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 3, 2010

A what? Cliff? Oh...Cleft, A CLEFT LIP? OMG

 "Satan sent you to drive me crazy, that right Private? I CANNOT BELIEVE What you JUST SAID!!!"

"A what? Cliff? No...Cleft, a CLEFT LIP? OMG!"

The KWB and his 1st wife K. were meeting with a Korean woman who had been married for ten years but was 'barren' or infertile. Or so they thought, as the JipSa Nim (Deaconess in an Evangelical church) told us the wrong translation, she actually just had no children but had become pregnant several times. After carefully backtracking and careful questioning, it became understood that the woman's last pregnancy had been 'terminated' because of a MRI scan that showed that the baby had a Cleft Lip.

His wife was stunned, having worked in a hospital she knew that this was a correctable and fairly common procedure that was done requiring several operations depending on the severity of the condition. They asked many more questions and learned Yes, it was a minor Cleft lip condition and could be corrected by two operations but everyone in the husband's family insisted to 'get rid of it' or Bari Da 다리다. "IT" was too shameful to have to deal with and everyone in the large church would know about it. So at 28 weeks into her pregnancy with a 'boy baby', this woman tearfully told them that she had had Another 'operation'.

"ANOTHER operation? She had another one before?" The 1st wife was now asking the questions rapid-fire through the Jipsa Nim. "How many "Operations did you have?" The Jipsa Nim apparently already knew and told us "Oh, she's had five, Anio? Six, this was her was boy baby. Pastor agreed she should do it." The previous 5 were girls and the family of the husband wanted a boy first. This is an unusual case but not entirely unknown as the sex ratio of male to females in some rural areas reached 130 males to 100 females. This is why over 160,000 mixed-racial or Multi-cultural marriages have produced 103,000 mixed-blood children!) 

Now 1st wife was speechless and the KWB had to ask the Jipsa Nim to repeat again about the pastor. The pastor had told the couple that it "It's okay, because it would be too shameful and embarrassing to give birth to such a baby."

'such a baby'!! Do you see why the KWB weeps tears of anger and Rages against injustice? This is one of the reasons his first wife could not stay in Korea anymore. Go look at the Overseas Adoptees Korea here.
You will find the stats on children with cleft lips under Disabilities
언청이 means cleft lips. From 1961 to 2005 there were (2,005) children with CLEFT LIPS (the government keeps excellent records, eh), sent away from the land of their birth for ICA or Overseas adoption. Because every year only 3 % take by adoption those "disabled" souls.

OH, THEY WERE KIDNAPPED/Laundered for profit!!! YEAH right! NOT TRUE!! BOGUS!!!
Perhaps we could get some of these children, (who according to a few "Non-Humans-사람아니야",  should have been terminated with extreme prejudice) to speak about their lives?
The KWB is sending emails to these 'victims of child laundering/kidnapping???' and will post reply to his query, "Gee, kid, do you wish you had been aborted? You know, instead of being sold to 'rich white Adopters".

Can I get a Hell, NO!?!

Not to say "there are no cases of this horror" because IT DOES happen. YES, kidnapping and laundering by lowlife scum who REALLY do profit from sex trade, child labor, selling boys and girls IN China, and many other countries has and will happen. That is the purpose of the Hague Conventions on Adoption/Child Protection to regulate these things properly. But being given away by grandparents is not the same as kidnapping, is it? One famous adoptee claims that she was 'kidnapped' for adoption but fails to mention it was her Father's Mother (Paternal grandmother) who sent her secretly away because she disapproved of her son's marriage) and then claimed the two children were "kidnapped" on a police report. Instead they were given to a JeongMae (Mid-wife who took them to another city and claimed they had been 'found'). Procedures must be in place to prevent this from being attempted again. With the advent of the Internet and identification, cross referencing with every police station in the country this should NOT be able to take place. BUT it has in the past, IN A FEW CASES. COME on give me the facts!!! Prove your case. 

It is the tactic of "Some" to apply the "all" label to these matters. Such illogical statements defy  sensible minds, and puts 'poop in the soup'.

Some friends have told the Korean War Baby that he should NOT talk about the big "A" word. NO, not Adoption, but the other "A" word-ABORTION. But in This Thing of Ours-Adoption, one cannot avoid it, it is the BIG WHITE ELEPHANT in the room, or the 700 lbs Gorilla. 

Let it be KNOWN, He shall be quiet NO MORE.

From OAK:

Domestic Adoptions Overseas Adoptions
Year Reason for Relinquishment Condition of Child Reason for Relinquishment Condition of Child
연도 UnwedMother Institution Poverty Normal Disabled* UnwedMother Abandoned Poverty Normal Disabled*

미혼모 시설 극빈가정 정상 장애* 미혼모 기아 등 극빈가정 정상 장애*
1995 680 297 48 997 28 2,019 21 140 1,135 1,045
1996 906 271 52 1,212 17 1,916 26 138 1,145 935
1997 1,064 258 90 1,400 12 2,018 8 31 1,273 784
1998 1,067 287 72 1,420 6 2,271 9 163 1,526 917
1999 1,369 199 158 1,712 14 2,253 5 151 1,584 825
2000 1,350 234 102 4,668 18 2,356 2 2 1,726 634
2001 1,428 221 131 1,756 14 2,434 1 1 1,693 743
2002 1,344 203 60 1,678 16 2,364 1
1,538 827
2003 1,181 210 173 1,544 20 2,283 2 2 1,638 649
2004 1,250 236 155 1,634 7 2,257
1 1,553 705
2005 1,095 172 194 1,434 27 2,069 4 28 1,364 737
Total 12,734 2,588 1,235 19,455 179 24,240 79 657 16,175 8,801
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment