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 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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  1. Hey Brother,

    I am sincerely impressed with your blog here!

    I'm glad you decided to write about the adoptions. Hope more people see this! I have posted a lint to here from my blog!


  2. Don Gordon BellJuly 11, 2009

    Hey Nick,
    Glad you are blogging again as well. I need some help with video files though LOL. Did you see my comment on a post you made recently? Let's keep that secret. hehehe. Oh, no, this is the internet. Oops.

  3. Your stories are getting great man, I enjoy reading them. You are learning too by making mistakes aren't ya ? Don't trust that visitor-counter either, it counts every move instead of realistic hits, see the clustrcounter Nick and I are using. Berto

  4. Berto,
    What do you think about this: this is for Blogger Comments and seems pretty cool. check it out.