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 1, 2010

Who is in Charge at GOA’L?

Mee Joo K. <vsg@goal.or.kr>
to Don Gordon BELL
date Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 11:19 AM
subject: Telephone conversation
Dear Mr. Bell,
I would like to state that I do not appreciate your so-called joke of
recording our telephone conversation and did not - at any time - give my
consent to be recorded.



Katie Mee Joo K.P.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(I had asked Katie what is your official title now? She replied that she is still considered the Vice-SG. But she seems confused if she is the Interim SG at the same time. This is part of the confusion at GOA’L that people don’t know what is going on, they don’t get told. Half-way through I said, “Oh, by the way, I am taping this conversation”, quite seriously in tone. As if I need her permission? I then told Katie, oh should be formal now, Ms. K or P? (Don’t know what to call her). Well, Folks you gotta be careful of everything you do. BUT the Korean War Baby doesn’t give a DAMN about himself. He has nothing to lose, thousands to make sure "get a chance at having a home".

Call 02-325-6585 GOA’L office and ask her in person, who’s in charge?
Or email and ask What Happened?   vsg@goal.or.kr 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don Gordon BELL to Mee Joo K/Ps <vsg@goal.or.kr>
date Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 5:49 PM
subject Re: Telephone conversation

To Interim Secretary General Kim-Putie
     It was a joke to test your reaction, and you passed, sorta. But I swear that I did NOT record our conversation  (on the life of my four cats and one dog). So what is your official title, who is the Secretary General? NO ONE? Jan Wenger was friends with Rev. Kim D.H. for 16 years, did you know that? Do you also Personally think stopping ICA adoption is what GOA'L should be POLITICIZED to do? What say you because you knew all about the Plot and you cannot deny that. 
 

I will record any meeting in the future and gladly give you a copy of it. I don't need your permission. You are on a sinking ship, GOA'L used European rules of order, that count Abstention votes. That is NOT done in Korea YOU are a Korean NGO. I Have a copy of the Bylaws being looked at and will hopefully contact you about doing the right thing.
Think carefully of the responsibility YOU have on your shoulders to do the right thing. Even if you personally feel that your adoption and ALL Intercountry Adoption was bad, YOU REPRESENT a group that is supposed to be NEUTRAL but it has drifted more and more under Jan Wenger. Are you looking at my blog and the evidence? It may be up to you to declare a mis-election.
But you are, Interim Secretary General, you have the responsibility of leadership, and will be accountable while you are  Interim Secretary General.. Don't think signing a paper NOW about the neutrality of GOA'L will absolve what has happened. It is meaningless at this point. You waited TOO LONG. You, or others will answer to my readers and members of GOA'L why NOTHING was done before when Jane first approached you. I have cleared TRACK but not A.S.K. 


By the way, what is your legal name? GOA'L will not be taken over. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT? If I discover from that you are part and parcel I will insure that you leave the motherland in shame. (Oh watch what you say on FaceBook) many eyes are watching you, HIDING me will not do you any good. I have many friends who are not happy. WE are watching every word said.

I suspected something like this would happen quite a long time ago, The Fake election. I am not sure where you stand exactly.
Do the right thing as Interim Secretary General and you will clear your name and be a hero.

THIS WILL BE POSTED. If you want to defend yourself send a reply and I will post it.


"I hate myself for lovin' you"  Former Founding Member
MAD AS HELL


Don Gordon BELL


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