My name is Don Gordon BELL and I am one of the earliest of the first generation of KAD's (Korean ADoptees). The Korean War had been settled by Armistice three years before I left war-torn Seoul, Korea, on May 21, 1956. It was the first plane of twelve 'war babies' processed thru the Harry Holt Adoption Program. Read more of MY STORY on My Pages.
I grew up in a typical middle-class family of English-Scottish roots in greater Los Angeles, Ca, USA. Memories faded, Korean language was 'lost' and I did not know anything about the country of my birth until I met Korean Marines in Vietnam while serving with the US Marines. It was my first exposure to real Korean people. I was not completely aware of how prejudiced most Koreans thought towards a Half-Breed like me. I learned what "Tuigi" meant, a Korean word for a "Child of a Foreign devil". Oh, wonderful.

All my life I always had to answer the question: "What ARE you?" and I simply would tell 'my story'. It was not a big deal for me, for my Adoptive Parents had taught me that being an American meant that WE were from many countries. I never 'wished to be White' and just learned to stand up for my own identity. MY Identity was as an American, with mixed heritage. I did not know what being "Korean" meant but often wondered about my roots, and what my birth father's ethnicity. Mexican, Native Americans, and Spanish people would tell me that I had their 'genes' for sure. Little did I know they were right!

After college, I traveled to Manila and for ten years I lived in the Philippines. I was excepted as a 'mestizo' and fit into the former Spanish colony. I was a B-movie Character Actor,
working on international and local films, enjoying a 'crazy and wild' abandonment. Then a life changing experience gave me faith in a personal Higher Being. After walking away from the film business, I lived back in the USA, not sure of my direction in life finding work in construction, finish carpentry, door hanging, and many other jobs I'd like to forget.

In 1991, at 38, I attended a Holt Heritage Camp that was a great experience and really began my own journey of Adoption Identity search. I had never thought much of my Korean culture, though I always felt proud of being "HALF-Korean" and "half-Something".

In 1994 I came back to Seoul, Korea, with my church Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and was invited to stay with a church in East Seoul, for one year. I have lived here since late 1995- re-discovering my "Korean-ness", teaching English and telling my Adoption Story to thousands of Korean students of all ages, helping their understanding of Korean Adoptees. It is one of the issues that Korea is now facing, even for its own secretly adopted children, those who were adopted IN-Country by Koreans who desired a family but due to problems with Infertility secretly adopt.

I was a charter member in 1997 (first dozen members) of GOA'L (Global Overseas Adoptees' Link, founded by Ami Nafzger) and continue to be involved with the complex issues of This Thing of Ours-Adoption. Thousands of KADs have visited Korea over the years, searching for their culture and Some search for birth family. Seventy-five thousand have come, yet only 2,400 plus have found Reunion with Birth family, often with varying results. There are many complexities, many don't want to search concerned about offending their Adoptive Families. Each KAD must decide what they want to do, when to do it, etc.

At 61, I am still 'working thru' my Adoption Identity. Each of YOU need to 'work through' your own understanding and hopefully find forgiveness and healing. Read many different accounts and compare before coming to conclusions. I hope that you will learn what IS happening NOW, in the land of your birth, the Rep. of Korea (South Korea). (See Report Links).

Times are changing, the reasons for 'relinquishment for adoption' have shifted, but there continues to be a need for a multi-tiered approach and understanding of Adoption issues. Slowly, attitudes of Korean society ARE changing for the better. But, the majority continue to feel embarrassment and shame. Thus, Adoption is still shrouded in secrecy even for those who are adopted In-country. There ARE positive signs and movements of NGO's and KAD groups are advocating for the Unwed Mothers. However, two-thirds of pregnant women each year, continue to give up their babies for adoption. One out of four are sent overseas, YET three are secretly adopted in-country. The Myth that "Koreans don't adopt" is false, but they need to open up and hopefully change their shame to pride.

This blog is for EVERYONE, whether you are an Adoptee, Adoptive Family, Birth Family or involved in Adoption in ANY way as a professional, social worker, official, etc, from Korea or the world. We examine the complex issues and personal journeys that we, domestic and overseas adoptees, have to face and sort out in This Thing of Ours-Adoption. (Use the Ligit Search function (Left Column) to check for Posts on various topics, TransRacial, TranCultural, MultiCultural families, Domestic, Civil Code Law Adoptions, InterCountry Adoption, etc.)
I personally have come to a compromised, nuanced position on this thing of ours-adoption. I advocate a Multi-tiered Plan that tries to be balanced, realistic, fair to all.

