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 25, 2010


The Korean War Baby is quite impressed with the three Candidates, their credentials each have in Education, Life experiences, volunteer work, business, social work, are indeed QUITE IMPRESSIVE! Seriously, he is having a hard time deciding whom he will vote for, since one is not allowed to vote for himself. HERE THEY ARE:

 Seth Hammontree

 Courtney Rader

 Terry Forsyth

FACELESS-Apparently I was not supposed to post anything about the candidates. The KWB has pulled off the Introductions. SO If you are a GOA'L member currently living in-country, be sure to read your emails, all you other members who live abroad are OUT of LUCK. Only those members in Korea get to know who will be voted on.

Well, the questionnaires have been sent, they will be filled out by the mystery candidates, then sent back, then, mere hours before the election on Saturday. Yeah, GOA'L members will learn a little more about the shy candidates! What kind of Campaign is THAT? Have no idea...We don't know the Young, Handsome, Beautiful, candidates' view on hardly anything. Maybe google?

I, the Korean War Baby then issued a friendly Challenge as a way for THEM to publish THEIR views quickly and clearly to the 'paid readers of my blog'. 

Will we not have a chance to know WHAT YOU THINK and


CIVIL Adoption-

DOMESTIC Adoptions in Korea-

Unwed mothers issues in Korea-

Democrat, Republican, or Independent- 

Views on Searching for Biological family-

Have you thought about or done any steps on Search-

Have you made contact/reunion with Biological Family-

What is a REAL Korean-

How do Koreans think of Adoptees-

Are you Pro-Adoption or Anti-Adoption-

Have you visited Korea, How many times, What was it like?-

Have you lived in Korea for short/extended time-

Have you worked in Adoption related group?-

What about your family-

*The questionnaire Has been sent out, and I sent it back Wed. March 24th by Midnight. It is less than 3 days until the election day!! All past members of GOA'L will just have to wait until the results are posted. Who will be the mystery winner?

My esteemed fellow candidates did not accept the opportunity to tell us more about themselves, or their views. SIGH.

NOW, you GOA'L members who are living in the country, GET off your butts, get down on Saturday the 27th of March, and cast a vote. PLEASE check your email RIGHT up to the last minute to find out WHO is RUNNING and more about How they will do it. 

The Korean War Baby is way too old, far too American, knows TOO much information for his own good, IS VERY INTENSE about doing the RIGHT THING, AND a STRONG WORDED S.O.B.


Don't make me have to represent you Korean Adoptees!! You might be embarrassed by me.
Why someone might find some DIRT about my past, my horrible life as a womanizing, drug-using, pot smoking, champion of drinking, prone to violent rages, why I could go on and on.

But my past is my past. I have been broken upon the ROCK (look that up in the Bible), and the 'One who lives in me' has utterly shattered my prideful self. He would not let me leave Korea when I hated this place. GOD did this to me, kept me here, when I had no purpose and lost my direction after ruining my first marriage. I was just some stupid guy who never finished university, trying to teach English. In 14 years I estimate over 2,000 students have been molded by me...

I am not a wonderful person, but I DO have ZEAL, and PASSION.  

DON'T VOTE for ME, if you cannot accept all my quirks and imperfections.

BUT if you need someone to watch your back, or stand by you in a fight, Your enemies will become my enemies! I don't forsake my friends and I don't let my foes get back up.

I will SPEAK up against CRAP when I see it, and defend the oppressed. Ask any of my friends who have known me if this is truth or bullshit.
 To the weak I am gentle, to children I am a teddy bear. I am complex yet simple.

This is my crazy nature, from my martial arts training, proud US Marine Corps is in my BLOOD- of Korean, Spanish, Mexican, and Chiricahua Apache in my DNA. It is who I AM. 

HERE I Stand, Ready for Duty.

Don't want some crazy dude? Then go Vote for one of the young bloods.

Please don't vote for me, unless you want THIS!

Sincerely and respectfully,

Don Gordon BELL
Korean War Baby


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