THIS THING OF OURS-ADOPTION

THE KOREAN WAR BABY

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.


September 27, 2009

Woman in embryo mix-up gives birth to boy - CNN.com

Science Screws up Big Time
CNN & BBC reports over 100 embryos were ‘mislabeded’ by human error at a Fertility Clinic and used in IVF. Just more heartache for families and what questions does it raise for all ‘test-tube babies’?
Woman in embryo mix-up gives birth to boy - CNN.com
  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Woman gives birth to healthy baby boy, statement from couple says
  • NEW: Couple congratulates biological parents of the baby in statement
  • Fertility clinic implanted another couple's embryo into woman
  • Couple decided to carry baby through delivery and give him to genetic parents
(CNN) -- A woman who had the wrong embryo implanted in her gave birth to a baby boy Friday, according to a statement from the couple.
Sean and Carolyn Savage with daughter Mary Kate (now 18 months) and sons Ryan, left, and Andrew.
Sean and Carolyn Savage with daughter Mary Kate (now 18 months) and sons Ryan, left, and Andrew.
"Our family is deeply grateful for the support and prayers of so many people from around the world," the statement said. "We also would like to thank the medical professionals who provided superior care and treatment throughout the pregnancy and delivery."
"Our family is going through a very difficult time and requests privacy in the days ahead."
The couple said a fertility clinic implanted another couple's embryo into Carolyn Savage's uterus -- in essence, she became an unwitting surrogate for another family.
Ten days after the procedure in February, they received a call from the clinic's doctor: "Carolyn is pregnant, but we transferred the wrong embryos."
Don't Miss related stories:
"I don't think I've ever cried so much in my life," Savage said. "It was such a nightmare and, in a way, I felt violated."
Within minutes of learning the news, the Sylvania, Ohio, couple decided to carry the baby and relinquish him to his DNA parents after birth.
Video Here:
Watch the couple discuss their decision. »

Health Library
They met with the baby's genetic parents and the DNA-related mother of the child came along for one doctor's appointment.
In their statement after the birth, the Savage family congratulated the biological parents of the baby.
"We would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to the Morell family on the birth of their son," the statement said. "We wish Paul, Shannon, their twin girls and their new baby boy the best, as they move forward with their lives together."
The Savages did not release the name of the clinic where they underwent in vitro fertilization. They provided proof of their reproductive predicament, including results of amniocentesis, a genetic test, indicating the baby Savage was carrying was not theirs.
Korean War Baby comments:
An example of the difficult choice this and other couples are faced with, yet ‘in the best interest of the child’ they chose life. These are the strange things that science has wrought. This couple have sacreficed their own desires for a child, doing the right thing they felt to not only let it be born but to give it up to the biological parents.
One thing even the esteemed CNN and BBC FAIL to note- the effects on the child taken from its ‘mother’. Has the baby BONDED to the ‘birth’ mother? Will the baby now BOND with the biological mother or be utterly confused? Will it also have some of the same problems that many, not all, adoptees have with Attachment Disorders? How many IVF ‘mistakes’ have been made in the past?
The Korean War Baby knows some of these difficult choices. What does happen to “EXTRA” fertilized eggs, frozen after a week of development? Some of them have been sold to use in research. In Korea the mad scientist H****** made a mockery of the nation and tried to fool the scientific community. He was ‘testing’ with hundreds of human eggs to develop Somatic Embryonic Stem Cells, ‘Harvested’ from women who thought they were helping to develop cures for many diseases.
ADULT Stem Cells are being used and good results have already been proven. Embryonic Stem Cells are injected into willing patients in Korea right now, though nothing has been proven useful. The KWB will look into this more, stay tuned. Give your comments or send email to koreanwarbaby@gmail.com
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