UPDATE: Living in the Philippines since 2010, at first teaching students from several countries as an Online Tutor, based in Makati, Metro Manila. I was working on a Digital Library for Online Tutoring or ELearning; developing an agritourism farm; and Overseas Retirement Care for foreigners needing 24/7 health care.

Then some 18 months ago, in July of 2012 I met with Andrew Leavold, a crazy film obsessed Aussie who helped "pull me back into film making".

WHEW! Lot on my plate. I have also been learning much about the Filipino society's very different viewpoints on unwed motherhood and adoption.

Latest: As of Sept. 2012, I worked on an Indie Film, "Baybayin, the Palawan Script", directed by Auraeus Solito, and international award winning Filipino director. I had a role in the film and explored my hobby as a STILLS Photographer. Currently I have quit all teaching, co-writing on an international film that will be done in 3D and CGI effects. I am back in the film-making business and I love it.

Adoption Discourse needs to hear YOUR VOICE. Every opinion, even opposing viewpoints will be posted and interaction invited by email and Comments have been activated again with spam filters!)
. Welcome, come learn, and share your thoughts.

July 31, 2009

GOA'L Annual Conference

Gyeongbok Palace - Seoul KoreaImage by laszlo-photo via Flickr

"Crossing Borders"
G.O.A.'L Annual Conference
July 31 - August 1, 2009
Sogang University, Seoul, Korea

Yes, folks, it's time for GOA'L Annual Conference number 11, starting tonight at 6 pm at Sogang University, Seoul, Rep. of Korea. "Crossing Borders" is the title and I will be staying overnight in Seoul at a local hotel, since getting home after a long night of catching up with Adoptees from around the world. Saturday I will be on a panel, speaking about my search and the effects on Post Search Blues. Lots of great things to be discussed and controversial topics looked at from both pros and cons with "This thing of ours"-Adoption.

If you are in Seoul, come on by, tonight is free. Cancel your classes and come!!
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July 18, 2009

Reflections for Adoption Day - INSIDE JoongAng Daily

Last Adoption Day, JoongAng Daily had this interesting article in English/Korean.


“May 11, 2009

Singer Cho Young-nam once retold the first time he met his adopted daughter. “Late one day, I went to a child care center where my wife said she came across a girl she liked and asked me to go over and see for myself.” While he was walking down the corridor, he heard whispers from caregivers saying they wished Eun-ji would be chosen because otherwise she would be headed to the orphanage a few months later. As he was about to step into a room where he could choose a toddler, he suddenly heard a loud voice inside his head crying out how wrong this was. “I wasn’t on a shopping spree. I shouldn’t be checking out a girl as if she was a pretty shoe to buy!” With that thought, he returned to the center’s office and asked for a girl named Eun-ji.

On that day 15 years ago, a 5-year-old girl found a home with the Cho family instead of the orphanage.
Today Korea commemorates Adoption Day. Up until the early 1990s, few were brave enough in this conservative society with its deep-rooted notions of family blood to open up about adopting a child. But as society has grown more accepting, it is no longer a hush-hush matter; about half of adoption cases last year were administered openly through agencies.

Still the country is dogged with the stigma of sending so many of its babies to homes overseas. Since 1958, when the country first started keeping records of overseas-bound adoptions, the total of Korean-born adoptees has numbered 160,000.

American Brooke Newmaster, while visiting the land of her birth, testified how adoptees live with the pain of having to time after time explain and convince others as well as themselves of their identity. Sweden-raised Tobias Hubinette in his study, “Comfortin an Orphaned Nation” on the connection between overseas adoption and Korean nationalism, chastised the country of their birth; the government not only saved huge sums in welfare costs but pocketed $4,000 to $7,000 in fees for each baby sent abroad. They feel they were abandoned by their motherland as well as their birth mothers.

