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.


March 31, 2010

Jane Jeong Trenka-TRACK

http://justicespeaking.wordpress.com/position-statement/
Jane Jeong Trenka has sent the Korean War Baby this link that was just posted on TRACK’s site, however she tried to get GOA’L and ASK to sign a Memorandum of Understanding just days after the ASK dinner of Jan. 23, 2010.
Don’t dare to tell ME, the Korean War Baby that he is just mad about losing? GOA’L has been hi-jacked, and unless YOU MEMBERS who HAVE NO VOICE nor can you VOTE at ALL in the future,
DO SOMETHING, THEY WILL GET AWAY WITH IT.
“When Good People DO NOTHING” you deserve what you get.

The Korean War Baby is on the War Path Ba' nadant'aahi' means kinda like KISS MY ASS. Oh, dear must watch my ‘potty mouth’ but my darkness inside SCREAMS out, the Language of Blood, of all my ancestors and by adoption Demand action.

*********************************************************
On this date:
Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM
subjectFwd: MOU
Hi Don,
I'm not sure what it'll take to convince you that TRACK has no interest at all in the demise of GOAL, and that we think that they provide valuable services, but here is my attempt to prove it to you.
I sent this to ASK and GOAL directly after the first awful ASK meeting and after calling all these parties, as well as Mee Joo. They all agreed verbally, but did not follow through in writing.
Nobody took me up on it at the time (two months ago!!!) but in light of what has apparently happened, I sent out a request again this morning that everyone get on board and sign.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jane Jeong Trenka <jjtrenka@gmail.com>
Date: 2010/1/26
Subject: MOU
To: Dae-won Wenger <sg@goal.or.kr>, stoker <klstoker@gmail.com>, jenny na <jennykyungja@yahoo.com>
Hi folks,
In case you could not open it, here is my proposed draft of an MOU. If you would like to participate, please write in your corrections and contribution, as well as paste in your logo, and I can stick it all together and send it back to you for your approval.
Best,
--
Jane Jeong Trenka 鄭敬我
TRACK 진실과 화해를 위한 해외 입양인 모임
http://justicespeaking.wordpress.com
http://jjtrenka.wordpress.com/
**************************************************************
In the days since the SHAM / FAKE ELECTION OF March 27th, 2010
The Korean War Baby has asked for clarification from groups that were involved on this fateful night.
THIS IS THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING THAT Jane Jeong Trenka sent to ASK and GOA’L on the date of JAN. 26, 2010, just 3 days after the ASK Dinner where Kim Su Rasmussen proposed to “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if ASK and TRACK…politicized GOA’L and take it over by Democratic means.
We witnessed the ‘democratic means’ of European abstention rules and Last Minute Candidate
 Julie Jong Koch by the Gang of 33.
(For you folks that may wonder why certain people’s names are in red. Red is used to signify someone who has died, In this case, THOSE WHO ARE DEAD TO ME. Not that I wish violence towards them, NO no no- nor anything bad on them, but they
no longer have meaning to
the Korean War Baby.
***************************************************
Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 6:07 PM
subject Re: MOU
Hi again,
I think that I have not addressed your question about what I might know in advance about the ASK meeting.
Believe me, I had NO IDEA they were going to pull that and I was wondering in my mind if how I might be able to just fall out of the window. I was ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIED that they did that at the ASK meeting, since I was sitting right next to Kim Su Rasmussen, and he said, "Wouldn't it be nice if TRACK and etc etc etc." So I was perfectly horrified and felt that he had implicated our organization in that plan.
Jennifer and I tried to make a space at KoRoot for us all to talk together after that, but KSR and BY did not come to that dinner. So we have never really talked about this face to face. Lack of communication is just terrible. Eli came to that dinner, but I perceive him to be more of an innocent bystander who has a connection with KSR because there are so few male adoptee academics from Scandinavia!! He doesn't even live in Korea.
Anyway, I had heard about KSR's ideas since this past summer, and I have never wavered in TRACK's position, which is "NOT INTERESTED IN THAT."
TRACK is doing what we have always set out to do and there is no reason for us to meddle with GOAL or ASK or anybody else. As you know from the MOU, we think there is a place for the Army, Air Force, and the Marines. ;) GOAL's direction is up to GOAL. Frankly, I do not care personally what direction GOAL goes, whether anti-adoption, pro-adoption, or neutral. That is probably not what you want to hear, as I know you very much want neutrality for GOAL. But for me, I just want to respect the groups and people here and work together for the common good. TRACK is doing what it has always done and our goal is very clear (the truth and reconciliation commission, which will give us so much information) and that is that!! It's very simple for me and for TRACK -- we are just doing our own work and hope to work together with others, and if they don't want to work with us (as has been the case with GOAL for some time now), then that's OK, we will just go our own way.
See ya,
jane
**************************************************************
This is the document Jane sent on Jan. 26th

MemOfUnderstanding_TRACK_p1
         MemOfUnderstanding_TRACK_p2
Jennifer Kwon Dobbs has also put forth the innocence of TRACK involvement or knowledge. I accept their explanations and believe the group TRACK are innocent.

