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.

April 3, 2010

Danger Close

To all friends, fellow Adoptees of the broad Spectrum of This Thing or Ours-Adoption. (Even to the Gang Group of 33-I despise only your plans and purposes that ignore the children that Korea continues to reject) unfortunately we are stuck with each other yet a while.

I had a slight scare last Friday afternoon, felt numbness and faint, then sharp pains in my chest. Called wife to come and wnet to emergency for a check. My heart was not problem, lack of food and stress, over last week...not as young as I used to be.

I have to kkep this short. I had a "wake-up Call" and a reminder from God that HE doesn't need ME that much. There are many others out there.

I felt calm but thought this was it. Because I have been Slipping into Darkness. I came across the WAR song "Slipping into Darkness" and it was like minutes later that i started feeling a stabing pain. I calmly accepted that GOD was about to take me out for Slipping back into the Darkness that controlled my past. I simply asked for "more time, not yet...who will carry on? It seemed to me that a passage about Elijah came to my mind. When elijah complained that "he was the only one left" the Lord reminded him, that He had 7,000 who had not bowed down to the false god of Baal. I thought to myself, I am in your Hands. Looks like I have more time here, sorry about that. but have to step back from the pit of hate and murder that was consuming me.

Even as I came into the hospital emergency room I felt such peace I felt like a haeavy weight came off me. I asked for forgiveness from God, and from all we read my blog. I have been asked by several people to REmoove so stuff but what i have written will stay.

I was cleared with no sign of heart problem, but the drugs they gave me have knocked me sillier. Got to take it easier, oky I am almost trhough. (found out SHE DOES read this thiing).

So taking a break "Off the line" to the rear, even got involvedw with Miachael Arnaold on Escapede talking about script and might heelp them shoot next week, if th wife says I can.

I got to go slhepp.


Update April 5, Monday, 2010: Went to ChungChon, land of Dak Gal Bi the Chicken dish that they are famous for, to help Michael Arnold with his docudrama "Escapade" (Check for Facebook page or on You-Tube). With good night's sleep from drugs and overnight stay, I answered the request from Actor/Director Michael Arnold, who is familar to many Koreans from his many appearances on Korean television shows. More about Michael later. It was a great break "off the line"...a time to REFLECT and clear my mind.

I need to get Centered again. Will take a break for few days BUT will not edit or soften my past posts,

A GREAT FOOL have I been this past week, has been given more days, which I don't deserve, it can no longer be about ME, I am nothing. I will seek the ONE who is the LIGHT of the World, who gives each day and breath of life to ME, without whom I am meaningless. I must get closer to the Blazing Light of His Presence and turn from my own Rage, Hate, Darkness, Pain, Anguish.

I'll be back......

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