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 28, 2010

Death of GOA'L

Watch for Next report of the "Sham Election and the Gang of 33".

R.I.P.

Attention all GOA'L Members, If you wanted Neutrality you won't find it at GOA'L anymore. You will not be allowed to vote by modern means IN THE FUTURE, since a gang of 33 Anti-Adoption Adoptee Associates, who moan, whine, and seemingly blame adoption for all their problems, Blocked by Abstention votes and YOU HAVE NO VOICE and you never will be allowed to vote by electronic means, only if you are here physically living in Seoul, Korea, at the next Annual General Meeting-in TWO years. Shouldn't it be Bi-Annual?

Who are the Anti-Adoption Adoptee Associates, you ask? Good people who seem to think that ALL adoptees should feel like they do. They want you to feel bad that you were adopted. If you are one of 29,000 Disabled (Korean Government's terms) children or one of 12,000 Mixed-Blood adoptees you don't count. Any one who is happy to be adopted and loves their Adoptive Family DOES NOT COUNT either. You are supposed to be angry that someone "stole you from your mother". This did in fact happen in some, uh 5 or 6 cases, however that is not the case for MOST of us. Facts are inconvenient but true that for many our mothers they had few choices. But the AAA's don't seem to care- for THEIR agenda Korea should stop sending babies because Korea is rich; they should be ashamed that they still eat dogmeat and sell babies to the so called "Adoption Industry".


Yet three years ago, when the KWB got into this again. He discovered there were more than 80,000 Domestic adoptions done through the same four Adoption Agencies. Even ASK and TRACK leaders only guessed that there were 5,000. In months the KWB had three confirmed sources that now states 87,500 domestic adoptees walking around the streets of South Korea, maybe passing their won birth mothers unbeknown-st to each other. These are 97.8% kept SECRET and recently the KWB has learned that the number of CIVIL Code Law adoptions may be double the number of domestic. But the government doesn't have figures on that. Simple math though comes up with some numbers that will stun you.

ASK and TRACK have worked with helping groups of Unwed mothers, so the KWB joined and has been present at 90% of the meetings. Many online members are not present in Korea but the few who DO show up number less than twenty. Does anyone care to know how many Unwed Mothers have kept their babies? Since 1991 to the present, according to the KWDI (reports under headline of KWB) over 55,000 mothers have kept their babies. Up to 37% in 2008, but what of the other 63%? Well, they CHOSE to give their babies up for adoption. Do they NOT have that RIGHT? Of course they do. Few of the AAAA's know these facts OR seem to CARE.

Some pontificate and claim that they want Korean Unwed Mothers to keep their babies and Not give them UP. But ask the KUMSN (Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network) how many times I, the Korean War Baby has shown up at the meeting for them, then find out how many of the AAAA's have come. Last Sunday one young mother told me, "Thank you, you always come to support us I wish I could vote for you." I wish you could have indeed.

In fact, the KWB will soon be posting stories of these brave mothers through Kwon Hee-Jung Coordinator with KUNSN and Jane  of TRACK and Kim of ASK-who looked me in the eye and denied knowing any knowledge of the plot. If adoptions are to be Stopped you must stop the SUPPLY. I proposed getting together with these two leaders in order to plan strategy to move the Korean people to know more about the Unwed mothers. Feel free to confirm with Ms. Kwon, (OH, most of you DON'T know her, because you don't show up)...I will ask them to verify this for you.

Point is if you claim to be FOR mothers keeping their babies, SHOW ME!! Where are you guys, too busy? Out of the Gang of 33 perhaps 10 of the women and a couple of guys have ever 'supported' or come to KWDI (Korean Women's Development Institute) meetings. I have gone to almost every single one, (missed the sales event) because I want to know facts and meet them face to face.

The Korean Women's Development Institute has several professors who are freely giving documents and help in translation. I will post more of them soon.

I have uncovered from their own documents numbers that might represent the CIVIL Code Law adoptions that in the last Forum every speaker lamented, "we don't know how many Civil adoptions there are truly". I will meet next week with KWDI staff to discuss this and show them the numbers.

UH, where are you KIM SU? Scuba diving is fun, but I haven't seen you at any meeting this year? Must be busy as an English professor. Too busy, planning to "Politicize goa'l?"

Perhaps you would like to present your lofty and eloquent reasons on my blog? (with full authority on content? We could backtrack it from somewhere with a link, I won't even make comments, until later post). We all want to know your agenda, weigh its merits or is that still a big secret? Why don't you start your own NGO? So many questions.

The Plot to Politicize GOA'L

  Dr. Rasmussen and I had differing ideas but I thought we had mutual respect and understanding. What happened Kim Su? Kim Su and E. P. Sorensen apparently hatched their plan back in December and approached ASK and TRACK leaders. Kim S. of Adoptees Solidarity Korea, allowed them to speak and then adamantly proclaimed that she had NO idea what they would address at the JANUARY 23, ASK dinner meeting. A 'Source' from one of their number revealed a different story .

"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 DINNER) and didn't know anything about what Seo Kilseung (Kim Su R.) and other former members (Dr. E. P. 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." Anyone want to see the email (Fri, January 29, 2010 7:44:43 AM)





"Some have contacted the KWB already and hopefully they will present their own personal accounts of "What they knew and When they knew it".

When approached in December leaders said no way, yet they allowed them to speak to ASK dinner Jan. 23, where many adoptees with absolutely no knowledge of any Adoptee groups in Korea were suddenly confronted with "Take over GOA'L by Democratic means". (This is what was used to gather a large majority NOT for electing their candidate but to block. But this is easily done when people living don't go out of their way to come and vote! You Deserve the leadership that you will get. Fortunately Vice-Secretary General MeeJoo  will ably run things until the Board of Directors are finished with their campaigning and can meet, sometime in the future.)

Kim Su and Eli Park started off that night of Jan. 23, saying that it was time to make a "democratic take-over of GOA'L to Politicize it to be even more Radical than than ASK or TRACK."

The KWB stopped them and reminded them firmly that this was NOT the proper venue with perhaps ten adoptees fresh off the plane (an ASK meeting and not a GOA'L event. Several GOA'L staff were present and the KWB noted that they were not surprised) . The KWB noted that not too many people seemed "surprised at their words" (Noon Chi at work- learning to 'read' people). Just a week before the former SG had secretly told his staff of his pending plans of running for Director of the Board of Goa'l. Apparently there were leaks.

*********************

If I was a "paid up Member" I would withdraw my membership but according to new rules announced by the now past SG, that even GOA'L staff were not aware of, I SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN accepted as a candidate because I was not a paid up member. HUH? I phoned in to a senior staff member to inquire about the status of my membership in February.

I asked to check the status of my membership in Feb. 2010, when I first decided to run for the membership, because maybe I needed to Renew my membership.

Office Administrator Ms. Ji-young Lee
Email:
office@goal.or.kr

"OH, you're okay until July." said Ji-Young. "You're sure? I don't need to pay for this year?" "No, you are okay."

At the SHAM 'Election', it was revealed that one must renew membership "At the beginning of the year" If you paid in December it was good for the next year. I don't remember ever getting this information. I was standing at the front of the room about to get Q and A from members of the audience when this was revealed by the SG.

"WTH? I am not a member? What am I doing as a Candidate?" Another new rule, why did the manager of the staff NOT know this when I asked her if I needed to renew my membership? Slight lack of communication eh?

Oh, and votes were taken by raising your hand. Yes at one point the KWB tried to raise both, but Nicole S. was not fooled. There were some guests in the room and couple of them were raising hands until some member suggested that they stand off to the side. Ballots were tiny pieces of paper with Terry Forsyth's name misspelled and he had already withdrawn as Terry would not be able to commit full time as SG. He runs a multi-million dollar business and was I think a guy who knows how to manage people very well.

I was informed by one of the staff that a new candidate was added, WTH? But none of the staff knew minutes before the Annual General Meeting began (which happens BI-Annually by the way) who she was even. No one knew her name. They had not been informed. Her initials are J K, been here only three months in Korea, poor thing struggled with some question but did a good job. Better than Palin. LOL. Why Julie even used the "NEUTRALITY of GOA'L shtick".

Seth Hammontree was supposed to have a live Skype connection but we were informed that it was just too difficult. Waiting to hear from Seth what HE was told. So Seth and his wife wasted all their time preparing and thinking about such a momentous move to Korea IF they had won.

A gang of 33 who's agenda is to make GOA'L MORE political, meaning THEIR Anti-Adoption Adoptee's Association agenda, effectively blocked ANY candidate from gaining a majority, EVEN their SHAM CANDIDATE J. K. Well planned and executed! Aided when people don't use their feet to vote then they deserve what they get. BUT WAIT, 47 ronins uh, Goa'l members decided for all Globally challenged meaning those who DON'T LIVE IN KOREA.

 

TOO BAD we don't have modern communications, emails, scanning of documents, to prove identity and vote. Oh, That too was decided by the gang of 33 NOT TO BE DONE by Abstention votes. It is the EUROPEAN standard to count Abstention votes is different ways that Robert's Rules of Order-American. So GOA'L has become Euro-centric.

Thus, according to the former SG (Jan) Daewon Kim (Wenger), co-founder of "Dongari_Switzerland" Adoptee group in 1994 with Pastor Kim of KoRoot, now the VICE Secretary General Mee Joo  who now goes by KimMeeJoo, will be "acting Secretary General" until the new Board of Directors decide who will run the NOW Anti-Adoption GOA'L.

One might note that when a few adoptees come to live in Korea, they try to Go Native and return to their former name. I wonder if they did that "Legally" I mean you know I am no longer Legally "Jun Yong Soo" it is Donald Gordon Bell. Now I don't think it is wrong, it's up to each individual to develop their level of Adoption Identity.


People, this is NOT because I lost, and I wonder what happened to many friends who told me they were coming to vote but did not show up. When people do not get involved in This Thing of Ours-Adoption, these kinds of things happen SHAME ON YOU who Could have come, but did not. Where were you guys when we needed you? Oh, most of you don't live in Korea, so you don't count.

This is only the first of my sad eulogy for goa'l. Rest in Peace my old 'neutral' friend, for a few angry disgruntled adoptees have killed you. I will no longer encourage any adoptee to come to YOU anymore for goa'l no longer lives. You are dead to me and us. The gang of 33 win the first battle...but the war is only beginning. Get ready, for some HEAT.

*************************************

Comments:

Kim H. said...
Don, please let me know what I can do from the USA.~Kim



Don Gordon Bell said...
NOTHING, your membership in GOA'L may have expired unless you renewed in December 09 or since the beginning of the year. The old way from like my case, July of '09 to July of '10 was changed sometime in late Jan. I am reviewing all the emails which I keep to determine the exact time. None of the staff are certain if I even needed to become a Member BEFORE being voted into SG leadership! I am not moaning about myself, but this group clearly wants to make goal into a political group.



nancy said...
Don I took a glance at your link and it does seem like something was awry. I am sorry that they took you so far into the process to pull a fast one. I guess as frustrating as it is , maybe that was a sign on how they would operate and maybe it saved you from further craziness if they are not on the up and up. I don't know...I am sorry though..You have an important voice that needs to be heard. Nancy Adams




Kim said...
Hi Don, Thank you for the extended report. It's unbelievable to read what happened. I look forward to read G.O.A.'L.'s statement soon. I resigned yesterday officially from the board of Arierang so I can focus more on international affairs on a non-board level. Please continue blogging and writing, and enjoy a good sunday evening, best, Kim



Frank Pittser begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting said...
Don, you've done a fine job "reporting from the field". I have met some of theses AAAA's and I think, how sad to be them. They automatically assume life would have been better in Korea. They stumble around in the darkness of their own bitterness wearing a scowl on their faces. Thanks for shining the light so others can choose weather or not they wish to associate with such negative people. Perhaps a new group shall be born from this. An organization that offers truth and hope to those struggling with this thing of ours, adoption. Time to bring on the H.E.A.T. which stands for Hope Encouraging Adoption Truth. I'd like to nominate Don Gordon Bell as the first President of H.E.A.T. Anyone like to second that?