What they ask of their birth country is not just encouragement to keep babies in Korean soil but to increase the support to unmarried single mothers. Almost all overseas adoptees were born to unwed mothers.
Author Jane Jeong Trenka, who wrote on trans-racial adoption experiences in “The Language of Blood,” taunted: “Korea is a country that bans exports of Jindo dogs. Is a child of an unwed mother less worthy than a dog?”
Ironically, support for Korea’s unwed mothers is coming from outside the country. Dr. Richard Boas, an American father of a girl adopted from Korea, has founded the Korea Unwed Mothers Support Network. “What is more precious to a newborn than a mother’s love and care?” he asks.
It is a question we all need to ask ourselves on today’s Adoption Day.
The writer is a deputy economic news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
By Lee Na-ree []

입양아와 진돗개

가수 조영남 씨에게서 딸 은지를 입양할 당시 얘기를 들은 적이 있다. "늦은 저녁, 아내가 아기를 봐뒀다는 영아원으로 갔어요. 원장이 나한테도 맘에 드는 애가 있는지 한번 둘러보라더군요." 복도를 따라 걷는데 뒤에서 보모들이 소곤거렸다. "은지가 됐으면 좋았을 걸." "몇 달 있으면 고아원으로 가야 하잖아." 첫 번째 방문을 열었다. 들어서려는 순간, '이건 아니다!' 하는 생각이 머리를 땅 때렸다. '애가 무슨 고무신인가, 예쁘면 골라 가고 미우면 외면하게.' 원장실로 되돌아가 물었다. "은지란 아이는 어디 있나요?" 다섯 살, 고아원에 갈 처지이던 꼬마는 그에게로 와 '조은지'가 됐다. 벌써 15년 전 일이다.
옛 사연을 새삼 꺼내는 건 오늘이 '입양의 날'이어서다. 1990년대만 해도 '다 자란 아이'를 공개 입양하는 건 매우 드문 일이었다. 요즘은 세월이 변해, 국내 사례의 절반 정도는 완전 공개 입양이다. 더 큰 변화는 2007년부터 국내 입양이 해외 입양 건수를 소폭 앞지른 것이다. 그렇더라도 한국이 세계 5위권의 '아기수출 대국'임엔 변함이 없다. 1958~2007년 해외 입양인 16만여 명. 누적 통계론 세계 1위다.
"타인은 물론 자신에게도 매번 정체성을 설명하고 납득시켜야 하는 고통"(입양인 브룩 뉴매스터) 속에 살아온 이들에게 모국은 가해자다. 스웨덴의 입양인 출신 사회학자 토비아스 후비네트(한국명 이삼돌)는 "과거 한국 정부는 해외 입양을 통해 막대한 복지 비용을 줄이고 건 당 4000~7000달러의 수수료까지 챙겼다"(『해외 입양과 한국 민족주의』)고 비판한다. 자신들을 버린 건 생모가 아닌 국가라는 인식이다. 이들의 바람은 뜻밖에도 국내 입양 확대가 아닌 미혼모 지원이다. 해외 입양아의 99%는 미혼모 자녀다. 오죽하면 미국 입양인 작가 제인 정 트렌카가 "한국은 진돗개 수출마저 금지하는 나라다. 미혼모 아이는 개보다 못하단 말이냐"고 쏘아붙였을까.
그런 의미에서 한국인 딸을 입양한 미국 의사 리처드 보아스 씨의 선택은 특별하다. 한때 '버려진 한국 아기'의 미국 입양을 후원했던 그는 지금 한국미혼모지원네트워크 대표다. 그는 묻는다. "아이에게 생모의 보살핌보다 더 좋은 게 있을까요?" 입양의 날, '입양 없는 날'을 꿈꾸며 우리 사회가 스스로에게 물어야 할 말 아닐런지.
이나리 경제부문 차장”

For your own link:

Reflections for Adoption Day - INSIDE JoongAng Daily


My Thoughts:

The Korean War Baby regrets that babies are still being produced by unwed young men and women. Each year the number of teenage pregnancy cases increases leading to the practice of Abortion as a means of birth control and population management. Last year it is estimated by NGO’s that one million Abortions took place. It amazes me that any baby is born alive and available for adoption. The number of Single Unwed mothers who chose to try and raise their child is understandably very few.

Can we blame the mothers? Faced with NO support from their parents, or on their own, themselves having run away from unhealthy families, abuse, or just a young woman who CHOSES to give LIFE to her baby. In the 1950 or ‘60 in America a single unwed mother would be facing about the same Cultural, Social, and Family, indifference and lack of support. Korea needs much improvement in this area, without a doubt. But will it take another decade or two before Korea becomes like the West in this area? Yes, I believe it will take many more years.

