billionaire ever. Kylie, along with the rest of the Kardashian family, has a slew of employees who work for her. In her home, in her office, in the factories making the cosmetics that she sells. It’s widely reported that each and every one of her employees make minimum wage. It’s also been claimed by the employees who make Kylie Cosmetics that they’re not even provided with the basic safety equipment and working environment to help them properly do their jobs. According to the employees they’re paid only minimum wage, the bare legal minimum that Kylie has to pay them, not provided health insurance, and can at times, work upwards of twelve hours or more on a single shift during peak ‘launches’ for the line. All while only wearing a hear net and safety goggles.

The laboratory that Jenner uses is the same lab that Colour Pop cosmetics uses. And, it’s worth noting that these claims have also been made about Colour Pop Cosmetics as an employer. (Please note these claims of the factory and working conditions have not been verified through what I would consider… “media sources” for lack of better terminology. They’re Indeed reviews, youtube videos of ‘Why I quit working for Kylie’ and so on)

Why does Kylie only pay her employees the bare minimum wage legally required of her in the state of California? Simply put, would she be the youngest self made billionaire had she given them raises? Would she be the youngest self made billionaire had she offered any form of health insurance, chosen to upgrade the factory which her cosmetics are produced, offered employees more safety equipment to do their jobs? Likely not. Rich people stay rich by hoarding their riches.

Now I’m not hating here. I’m simply stating the facts as they relate to politics and they relate popular culture. What the girl has done is created a relatively average product, found the bare minimum it could possibly cost her to produce it and used ‘her brand’ to price it at a markup so high that in just a few short years she’s become a billionaire. She actually sounds pretty intelligent to me. But, she also reminds me of the very important point that trickle-down economics don’t work. In politics, in business, in Alberta, in life in general, it’s human nature to hoard our riches. Therefore, it really doesn’t matter who is in charge, the Oil Industry is still dying and Alberta is still in denial. Okay, I’ve talked about this for farrrrrr too long.

It’s raining outside. Pouring, actually. Consequently the downpour outside my window mimics the downpour in my head. Too many thoughts, too little time. I am a shallow heart with a wandering mind who is presently second guessing anything and everything that I possibly can. I’ll be 31 soon. It’s time to get my life together. I wonder what that looks like.

You are the real Champs.

Shout out to all of the single mom’s in this world. Those of you holding the weight of the universe on your shoulder and making it look easy, though I absolutely know it’s anything but. You have the strength of a thousand soldiers in your single being. Thank you for your tireless efforts, your unconditional love and for your devotion to not just raising kids but raising good people in the process. I see you and I admire you.

Shout out to all of the single dad’s in this world. To the dad’s who, if you have custody or not, still do everything you can to spend every extra moment you have with your kids, because you know how invaluable a dad’s influence has in a child’s life. Thank you for being the handy man, the reliable man and the man who would walk through fire for your kid if you ever needed to. I see you and I appreciate you.

Shout out to all of the masters of co-parenting in this world, because holy crap it ain’t easy. When all you want to do in this world is say ‘It’s my way or the highway’ and you put those feelings aside for the sake of your kids, that shows your strength, humility and grace. It’s not always easy but you always make it work. That’s what your kids are going to think of when they’re adults, that their parents always made it work, no matter the circumstance. I see you and I applaud you.

Shout out to all the parents still together. I want to know your secrets. Long term relationships take serious work, and sacrifice and stresses… all of which get multiplied ten-fold when you have kids. They’re worth it, that’s always true, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. I see you and I praise you.

Shout out to the parents whose kids are grown. May you always know you’re the centre of the universe, even when you’re kids are adults. You’ll always be Point A, Point B and the only point to go to because you’re never too old to need your mom or dad. That doesn’t change. I see you and I respect you for each incredible human you raised.

Lastly, but certainly not least, shout out to all the parents in this world, every last one of you who are just making it work in whatever way you know how. Whatever the circumstance, however it works, you’re doing it right just the way you are. I see you and I thank you. You’re incredible and your kids are lucky to have you.