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.


April 26, 2010

In Remembrance of

 
In Remembrance of Korean Sailors of ROKS Cheonon, who lost their lives in defense of the Republic of Korea. Let us not forget, nor forgive...they must be avenged and justice done.

 

 
 

Pohang (PCC Patrol Combat Corvette)

The Pohang-class corvette PCC-772 Chonan [aka Cheonanham] sank in the Yellow Sea late on Friday 26 March 2010, in a tense maritime area disputed by North Korea. The incident involving the vessel with a crew of 104 forced South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to convene two emergency security meetings. The president ordered a "quick and thorough" investigation into the incident. At least 46 South Korean military personnel were missing soon after one of the South's naval patrol vessels sank. Seoul was investigating what caused the incident, but held off on blaming the North.
 
  
 Stern (back) of the ROKS Cheonon was first to be brought up.
 
 

On Sunday, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said that an underwater explosion appeared to have ripped apart the vessel, and a torpedo blast seemed the most likely cause. Investigators who examined salvaged wreckage separately announced Sunday that a close-range, external explosion likely sank it.

"Basically, I think the bubble jet effect caused by a heavy torpedo is the most likely" cause, Kim told reporters Sunday. The bubble jet effect refers to the rapidly expanding bubble an underwater blast creates and the subsequent destructive column of water unleashed.

Kim, however, did not speculate on who may have fired the weapon and said an investigation was ongoing and it's still too early to determine the cause.

Soon after the disaster, Kim told lawmakers that a North Korean torpedo was one of the likely scenarios, but the government has been careful not to blame the North outright, and Pyongyang has denied its involvement.

As investigations have pointed to an external explosion as the cause of the sinking, however, suspicion of the North has grown, given the country's history of provocation and attacks on the South.

 
 
 
 

How N.Korean Heavy Torpedo Could Have Sunk Cheonan

Defense Minister Kim Tae-young's comments on Sunday that a bubble jet caused by a heavy torpedo was the most likely cause of the blast that sank the Navy corvette Cheonan have put North Korean heavy torpedoes on the top of the list of suspects.

It is difficult to imagine a country other than North Korea launching a torpedo attack against a South Korean warship, and the extent of damage the Cheonan suffered has made a heavy torpedo the probable cause. Military experts believe North Korea has four types of heavy torpedoes: Yu-3G, ET-80A, TYPE 53-59, and the TYPE 53-56.

One source said if a North Korean torpedo was the culprit, it would most likely have been a Yu-3G. Developed in China during the mid 1980s, the Yu-3G is a "passive acoustic homing" torpedo that tracks the sounds of a vessel's propellers and its wake and attacks accordingly. Experts believe the North would have equipped the Yu-3G with a fuse that can be detonated by the magnetic field generated by a vessel.

The lower part of the Cheonan, beneath the gas turbine room where the external explosion is believed to have happened, is the part of a ship that produces the strongest magnetic field. When equipped with a 200 kg high explosive, the Yu-3G, with a range of 12 km, is said to be strong enough to split a warship the size of the Cheonan in half.

The ET-80A is also a passive acoustic homing torpedo with a range of 7.3 km. The Type 53-59 and Type 53-56 torpedoes, which were developed in the former Soviet Union and were exported to China and North Korea, are straight-track projectiles that travel in a straight line toward their targets after being fired.


South Korea's military says that military intelligence gathered with the United States shows that a torpedo fired from a North Korean submarine sank its navy ship Cheonan last month.

The clearest sign yet that Seoul blames Pyongyang for what would be one of the deadliest incidents between the rivals since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War was reported by the publicy funded Yonhap news agency. 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Certain Generals were Promoted after the sinking, after they had lost "Face in the last year's sea battle. Seems they have redeemed themselves and are preparing the way for Kim Jong-il's younger son. Do make sure your passports and documents are in order...it could hit the fan, people, be afraid, be very afraid.
 
 
 
 
Some people are not fooled by the most dangerous government in the world. 
 
 
A new leader is being prepared for the North Korea people. Be prepared people, be prepared for ANYTHING.

This was back in the 2000-2002 "honeymoon" stage with hopes of Reunification as one country. Sure, but will it be Communism or Republic? Some wish for Socialism, one wonders where Their
brains are at.
 
 

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