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.


October 23, 2009

Casting Stones?-Not the KWB!




The Korean War Baby wants to make something VERY CLEAR. He does not condone the act of abortion, but he does NOT conDEMN any who are involved, not the woman, doctors or nurses, bio-fathers, NO ONE. But for the grace of God, the KWB should be stoned numerous times for uncountable crimes/sins against humanity. If God truly counts “Thoughts of sin” well, he is toast. No, someone said, “hate the sin, love the sinner”.
This story says it all…

Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery Bruegel
Image via Wikipedia
“Woman Caught in Adultery”
New Testament: Gospel of John (NKJV) e-sword 'electronic bible'
John 8:1  But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
Joh 8:2  And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him. And He sat down and taught them.
Joh 8:3  And the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman taken in adultery. And standing her in the midst,
Joh 8:4  they said to Him, Teacher, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
(Notice- where is the man? They let him go, what’s up with that?)

Joh 8:5  Now Moses in the Law commanded us that such should be stoned. You, then, what do you say?
Joh 8:6  They said this, tempting Him so that they might have reason to accuse Him. But bending down, Jesus wrote on the ground with His finger, not appearing to hear.
 (You got to love this-Jesus does NOT appear to hear the accusations against us, those who have put their faith in Him and been adopted into His Family)
Joh 8:8  And again bending down, He wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9  And hearing, and being convicted by conscience, they went out one by one, beginning at the oldest, until the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.


Joh 8:7  But as they continued to ask Him, He lifted Himself up and said to them, He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.


(See the oldest realized that Jesus had them trapped, if they threw a stone now, they would be claiming to be perfect, without sin. Couldn’t do THAT. One by one, they left and dropped their rocks)

Joh 8:10  And bending back up, and seeing no one but the woman, Jesus said to her, Woman, where are the ones who accused you? Did not one give judgment against you?
Joh 8:11  And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I give judgment. Go, and sin no more.

Someone, somewhere said something like this, “Be careful pointing a finger at someone…there are three fingers pointing back at you!” No, sir. The Korean War Baby cannot know the mind of a woman caught in THAT situation. To be forced to make that CHOICE? As a Man, who can know a woman’s thoughts, pain, suffering, or point a finger of blame? A few of the Pro-LIFE folks mistakenly shout ‘murderer’ and other insane things at women going into clinics. This ought NOT to be.
That is WRONG on many levels! It is ‘throwing stones’ and giving judgment, not demonstrating the Love of God. Some who disagree with issues of abortion, adoption, Life or Choice, all have their different views and the KWB honors their rights.

The story of how the very woman, using the pseudonym of Jane Roe, of “Roe vs. Wade”, Norma Mccorvey no longer believes in abortion. How did that happen? She was won over by a young girl, who was almost aborted, showing her the love of God. Norma gradually came to repentance, forgiveness, and healing. Now that is something to say, Amen, so be it!
Peace to All.

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