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

You Called Down the Thunder

“You tell them I am coming, You tell them that I am coming and Hell is coming with me.”
Shall bring judgment upon your heads,
I am coming with members who want their democratic voice heard.
   It is too LATE for both GOA'L and ASK. Do they actually think YOU PEOPLE, ALL my Adoptee brothers and sisters throughout THIS THING OF OURS-ADOPTION are so stupid? The Gang of 33, especially the leaders of ASK (Adoptee ??Solidarity?? Korea) led by Kim Stoker and Jenny Na are scrambling to “Sign the letter the MOU-Memorandum of Understanding”. YEAH, have you read how the ASK Dinner Plot went down. Only TRACK leaders Jane and Jennifer have cleared their names and association. They put out the first MOU but ASK and GOA’L did not think it was necessary then.
WHY did you lie to me, “Don’t worry about anything, I talked to Kim Su R. they won’t be able to do anything.” BULLSHIT A BIG PILE OF BULLSHIT!
3199793-Travel_Picture-Tampa_Shawn_in_India_next_to_a_pile_of_shit_2006


GOA’L has opened their legs just like YangKalBo (Foreigner’s whores) to the stupidity of the extremist element. You whiney moaners who cry about your being adopted into a white family.
SO? Thousands of adoptees have survived and found their balance of identity. Adoption was a last resort in a great MAJORITY of cases. 


ResilienceHomeImage
Yet most of the crowd cannot come up with truth but general statements that are misleading, inaccurate, great for sound bites…like this gem from Tammy’s “Resilience”:
Resilience


Each year, thousands of children are sent to the West for adoption. South Korea has sent more children than any other country, an estimated 200,000 over the past 55 years. Despite being one of the world’s strongest economies, it continues to do so. With every new family created by adoption, another family gets torn apart.

Well, first “Each year, thousands of children ”-Fact is that the last five year period has been under 2,000 each year. Despite being one of the world’s strongest economies, it continues to do so. Koreans do not send away the ones they want only the left-overs, Special Needs, Mixed-Blood, you know. Domestic adoptions have also dropped in numbers. Ask anyone if they know how many CIVIL adoptions exist. Bet you, they haven’t a clue.
With every new family created by adoption, another family gets torn apart.
Main Entry:
every
Part of Speech:
adjective
Definition:
each, all
Synonyms:
each one, whole, without exception
Well, it seems that the word “Every” means EACH, ALL, so ALL families created by adoption…
What are you facts, figures? Do you KNOW? Most of you Anti-Adoption Associates have no idea of the numbers of Abandoned (29,950) and the Disabled children (37,276).
29,950 + 37,276=            67,226
Can we say that Abandoned (meaning they have NO idea who left the babies or children) and children with disabilities (Special Needs) are from families that are torn apart?
Uh, NO. Does this fit “Every”. HELL NO!! SHUT UP!!
Great Sound Bite, but it is NOT TRUE!!!
This is the way this crowd market their LIES and Misinformation campaign. They think stopping all Overseas or InterCountry adoptions will change the hearts of the Korean people to keep more than the 3 % YES 3 percent of the Special Needs children each year?
This is the ugly inconvenient facts.
WE WERE UNWANTED in many cases, GIRLS WERE generally given up at these ratios:
18,540 Male children to 33,076   FEMALE,  from 1995 to 2005 for example. And some try to say Son Preference is no more? BULLSHIT.
These are the kinds of facts that must be understood. The GOD DAMN ugly truth.

Get it right. Stop the theatrics and Pop Commercial catchy one-liners.  HOLLYWOOD HYPE marketing. Or I will organize a few disabled and mixed-blood Koreans to protest at the next showing of Resilience.

SO, Tammy, ASK member and Gang of 33, fix this sentence, take my name off the sponsor list but I do want a DVD copy sent to me and my students who also paid $100 dollars to sponsor.




Tammy  though I support your film, as one of many stories YOU CONTINUE to leave this bullshit on the website. This is NONSENSE.


UPDATE: I sent one more letter to her and Rev. Kim to fix this phrase, like the revision they used in IKAA conference showing. "One of thousands of untold stories". This is better. Anyone who believes that EVERY family created by adoption caused another one to be torn apart NEEDS YOUR MIND EXAMINED. Sept 20, 2010

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