It is written in the Bible:

          Eze 16:4  And as for your birth, in the day you were born your navel was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you. And you were not salted, nor swaddled at all.
Eze 16:4  너의 난 것을 말하건대 네가 날 때에 네 배꼽줄을 자르지 아니하였고 너를 물로 씻어 정결케 하지 아니하였고 네게 소금을 뿌리지 아니하였고 너를 강보에 싸지도 아니하였나니
Eze 16:5  No eye pitied you, to do any of these to you, to have compassion on you. But you were thrown out into the open field, because your life was despised in the day that you were born.
Eze 16:5  너를 돌아 보아 이 중에 한 가지라도 네게 행하여 너를 긍휼히 여긴 자가 없었으므로 네가 나던 날에 네 몸이 꺼린바 되어 네가 들에 버리웠었느니라

Korean people do indeed Abandon its unborn, give away their own born-alive children for adoption, BUT only 52% last year were Domestic Adoptions. Thousands crowd the facilities for Rejected, Abandoned, despised and unwanted. Slowly the attitudes are changing for the better, Koreans are willing to adopt one who is not “of their blood”.

Perhaps we adoptees can help change the hearts and minds of the people by encouragement, cajoling, shaming, pleading, informing, etc.  Unfortunately, InterCountry Adoptions are a STILL necessary “evil” in order that every child has a home. It is better that a loving family adopt them than to grow up in crowded understaffed institutions.

July 17, 2009

Don Gordon Bell_Character Actor

Don Gordon Bell


Some have asked me "What is your
real name?" This is because in the days of my youth I had the great opportunity to work in the film business while living in the Philippines. If you have seen my Facebook page under "Don Gordon Bell" or google my name you will see at the Internet Movie Database you will see some of my film history as an extra, bit player, character actor, Main supporting cast, and a few Lead Roles in Filipino and International films. I was disappointed that the TvN program did not mention my humble achievements in the world of B-movies.

From 1975 to 1985 I worked on 25 international films, both large budget and small. Most were action, drama, comedy, even a couple of rather 'seedy' films I hope never see the light of day (that ought to get some people wondering). They were the best and worse years of my life, as a struggling 'actor' and 'stuntman' who learned on the job to develop my skills. I was one of a number of foreigners who were able to make a living from the trade. I eagerly learned many other tasks that would never be possible in other countries. In the business it is common to take on a 'screen name' because of many reasons. Most of my life "Don Bell" was turned into a joke, you know, "Doorbell! Ha ha", "Dingdong Bell", or the worst "Dumb Bell!" So several folks suggested that I switch to "Don Gordon". I had used Don Bell for three years, then told everyone call me Don Gordon from now on. I was not aware however that there WAS a REAL Don Gordon...


Google Don Gordon, he was born in 1926, has a long long film and TV credits. In 1980 or 81, I was working on "American Commandos" (released on DVD 1985) with Christopher Mitchum and John Philip Law. When I met John Philip and Christopher both of them were looking to meet "the real Don Gordon" of Papillion fame! John Philip said, "you ain't Don Gordon!" I replied, "Well, I am really Donald Gordon Bell, I used Don Gordon for a screen name the last five years." They then told me about the "REAL Don Gordon" and I was like "F*ck Me, now what do I do?" Christopher suggested that I use Don Gordon Bell, sort of like John Philip Law. We all thought that had a good ring to it. I announced to one and all that henceforth I was to be called Don Gordon Bell.

Then in sometime late 1981, the Real Don Gordon played the  main assistant of the 'Anti-Christ' Damien Thorn in "Omen III: The Final Conflict". Hell, he had second above the Title Credits and all over Manila was BillBoards/flyers/advertising with Don Gordon. Writers that I actually paid monthly put out
Omen III: The Final ConflictImage via Wikipedia
that it was ME. I tried without success to deny and even had some articles written. But everyone said, "we saw you, with a beard, congradulations...When did you do the filming. I finally just agreed with folks, yeah, that was me. Hey did you notice several of my films were accredited to the REAL DON GORDON. Fair is fair I guess. I wish you could send his agent this story!

Soon after Sid Furie came back to film, "Purple Hearts" (Filming 1982) and Sid knew me in "Boys of Co. C" as DON BELL (1977 filming). So there was all sort of confusion on the Filipino staff, who knew me as Don Gordon, and Sid as Don Bell. I had to make an announcement to one and all AGAIN, that I was to be known as DON GORDON BELL.