Korean War Baby to Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
“Jennifer tell me if this is true? It comes from a someone you know very well, but is not involved:
From Source to Don Gordon Bell, Just after ASK dinner, 23 Jan, 2010
"I just heard about what went down at the ASK meeting. Just to let you know, Jennifer and Jane were as appalled as you were about the hijacking of the meeting (Jan. 23 ASK Diner across from KoRoot,) and didn't know anything about what Kilseung(sp? Kim Su Rasmussen) and other former members (Dr. Eli Park Sorensen) were cooking up. In fact, he had asked for some joint commitment towards some aggressive action against GOAL a few months back and TRACK and ASK told him they didn't want any part of it and thought that was the end of it." From a source
Yet Kim Stoker looked me in the eye and said she did not know what they were going to talk about. I am not stupid just old. This person's account seems to contradict that. I would like your remembrance of the ASK dinner of Jan 23, 2010.
 
I am giving you (Jennifer Kwon Dobbs) the chance to clear up, WHAT DID YOU KNOW and WHEN DID YOU KNOW IT. Did you personally meet with Kim Su and Eli, or know of their plans, before that night? The email does not implicate either of you. Please, Send me your account by email, I will post it immediately next to the section. I will not alter a word. As it is "you were both appalled" is what I would expect. But I WANT TO KNOW who the "Leaders were from ASK and TRACK" who didn't want any part of it. Certainly not Ms. Kim Stoker.
**********************************************************
Well, both Jane Jeong Trenka and Jennifer Kwon Dobbs (from Truth and Reconciliation for Adoptees Commission in Korea) have convince the KWB that they DID NOT know. Who were the “leaders from TRACK that didn’t want any part of it” then?

Could perhaps Nicole Sheppard shed some light on these events? or perhaps on this comment on "An interesting weekend and result at the GOA'L AGM this past Saturday"? Nicole, you were present at the ASK Dinner of 23 Jan. 2010, were you not. What did you know and when did YOU know about it?Ms. 김종에 are you not one of the Gang of 33?
Go ask her folks, demand answers.
********************************
I, the Korean War Baby, Don Gordon Bell, have signed this document the MOU that SHOULD have been signed by ASK and GOA’L, back in January. As a sign of good faith from TRACK. ONLY.

QUESTION to GOA'L: Why was it not taken as a serious matter by You?
Why did Jane go to them again just this week and they GOA'L and ASK are scrambling to post their NEUTRALITY? This is unacceptable to rational minds.
 
Yet the co-Founders Jenny Na and Kim Stoker who started Adoptees Solidarity Korea and several of their members, Tammy Chu, Maya Weimer, Ko Su Yoon, were part of the Gang of 33!!!
 
Voting in Lock Step.
 
North Korean babes training


CAN YOU ACCEPT A Belated MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FROM THE ASK members NOW?
Want to buy a bridge?


.
***********************************
Someone asked me, WWJD, or “What would Jesus do”
Hmmm, let me ask “What would Geronimo, my ancestor do or say?”
Ba' nadant'aahi'
“roughly kiss my ass”
Geronimo_MedicineManWGreatPower
Geronimo
One of my ancestors was in the tribe of the Chiricahua Apache tribe, one of the six tribes of the Apache Nation. Geronimo was a Medicine man and War Chief of the Chiricahua Apache. Apache is “Enemy” in Zuni language qaapaču and they were one of the most feared of Native Americans.
For 5 years Geronimo and his small band eluded thousand of US Army troops, killing hundreds of men, women, and children. He accepted several times to go to a reservation but always sought to escape when the US government broke the promises.
Gokhlayeh is the Apache name, and can mean “He who laughs”. Geronimo ran through ranks of Mexican soldiers, the same who had massacred his family. He killed them with his knife in full day light, leading a war party after following the guilty soldiers. There were Apache prisoners that the Mexicans would sell as slaves.
All the time Geronimo laughed wickedly as he slashed their throats, and afterwards, covered in their blood he thanked the Great Spirit for the victory.
The poor Mexican soldiers cried out to their patron saint “Je ro me save me” in Spanish sounds like Geronimo. The name stuck and ‘Geronimo’ became the name of the last Native American to fight the USA.

Jane Jeong Trenka and Jennifer Kwon Dobbs are okay in my book, So I signed their original MOU as a Sign of Understanding from the Korean War Baby.

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1 comment:

  1. Jane and Jennifer ARE NOT my spies, nor do I agree with 10% of their beliefs. I leave their names here because they have proven that they are honorable women.

    Korean War Baby

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