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 18, 2010

My Darkness My Correction



"Paint it Black"
Rolling Stones, Copyright
I see a red door and I want it painted black No colors anymore I want them to turn black I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes I have to turn my head until my darkness goes I see a line of cars and theyre all painted black With flowers and my love both never to come back I see people turn their heads and quickly look away Like a new born baby it just happens evry day I look inside myself and see my heart is black I see my red door and it has been painted black Maybe then Ill fade away and not have to face the facts Its not easy facin up when your whole world is black No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue I could not foresee this thing happening to you If I look hard enough into the settin sun My love will laugh with me before the mornin comes I see a red door and I want it painted black No colors anymore I want them to turn black I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes I have to turn my head until my darkness goes Hmm, hmm, hmm,... I wanna see it painted, painted black Black as night, black as coal I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black Yeah!


It has been 22 days since the Fake Sham Election at the GOA’L Annual General Meeting. In the first week from 27 March to 2 April I went ‘to the mattresses’ and literally declared WAR on those who have plotted and with the help of ineptness or wanton assistance from ‘leadership’ successfully “Politicized GOA’L.” I determined to expose the plan that the “Gang of 33” hatched many months ago.
If you have read my blog you can tell that “Something is awry with the elections” or perhaps thought “what is wrong with this guy? Sore loser?” So it must be explained what happened during the Week of Darkness from 27 March to 2 April, 2010.

During this mad mad week I began to put together posts that would show systematically how certain leaders planned to “politicize” a Korean Non-Government Organization, namely Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link. There are a small portion of KAD’s in the “Community of Korean Adoptees” world-wide that feel that Adoption in any form is horrible, takes away the rights of a mother, loses culture/language/birth family, and such sentiment is in league with some who were themselves Natural or Birth Mothers.

For the last couple of years I have tried to understand their feelings and opinions. I had joined both organization and attended steering meetings, gone to all the forums for Unwed Mothers Support Network, Korean Women’s Development Institute symposiums, read volumes of many writers, read entire blogs posts of many. In other words I became consumed with This Thing of Ours-Adoption.

BUT I DIGRESS.

During this mad week, I practically stayed home on the computer putting out a record number of posts. I was a ‘Man on Fire’, more than passionate, I was burning with Zeal. Problem IS that I was also ‘Slipping into Darkness’. I was not eating regularly, slept only after becoming exhausted. I neglected my health and was raging on emails, SHOUTING at those I once respected and trusted, I literally screamed like a madman at women I have known for several years!

I have no excuse for my behavior, friends and close advisors warned me to be careful, watch the ‘potty mouth’; I allowed the BLACK Rage inside me to have full control. By Friday the 2nd of April, which I had completely forgotten that it was Good Friday I came across a video, “Slipping into Darkness” by WAR. As I watched it I realized that “I was doing the same thing”, letting my personal ‘demons’ have total control.


I have decided NOT TO ALTER in anyway the content that I wrote, I will not sanitize what I wrote, for I have nothing to hide. But I have been Chastised and corrected by my maker.

All afternoon I had been feeling numbness and tingling on the left arm. Walking it out did not help, then I began to feel faint and pain in my chest. I thought “Uh oh…is this a heart attack?” Do you know that I had thought of “FAKING a heart attack” for the sympathy factor, (You see how MAD I had become?).

With April Fool’
s Day on the First, I instead thought it would be BETTER to wait for the 6th of April, Harry Holt’s birthday and PRETEND something. I know you are laughing but I was serious, even told couple of friends NOT to worry if they heard about me having health problems. My friend Nick Nicholson WARNED me, “don’t mess with that shit! That’s BAD karma, dude”.

Friday afternoon, 2 April, I went to the kitchen and suddenly a piercing pain gripped me again. I collapsed doubled over with chest and upper stomach pain. As I reached for my cell phone, I was actually complaining to GOD “But I ain’t done, I need more time!” My speed dial for emergencies reached my wife, who has worked in our local Public Servants with guns office. She was yelling at me for "not taking care of your health, STUPID". (Ooohh, IS THIS GOD speaking through "the woman you gave me" as Adams complained in the garden...)

I had a strange peace though, but kept feeling like going to sleep, fighting to stay awake, something inside said “don’t fall asleep”. Then it hit me, EAT…I had not slept nor eaten much a for couple of days. I told my wife to get me a snickers candy bar…Diabetic…LOW SUGAR. The doctor finally understood me as they were checking me, connecting EKG and IV to me. Am I having a heart attack or maybe…Oh, crap, I took medicine today that brings blood sugar DOWN but did not eat my food completely. What is that word, Hyper no, Hypoglycemia, LOW SUGAR!!

From Mayo Clinic
Definition: Diabetic Coma
A diabetic coma is a life-threatening diabetes complication that causes unconsciousness. If you have diabetes, dangerously high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can lead to a diabetic coma. If you lapse into a diabetic coma, you're alive — but you can't awaken or respond purposefully to sights, sounds or other types of stimulation. Left untreated, a diabetic coma can be fatal.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
If your blood sugar level is too low, you may feel:

§ Shaky or nervous
§ Tired
§ Sweaty
§ Hungry
§ Nauseated
§ Irritable
§ An irregular or racing heartbeat
§ Hostile or aggressive
§ Confused
Some people develop a condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness and won't have the warning signs that signal a drop in blood sugar.
When to see a doctor
A diabetic coma is a medical emergency. If you feel extreme high or low blood sugar symptoms and think you might pass out, call 911 or your local emergency number. If you're with someone with diabetes who has passed out, call for emergency help, and be sure to let the emergency personnel know that the unconscious person has diabetes.
************************************************************

Through a fog of sleepiness I told the doctor, “no food, low sugar, diabetic” then he understood. They poured sugar into my mouth and I washed it down. Soon I felt the effects of sugar and IV bringing me back from the brink, caused by me stupidity. Doctor confirmed that I had dangerously LOW SUGAR and could have been unconscious until my wife came home. Oh, your heart is great, nothing wrong but you need to EAT, SLEEP, take your medicine AFTER eating only.

OKAY…well, finally I felt safe enough to sleep, woke up next morning feeling great. They ran more tests then told me to go home. This was a WAKE UP CALL from God, that I had better “Walk in the Light”. In fact verses from the Bible popped into my head all night, even in my dreams. The LORD my GOD made it clear to ME that I can be Taken anytim
e.

I have felt for many days, like the Pilot “Anjin-san” in Shogun, reborn after trying to commit ritual suicide but stopped by Omi-san. The Pilot was pulled back from the brink. Strangely he was effected by the rush of adrenaline, the awareness of “I am still alive”. Basically I am trying to be nicer and you should have seen this reflected in my posts.



confidenceSo once again, I will not apologize or excuse my foul language or extreme passion. Rather I give this as an explanation that I have been corrected by my Father in Heaven and given more time on this earth. I will try to stay in HIS light. Soon I will explain HOW I changed my life back in 1985 and why I left the film industry.

Peace and be of Courage!

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