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.


January 15, 2010

When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines: NAKED VENGEANCE (1985)

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The Korean War Baby salutes his fellow blogger Jack J: 
“Ahh, I've finally tracked down an uncut print of Cirio H. Santiago's 6320_1184653987368_1558820580_30492967_971241_nNAKED VENGEANCE!!! I'm told the only uncut version is this unrated US NTSC tape.











‘Arnie’, one of the five rapists, is turned into a ‘human slushy’. 
 

I'm getting the uncut version now, haha. Oh, and follower of this blog, Nick Nicholson, is in this as well. And if that's not enough our good buddy Fred Adelman said about NAKED VENGEANCE:
Mr. Santiago has directed over 50 features (many for Roger Corman) and is highly-regarded in his homeland of the Phillipines. I consider NAKED VENGEANCE to be his crowning achievement.

Read Fred's review here.


Desktop009The KWB does NOT recommend his fellow Adoptees, Facebook friends, students, Parents, Shinsegae Cultural Center students, etc. to watch this movie. Rated R.



Please DON’T watch it. Especially not the uncut version…He was one of the filthy rapists…in the movie, NOT in real life silly. Naked Vengeance was one of the early “Chick Revenge” flicks.


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This was very difficult shooting a rape scene. Most of the time I was just wearing a jockstrap and a smile. We shot on location in Baguio City, north of Manila in the Mountain Province. It was only ‘acted out’ but Dir. Cirio Santiago created a violent, terrifying, and realistic scene. Many of the women on the set, production staff, make-up artists, wardrobe, etc. were really upset at us for several days. We all did our best at maintaining a professional attitude during the shoot. Actress Deborah Tranelli did a great job on this film,  shot during her ten year appearance on "Dallas" a major popular television drama.



Deborah Tranelli-leading role as Carla

DeborahTranelliThe talented Deborah Tranelli, who later played Bobby Ewing’s faithful Secretary ‘Phyllis' on popular TV drama “Dallas”. Here she answers questions for Interview UltimateDallas.




Greg_G in London asks How did you get the role of Phyllis, did you expect to be with the show for so many years.
Deborah - I was interviewing with an agent and the agent sent me out on the audition, they were replacing Bobby's secretary. When I first got it, it was just such a whirl wind, I thought it was for just one episode and never in my wildest dreams thought that I would still be there over 10 years later until the end of the series. The great thing about the show was that I was on a lot of the episodes but also had the opportunity to do lots of other television, continue my theatre and music. It was a wonderful job.

Yes, acting can be a wonderful job, no matter what role, as a background  artist (extra), bit player, character role, supporting and main cast…"There’s no business like Show Business.”
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What a way to make a living!! The KWB was brutally killed, turned into a slushy by this female “vigilante”. His character DID deserve to die though…Thanks Jack J for the story.


Actors Kaz Garas as Fletch, Nick Nicholson as Sparky,
and Don Gordon Bell as Arnie.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Don,

    I think my li'l blog fly under most people's radar so it's very cool to see your post here.
    Take care, mate.

    Jack

    ReplyDelete

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