Evil mom made her adopted daughter dig her own grave

When children are adopted, they expect to be loved by their new families. However, 26-year-old Nora Gately went through hell at the hands of her adoptive parents when she was a teen. The woman who is from Guangdong, China had originally been adopted by an American couple. However, she was later "re-homed" to an awful set of new parents. "Re-homing" is an illegal method adoptive parents use to hand their kids to new caretakers without knowing anything about the new "parents" or without going through the proper channels.

Gately already had a crippled right leg due to a bout of polio she had as a child, but she didn't expect what was coming to her. She faced conditions worse than that at an animal shelter and that's not the worst part...


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A year after being adopted by the Florida couple, Gately told NBC News that their relationship became tense. One day she thought she was taking a road trip with her father but instead he took her to her new "re-homing" parents at a farm in Tennessee.

Tom and Debra Smith had over nine internationally "re-homed" children who warned Gately of the harsh conditions they faced. This was shocking since the Smiths were known as a couple who loved their multicultural children. She says they were punished in awful ways, would be beaten and forced to scrub floors using a toothbrush.

The worst punishment was when Debra would make the kids dig their own graves.  She would tell them: "Get out and go dig your own grave. Nobody will find you." The mom spent time looking for more kids to take in and eventually housed more than 18 illegal children. Sherry Novack, a nurse who visited the home, learned of the abuse and had Gately secretly record the events. She later told the Department of Children's Services.

Debra was charged with 14 counts of child abuse and a single count of trafficking, but her husband got off without a sentence. She went to jail for six months and still denied being guilty. Gately moved in with Novack until she was adopted by the Gately family who treated her well. She eventually took their last name.

The government needs to crack down on cases like this one because it's awful to know that many foreign children are being treated this way. I'm glad to see that Gately is in a better place now, but I still think her "re-homing" parents deserved harsher sentences than they received.

 Image via NBC

Topics: abuse  arrest  children  crime