A girl with Down syndrome, adopted by a US couple in Ukraine, became a Hollywood star - ForumDaily
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A girl with Down syndrome, adopted by a US couple in Ukraine, became a Hollywood star

In 2023, two long-awaited blockbusters were released: “Barbie” and “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Snakes and Songbirds.” Particular attention is drawn to the young film star Sofia Sanchez. The girl has Down syndrome, but this does not prevent her from being a sought-after actress in films, TV series and advertising in the USA, a model, activist, and also an artist. Sofia is Ukrainian, and she supports the country in which she was born, reports Obozrevatel.

Photo: IStock

The girl was born in Ukraine, but her biological parents abandoned her when they learned about her syndrome. Sofia spent a year of her life in an orphanage in Dnepr until she was adopted by a family from California - Jennifer and Hector Sanchez.

Little orphan

Jennifer and Hector Sanchez saw Sophia on the Reece's Rainbow website among photographs of other orphans. The sunny girl’s smile immediately charmed the American couple. By that time, the couple already had three sons, the youngest of whom also had Down syndrome.

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The couple nicknamed the girl “Ukrainian princess” and began the process of adopting her. They traveled a long way across the ocean and flew to Dnieper, where they visited their unborn daughter in an orphanage for several months. The girl's date of birth was incorrectly indicated on the institution's website.

The Sanchezes thought she was the same age as their youngest son and wanted to raise them like twins. The age difference at first somewhat confused and upset the adoptive parents, but in no way stopped them.

“Her paperwork stated that she was born the same year as Joaquin, so we thought we would be raising twins. But a few months later we learned that the year of birth was incorrectly recorded in the Ukrainian orphanage. We were a little disappointed at first because we had this picture in our minds of us raising twins. But now it feels like we're raising twins, because boys are a little behind girls in development, and that's great! This was very important for us. This was something that we fought very hard for and that didn’t come easy for us. There was a lot of blood, sweat, tears and trials - literally trials,” Sofia’s mother said in an interview.

Glory to the little princess

In the USA, the “Ukrainian princess” became famous thanks to a poignant motivational video in which she talked about her peculiarity.
“It's not scary, it's so exciting!” – the girl said about Down syndrome. One of these videos received more than five million views in the first two days after publication. Since then, Sophia, despite her very young age, has realized how important her messages are.

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After this, the Ukrainian became practically the voice of all sunny children in America. She especially supports her brother Joaquin, who, in addition to Down syndrome, also has mild autism. The girl talks about him with love, and one cannot help but notice that at the end of some of her publications she leaves emojis of two hearts - blue and yellow.

Charismatic Sofia began to be invited as a model to shoot advertisements for brands, and then in films. She got her debut role as a Ukrainian-American actress at the age of six. She appeared in the popular American television series “Switched at Birth” in 2015.

After that, there were many well-known projects in the United States, but the girl gained international fame precisely thanks to the film “Barbie” starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, as well as the new part of the cult franchise about “The Hunger Games”, which is a prequel to the three original films with Jennifer Lawrence.

In the comedy about the iconic blonde doll, Sofia played one of the Barbies, and in the action film based on the novel by Suzin Collins, she played a small tribute to the 10th annual Hunger Games.

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Together with all the film actors, Sanchez attended red carpets and, as can be understood from the photographs and videos that the child publishes, she is very happy with her acting and film career.

Social projects

However, acting is not the only thing Sofia does. She also illustrated a series of books about children with Down syndrome called You are Enough and You are Loved.

Also, the young actress is involved in many social initiatives, environmental and environmental actions, goes to various protests, in particular, she participated in a large-scale strike of film actors and screenwriters in the United States.

And even despite such a busy schedule and active life, the girl does not forget about her roots. After February 24, 2022, Sofia regularly addressed her audience with calls to support Ukraine. In addition, Sanchez positions herself exclusively as a Ukrainian actress. She reports this, in particular, in the description of her Instagram profile, where she is followed by about 35 thousand subscribers.

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