Anonymous said...
Thomas, I second that!
KoreanWarBaby said...




Thank you one and all, To Kim H., Nancy, Kim V (http://kimsungok.blogspot.com/) the Dutch Princess, and my friend Frank Pittser recently reunited with his Natural Mother, who gave him life, but due to pressure and shame from date rape did not even know if "it" was a boy or girl. Frank made contact after 50 YEARS. USE search engine on my blog, left column for full story.

I appreciate your comments. Spread the word to one and all of the debauchery and Sham election that killed GOA'L. I need to rally the troops, get the word out to especially Adoptees who have benefited from the hard work that GOA'L has done. Everyday I will post aimed sniper fire but I stand alone on the wall.

I am issuing a call to Assemble those who stand for truth in THIS THING OF OURS-ADOPTION. I will not give in, nor will I give quarter, the sheath of off and the bayonet is fixed.

Tell all you know War has been declared!!









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6 comments:

  1. Don, please let me know what I can do from the USA.~Kim

    ReplyDelete
  2. NOTHING, your membership in GOA'L may have expired unless you renewed in December 09 or since the beginning of the year. The old way from like my case, July of '09 to July of '10 was changed sometime in late Jan. I am reviewing all the emails which I keep to determine the exact time. None of the staff are certain if I even needed to become a Member BEFORE being voted into SG leadership!

    I am not moaning about myself, but this group clearly wants to make goal into a political group.

    ReplyDelete
  3. nancy adamsMarch 28, 2010

    Don I took a glance at your link and it does seem like something was awry. I am sorry that they took you so far into the process to pull a fast one. I guess as frustrating as it is , maybe that was a sign on how they would operate and maybe it saved you from further craziness if they are not on the up and up. I don't know...I am sorry though..You have an important voice that needs to be heard.
    Nancy Adams

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Don,
    Thank you for the extended report.
    It's unbelievable to read what happened. I look forward to read G.O.A.'L.'s statement soon.
    I resigned yesterday officially from the board of Arierang so I can focus more on international affairs on a non-board level.
    Please continue blogging and writing, and enjoy a good sunday evening,
    best,
    Kim

    ReplyDelete
  5. Don, you've done a fine job "reporting from the field". I have met some of theses AAA's and I think, how sad to be them. They automatically assume life would have been better in Korea. They stumble around in the darkness of their own bitterness wearing a scowl on their faces. Thanks for shining the light so others can choose weather or not they wish to associate with such negative people. Perhaps a new group shall be born from this. An organization that offers truth and hope to those struggling with this thing of ours, adoption. Time to bring on the H.E.A.T. which stands for Hope Encouraging Adoption Truth. I'd like to nominate Don Gordon Bell as the first President of H.E.A.T. Anyone like to second that?

    ReplyDelete
  6. KoreanWarBabyMarch 29, 2010

    Thank you one and all,
    To Kim H., Nancy Adams, Kim V (http://kimsungok.blogspot.com/) the Dutch Princess, and my friend Frank.

    I appreciate your comments. Spread the word to one and all of the debauchery and Sham election that killed GOA'L. I need to rally the troops, get the word out to especially Adoptees who have benefited from the hard work that GOA'L has done. Everyday I will post aimed sniper fire but I stand alone on the wall.

    I am issuing a call to Assemble those who stand for truth in THIS THING OF OURS-ADOPTION. I will not give in, nor will I give quarter, the sheath of off and the bayonet is fixed.

    Tell all you know War has been declared!!

    ReplyDelete

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