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July 13, 2009

Unlucky Female Babies

“The Abandoned Princess-7th Daughter”

Last year, in May of 2008, I met a Korean student who told me that she had been adopted domestically. Her name must remain secret because some of her relatives do not actually know that she was given up for adoption. I will call her 'Marie' because her story is very similar to a Korean Folk story called "Abandoned Princess" or " Ba Ri Gong Ju".

"In Korea, not having a son was especially bad luck, and based on the teachings of Confucius a woman who did not produce a son, broke one of the “Seven Virtues”. The husband could divorce her and marry another woman, because a son was necessary for continuing the blood lines.

‘The Seventh daughter’ were considered especially bad luck, because she was considered to be cursed with special psychic powers or fortunetelling abilities. She was also born in the year of the Horse, very inauspicious for daughters!

A famous legend is known, from the Shaman religion, of a “seventh daughter of a Neo-Chosen King who “Threw away his unlucky seventh daughter”. Her name was Princess Bari and her name literally means “Thrown away or Abandoned Princess”. The Mudang priestesses sing her sacred song, a Muga, to help the souls of the dead into the next cycle of life.

"Bari Gongju Muga” is the “Song of the Abandoned Princess” who did her filial duty and helped save her father and mother, even though they had thrown her away.

In the legend the Princess became a goddess and the Matriach of all the Shaman priesthood. Mudangs sing her song to ask Princess Bari to guide the spirit of the deceased into the next life cycle."

The reason that 'Marie' and her story surprised me was that I began to learn about Domestic Adoptees, In-Country adoptions that I would soon find out numbered in the ten's of thousands. I asked many fellow adoptees just how many Domestic Adoptees there were and no one seemed to know. Molly Holt then told me, "more than 80,000 plus 20,000 Private adoptions, like the Dutch diplomat and his wife, who gave up their Korean girl after bearing 'natural' sons."

In May of 2008, just one year ago, I had pretty much given up finding my birthmother but now "just when I thought I was out...they pulled me back in!" as Al Pacino would say. I became so caught up as I began to get up to speed on the Adoption situation in Korea. I had not even gone to GOA'L meeting since getting married, missing several yearly GOA'L conferences. I learned that more than 87,000 Domestic Adoptees, NOT counting perhaps 20,000 plus Private Adoptees undocumented by the government, are living in the country and 85% of them DON'T KNOW that they were adopted. Korean people still prefer to keep it a secret. I knew Korea had adoption within the family but had no idea there were so many. Molly Holt first told me of these domestic adoption numbers.

Then I read Tobias Hubinette's book, "Comforting an Orphaned Nation", and learned about the Korean's governments repeated attempt to get Korean people to adopt children that are not of their lineage. In 1973 after 'Dear Leader' Kim Il Sung accused the Southern government of 'selling children' the ROK (South) started a program that all government officials SHOULD adopt a child.

There have been many attempts to change the society's views on adopting a child that is not of their bloodline. Dr. David Hyungbok Kim in his book "Who Will Answer..." reports that in 1955 the Adoption Laws of the Republic of Korea stated that a child could be adopted only from a related family member. A Family Registry lists the family name and the region, such as "Kim Hae", means that only a child with the Surname of Kim from the Hae region could be adopted. If the child had the name Kim from another Kim line they would NOT be able to even adopt. Dr. David Kim was the man who told me about my sister and I. He lamented that the thousands of children separated from their parents from the war could not be LEGALLY adopted by Korean people.

To find out late in life that you were adopted is something I cannot imagine. I found websites on Late Discovery Adoptees Late Discovery - Home from America that told the stories of the 20% of adoptees in the USA that are NOT told that they were adopted. Some found out in their forties and fifties, after their parents had died, discovering adoption papers hidden in desks or file cabinettes. For the last year I have studied, joined one group after another, read from every part of the Triad-Adoptive Parents, Birth Family, and Adoptee. I have saved hundreds of documents from newspapers, book reviews, websites from all aspects of the controversy. I wanted to find out the truth, hear from every voice, even the 'angry, hurt, abused, unhappy adoptees'. I needed to hear the Good, Bad, Ugly, Sad, Happy, Successful, ALL of it before I could come to my own conclusions.

