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

Sham Election-Planned Results?

"Kill Zone"
EggBenedict

Long before the Sham Election of 27 March, 2010, just 30 days ago, the Korean War Baby KNEW in his senses that AMBUSH, INTRIGUE, BETRAYAL, were around the corner. It did not take a rocket scientist or a scout on point to know that a major sh#@t storm was ahead.
In January at the Adoptees' Solidarity (for how many?) Korea, he witnessed the “Plan to Politicize GOA’L, take over by ‘democratic’ means” presented for the FIRST TIME PUBLICLY by Kim Su Rasmussen and Eli Park Sorensen.
Immediately after that ASK Dinner, Dae-Won Wenger (name he was using at that time) assured the KWB that “I spoke to those guys and don’t worry they won’t be a problem, I will keep GOA’L neutral”. Well, I put my trust in him as an honorable person. We even discussed WHO might be a good person to replace him as Secretary General.
Then, some things became very clear. Information packets concerning the coming Annual General Meeting with important election of SG, Board of Directors, and a Community Board would take place.
The Korean War Baby thought about it then came to Mr. Wenger and asked him, “How about me? I feel I am ready to serve the Adoption Community, and I am the most ‘middle of the road’ person here in Korea?” WELL, it seemed that time after time instead of encouragement, rather the idea was put forth that I become a Member of the Board of Directors. YES, then together he (Jan Dae-Won Kim Wenger) and I could help KEEP the organization safe and sound, Neutral in the issue of Stopping Overseas Adoptions (also called now InterCountry Adoptions).
Together we could keep GOA’L neutral and THEN I could continue to do my BLOG. I was told, “you couldn’t continue with your blog if you were to become Secretary General, no time, and it might be TOO political.
Hmmm? OH, REALLY, Mr. (Fill in the blanks) Wenger? Here are some documents, that show my SUSPICION was correct, it would be a “Charge of the Light Brigade” moment.
The Charge of the Light Brigade was a disastrous charge of British cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War. It is best remembered as the subject of a famous poem entitled The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, whose lines have made the charge a symbol of warfare at both its most courageous and its most tragic.”
800px-Charge_of_the_Light_Brigade2
The Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava by William Simpson (1855), illustrating the Light Brigade's charge into the "Valley of Death" from the Russian perspective.
“The Charge Of The Light Brigade
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854
Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
27dvd_2_650
'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
brigade3
calling-the-roll

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NorthKoreanWomenNavy North Korea Women Sailors strut by in parade, quite impressively I might add. (nothing to do with this, just a reminder that the NORTH is Ready for action…are we ready?)

These documents were the definitive proof of the “valley of Death” awaiting us at the Sham Election.
AGM_Pg 7
The AGM info package sent out on March 3 had on page 7 this silly thing on item”
#5. Deadlines. “Members may still nominate candidates for the BoD, Community Board, and Secretary General…at the Annual General Meeting.” Then it goes on to point out that Deadlines to submit paperwork for Secretary General by 12 March 2010. DON’T MEAN Ddong!
Below was Sent on 25 March “Update for AGM”

“Response to Questionnaire for the SG candidates” BUT THIS IS MEANINGLESS BECAUSE anyone could be NOMINATED AT THE AGM. Do you see why I knew, the VALLEY OF DEATH awaited us? Read all my notes especially that in February I called the GOA’L office and checked to see if I needed to pay membership dues for 2010. I was informed that I was okay until the month of July. READ CAREFULLY the page and you will see that I was NOT a PAID UP MEMBER. WTH?
March25_Update for AGM
Julie Jong Koch-WHO?
Some young lady “fresh off the boat” less than three months ago, Julie Jong Koch was nominated by (someone) as a candidate for the position of Secretary General. Well, folks do YOU think she had a clue to what is happening in Korea? Does this not strike you as WEIRD, because certainly they could have voted HER in with 33 VOTES.
BUT the plan was to make sure that NO one was able to win. Instead the NEW Board of Directors will simply DECIDE WHO THEY WANT. This is per the Bylaws of Incorporation, which I asked for but never received only through ‘friends’.
(OOH, can you smell poop? We were in piles of Bull Manure-Dung.)
FIRST VOTE ON VOTING ‘INDIVIDUALLY’ “ALL IN FAVOR RAISE YOUR HANDS”
I knew with the first vote on the matter of “Voting In Corpore (as a group to vote all candidates for BoD) or Individually”. In such Non-Government Organization General Meetings the total number of Member present, say 50 total would require a SIMPLE MAJORITY or one more than 50%/Half of the members. Thus 49 members would require 25 to be a simple majority. And so on.
ON THE FIRST VOTE TO DECIDE TO VOTE Individually (for each candidate for BoD), it seemed strange because I don’t believe they counted a simple majority, I counted 20 votes. HUH? How did that pass? Hey, point of order!!

March25_Update for AGM_pg2
YET the Secretary General Wenger proceeded to have Individual voting. Is that legal? Can you say DONG SHIM?
dong_chim
Ms. Molly Holt was then First to be voted on. The vote was tied twice, with many Abstention Votes. Now I saw THEIR GAME, the ‘volleys of cannon fire’ erupted like fountains of manure upon us. FOR THE CRY WAS HEARD to Count the Abstention Votes as NAY against re-election of Molly Holt. THIS IS HOW IT IS DONE IN EUROPEAN Non-Government Organizations.
Notice last entry: Every Current Paid member may nominate a person at the Annual General Meeting” Just in case someone MISSED THAT.
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ONE MORE GEM:
Article 18. Presiding Officer of General Meeting


The Chairman of the Board shall preside at the general meetings of members.

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
Chapter 1
General Provisions
Article 1. Name
The name of this corporation shall be „사단법인 해외입양인연대” which shall be written in English “Global Overseas Adoptee’s
Link (G.O.A.’L)” (hereinafter referred to as “Corporation”).

WHO PRESIDED? NOT THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD,

HE WAS NOT PRESENT, did anyone see HIM presiding? NO.




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Someone wrote: “You can fool some people ALL the time, but you CAN’T fool ALL the people All the time”
DdongChim
UUGGGH, RIGHT UP OUR #@&!!!
Statue in Jeju Island ;)

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