'Marie' found out when she tried to give blood for one of her parent's surgery, the nurse bluntly told her. "You Can't give blood...your blood type doesn't match either of your parents. Are you Adopted?" This was only a few years ago.

"Marie never expected to find out she had even one sister, but six? One day a surprise call came from one of them, the sixth sister, who had searched for her, the long lost sister who had been given away to be adopted.Marie had been the unlucky seventh daughter.

Marie was born the same year that my first child was born, my own daughter, born after a wild Christmas holiday with her Filipina mother. Have I shared that yet? For that story please go to
Korean War Baby "Tale of Two Women".

The Korean War Baby has met several times with Mission to Promote Adoption in Korea (MPAK)
Korean Adoption - Mission to Promote Adoption in Korea (MPAK) leader Steve Morrison. He introduced me to co-founder Mrs. Han Yeonhee and more than 50 families in the Ansan-Anyong-Suwan area who have adopted, many with Open Adoption with the Natural mothers. See the post or Documents available on sidebar on "Openness in Korean Adoptions" to download report by Prof. P. Haynes and Kim Kyungeun. This report tells about the attempts to try Open adoption and the difficulties that happen for all involved.

The Laws have been changing to increase and encourage Domestic Adoptions, raising the age limits to 60, single persons can even adopt, incentives are given, etc. (more to be posted on current Adoption Laws). But laws do not change HEARTS. Domestic adoption still barely exceeds 52% of available babies, who after surviving huge odds of 'elimination by abortion', are born alive and well.

Author: Dory MartinImage via Wikipedia

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July 10, 2009


Thanks to Hoya at GOA'L for saving my BUTT, by putting the file at "THIS original link" that expires after one week. Probably most of the curious will never visit again, my Facebook Friends have, I am certain, pressed the "Unfriend" button, the dreaded 'kill you' button that stops hearing from someone, without them knowing it. Kinda of like email "Block this person from spamming me with worthless jokes" button.

SO for you kind trusting souls who can FORGIVE an OLD FART please COPY AND PASTE this into your Browser Address Bar. TaDa:

I have actually been so busy trying to learn how to upload BIG FILES, sending ugly email to three companies, (No I did not get too angry, well I did get a little. OKAY I cussed one guy out for getting smart ass with me. I simply said, "This damn thing doesn't work for 700 MB files" and 'anonymous guy' at THIS PLACE:

“Your File Link” replied "There's nothing wrong with the system. We just have a filter in place
to stop rude idiots from uploading their files."

WELL, I never!! I replied back:

"Well!! You are not a computer program!!
This rude idiot has learned that your system is full of holes. Your System is not working very well, HELLO!!! Anyone can access other files by changing the numbers! I know because I tried to find my file by going backwards on the numbers. By just changing the numbers I saw five other files. Maybe some changes would help YOU to get a little security in your system. Is it your policy to made it easy to look at any of your files uploaded to your faultless system? When a RUDE IDIOT like me who knows JackAll about all this Techie stuff can look at multiple files...I would say you have a Faulty system."

"I have no idea what the files above are and I changed them for the security and privacy of the uploaders. As I informed your co-worker "Mark", small files that I uploaded (less than 1 MB) immediately had the "link code to download" and "delete code" Box thing-a-ma-jig. But four, may I say it, God blessed times I UPLOADED and got no "box with the codes". So what is up with that?
Hey, have a good day....I thought a robot program would be answering, not a sensitive soul. But really, there is always a better way to do something...I actually chuckled with the "we just have a filter in place to stop rude idiots from uploading their files".You ever heard this one? "The customer is always right."

I may be a slightly 'rude idiot' but you are not tough skinned enough for customer service, Grow a pair.
Your Rude Idiot customer,
Don Gordon Bell

I know, I I have to ask God to forgive me for more stuff but I have been too frustrated with all this was too good to pass up. I don't feel bad about it now, so the Lord will have to wait for me to feel bad, contrite, sorry for my Old nature of getting angry. Won't do me any good asking for forgiveness until I FEEL bad. Maybe next week.

Reminds me of a memory I have of in the Reception Center after my Korean "Natural/Birth" mother (Must be Politically Correct) left my sister and I. I remembered little flashes of memory, playing with a Jack-in-the-Box, you know where you turn the crank on the side and the music box inside plays a song. "Pop goes the weasel" tune as I vividly recall. Over the past few months I have had dreams recycled with more and more details. I got angry that I could NOT get the box to open, doing what I have done all my life, I took the box and smashed it down. Well Jack came out alright, but an older girl stopped me from having my way with it and completely destroying poor 'Jack'. She had a beautiful smile (I have always loved women who have nice smiles...sigh).

Until this year I had no idea who That Girl was, but remembered her face clearly in a dream around February of this year. One week later, I 'chanced' upon an article about Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans. Some may know that I was on the first plane of Holt Adoption Program in May of 1956 with 11 other children. I linked to this after Madonna had her second so called "Celebrity adoption" of Mercy stopped by the Malawi Court (later over ruled and permitted). I began looking into other adoptions by famous folks and of course remembered that my parents had a news clipping of the famous Mr. and Mrs. Cowpersons (Mr. Cowboy and Ms. Cowgirl in those pre-PC days) adopting a young Korean orphan girl. The media were all over the story that they were adopting from war torn Korea from Harry Holt who they accredited with starting it all. (Those of you who oppose InterCountry Adoptions for ALL reasons please hold your tongue for just a few more moments).

So, I find this website on them, and low and behold there is THE GIRL.

Debbie LEE who sat with me on the plane to Tokyo, Japan. Spent from May 21 until June 11 in a hotel room with Dr. Bob Pierce and all of us orphans, just a couple of helpers. Debbie was the girl who stopped my distructive rage on Jack-in-the-DAMN box that would not work SO I WILL BREAK THIS F$&##% THING. Debbie showed me how to crank it around until the music finished. Out pops Jack. Oh, so simple. Tragically, three years later Debbie was killed in a church bus accident after visiting an Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, just south of San Diego, California. I remember my parents (A-parents hereafter called simply parents) talking about her. But to see her photo after dreaming about her and 'seeing' her filled me with all kinds of emotions. You see only in the last six months have a lot of these memories come up in better details.

Do some of you do what I have done, most of my life when something doesn't work, Break it? Is it just me? According to Joe Soll, an adoptee himself and author, lecturer, who can be found at this:


...we adoptees may be prone to such behavior. Some of us, not all. We should try to use Qualifiers almost all of the time, rather than use general statements as a few do on occasions. I will look further into Joe Soll's excellent material (with his permission). I studied many concepts of psychology and counselling but Joe Soll tells it best because he IS AN Adoptee himself. Hey, better sign off for now.

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July 9, 2009

"Openness in Korean Adoption: From Family Line to Family Life"

The Korean War Baby has finally figured out how to put a Word Doc on a File Hosting site. Small beginnings so here is a test, Go to this link to download the file.

“Openness in Korean Adoptions” Prof. Kim Hyangeun


"Openness in Korean adoptions: From Family Line to Family Life"

P. Hayes and H.E. Kim


Since about 2000, a limited number of adoption organisations and parent groups in the Republic of Korea have been exploring how to increase communicative openness between adoptive parents and their children and between adoptive families and their neighbours. At least one agency has also developed structures to facilitate contact between the adoptive family and birth mother. The effort to increase openness is tied to a philosophy that challenges widespread assumptions in Korean society by centering its aims on family life rather than the continuity of the family line. The growth of openness has not been accompanied by a rise in domestic adoption numbers, but has contributed to broader efforts to liberalize family relationships in Korea.

Introductory Note

Peter Hayes is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sunderland, ADMC, Priestman Bld., Sunderland SR1 3PZ, UK (E-mail:
Hyang-Eun Kim is an Professor in the Department of Social Welfare, Kosin University, Busan, Republic of Korea (E-mail:

This document will give you a very good update on the real situation for Domestic Adoptions within Korea.

PS- If you want a copy please contact me by Email at

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July 5, 2009


I hope this works, most of it is in Korean and really the most important people to understand it are my Birth Mother and family. I thank everyone for the support and prayers. It is still a process that is challenging, emotional, weird, exciting, anxiety filled, hopeful and doubtful, so many different thoughts go through your mind.

Now I understand that only 2.7% (2,100) of 75,000 Adoptees who have visited Korea and done searches have re-connected with Natural/Birth mother/father/family. The whole process is complex, full of emotions, feelings of guilt, "should I do it" "it is too late, why bother"! It can boggle the mind, pierce the heart, rattle the soul. I have to ask others to translate more of what is said, then I will comment later.


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