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.


May 28, 2010

Almost Flatline__/\__/\___________

flatline

“A flatline is an electrical time sequence measurement that shows no activity refers to either a flatlined electrocardiogram, where the heart shows no electrical activity (asystole), or to a flat electroencephalogram, in which the brain shows no electrical activity (brain death). Both of these specific cases are involved in various definitions of death. Some consider one who has flatlined to have been clinically dead, regardless of their eventual resuscitation or lack thereof, whereas others insist that one is alive until the moment of brain-death. This is mostly used in the medical industry when a person's pulse has stopped, indicating a flat line on the heart monitor.”

“Warning May Contain Religious Content”
TUESDAY, 25 May, 2010

‘FaceBook Friend’ – “Don has texted me this and asked me to post on Facebook: His wife had an allergic reaction during emergency surgery. She was rear-ended on Sat. and seemed fine at the time. She has just regained consciousness. Don texted earlier today that Nancy had to be shocked 4 times and her condition was critical with a fast heart rate and very low blood pressure. Don kindly requests your prayers.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SUNDAY, 23 May, 2010
Early this Sunday morning I woke up to find my nieces trying to tell me something. Then the apartment phone rang, it was their mother, Nancy’s youngest sister. I thought that my wife was going south to their country side home, since I found a note when I got home.
Nieces managed to tell me "Car ask, accident…Nancy...hospital...go now." I prepared for the worst, put myself in God's hands and went down to ride to the hospital. Apparently late that night it was raining hard in Ansan City and while she was sitting at an intersection and very drunk ajosshi ran into her small car. (I mention that there was not much damage, only the rear bumper was damaged-to indicate that it was hard enough to send the car into the other side of the intersection.)

Arriving at the hospital, Nancy was sitting there with a collar, upside down (her fault for taking if off and back on wrong. I put it on the right way and tight, and she whined (some of you know I don’t like whining, bitch strongly, don’t whine like a tiny toy dog, GROWL), “I can’t move my head!

That’s the idea, Nancy…move like this” I know this public servant with-a-gun doesn’t follow ‘my orders’ so I used subterfuge. I told her about delayed reactions and Whiplash.

Whiplash Causes

The most frequent cause of whiplash is a car accident. The speed of the cars involved in the accident or the amount of physical damage to the car may not relate to the intensity of neck injury; speeds as low as 15 miles per hour can produce enough energy to cause whiplash in occupants, whether or not they wear seat belts.”

Whiplash Symptoms

These signs and symptoms may occur immediately or minutes to hours after the initial injury; the sooner after the injury that symptoms develop, the greater the chance of serious damage.

  • Neck pain
  • Neck swelling
  • Tenderness along the back of your neck
  • Muscle spasms (in the side or back of your neck)
  • Difficulty moving your neck around
  • Headache
  • Pain shooting from your neck into either shoulder or arm”

Don’t move around until the doctors do MRI, CAT SCAN, the emergency staff only checked with x-rays.”

Most of you know that head whiplash can have hidden dangers that develop hours or days later.

“You should call 911 emergency medical services if the patient develops any of the following symptoms shortly after the injury:

  • Neck pain
  • Pain in either or both arms
  • Shoulder pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness, tingling, or loss of function in the arms or legs”

TUESDAY, 25 May, 2010

4:45 PM – Kevin_ChilliKing

Just ordered a bowl of Chili at Kevin Cyr’s Chili King and planned to have wings afterwards at 3 Alley Pub.

Bernie, co-owner at the 3 Alley Pub was walking his dog on his day off, well, he was not impressed. Explained that they didn’t make money on the wings. “well I will drink more then, happy?”

I was half way through my excellent Chili when I got a call from one ofMenu5 big size my students, who’s parents are both Officers and know Nancy. I was shocked to hear that apparently Nancy had agreed to have a surgery of some sort after meeting with the doctor.

As I was trying to call the hospital, I received a call from the hospital staff, who could not speak English. Kevin’s staff member was able to help me tremendously, but as I rushed towards the subway they had not yet contacted her sisters. Nancy did not list their numbers! AiSheesh.

5:00 PM

3AlleyPub Stopping by the 3 Alley Pub, I asked for one of the bartenders to translate and Albert loaned me someone. We made contact and I was relieved to know Nancy’s sister was on way to hospital. At this point I only knew that Nancy was critical but no other details. Some of the Regulars helped keep me calm, as I sorted out things then headed for the subway for a one hour thirty minute ride.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him…” I was in slight shock, almost missed transfer, but struggled to NOT think “What if”. I thought about “bargaining with God” but instead tried to just Center myself.

7:30 PM
I arrived hospital and met brother-in-law. We finally found the ICU and I met the Doctor who explained what happened. Cat Scan on Monday had showed no spinal or brain damage. Then MRI also showed no brain damage, however showed a Lipoma-
A lipoma is a benign tumor composed of fatty tissue. They are the most common form of soft tissue tumor.[1] Lipomas are soft to the touch, usually movable, and are generally painless. Many lipomas are small (under one centimeter diameter) but can enlarge to sizes greater than six centimeters.
Nancy did not tell anyone in her family or ME about having a biopsy and they had prepped for surgery. When she was injected with a local anesthesia she had a violent allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock?) and rapid eurhythmic heart beat then crash, her heart rate dropped “almost Flatline”. They had to zap her FOUR times with defibrillator to get her heart to beat. Don’t know how long she was “Almost Flatlined”.
7:45 PM
Nancy's Blood pressure was very low, heart rate was racing 155 bpm. Doc told me her heart was so weak and elevated heart rate/low blood pressure then the bombshell…she could be in coma 2-3 weeks. Her sisters were crying, people telling me I couldn't stay in the ICU...Nancy was tied down to prevent injury as the body reacts strongly twisting around; 7 tubes were connected and her eyes stared up like ‘fish eyes’.

I asked again about her condition, Doctor told me her heart would take a long time to heal, that now her lungs had filled with water, edema or something. In two to three weeks she might come out of the coma. I asked what her odds were right now...he told me "it could go either way, 50-50 odds."

I told everyone to get away, and leave me with her alone-at least behind a curtain. The doc asked me very politely, “what are you going to do?” I said, “Pray to my Father” pointing up. I asked to pull the curtain and gathered myself. (I thank everyone who prayed for her because HE touched her from all our prayers.)
8:00 PM
I thought through what she needed. Asked for how to pray, then started slowly calmly speaking TO her body. Her hands and feet were clammy cold and white from lack of circulation. I was trying to remember what all the numbers meant but focused on the heart rate.
I commanded her heart to slow down, her blood pressure to stabilize and get stronger. Speaking her name I spoke to Nancy and she seemed to respond to my voice. Her hand squeezed back so now I pour it on.
I told the ENEMY he would not have her,
“Get your damn hands off my wife.”
(uh, sure- this is not recommended to all)I claimed her life as her husband, in the Name of Jesus Christ.
8:05 PM
I did not shout or raise my voice but continued to pray in the spirit. Five minutes passed, then one nurse pulled back the curtain to check and she said in Korean “Baek saship oh! Joh ah Yo” “One hundred forty-five, very good”. I looked up at the monitor and saw the top number which had been 155 plus when I started. In five min. it had dropped to 145, her skin had gotten warmer on her hands and feet.
8:10 PM
Placing my hands on her lungs I focused on her lungs, and remembered my own bout with pneumonia in 2000, how difficult it was to gasp for breath. By 8:15 PM it had dropped to 135-38; Doctor noticed and checked her with stethoscope . She was improving. after 15 min. my faith was increasing.
8:20 PM
Rate dropped to 120's and relatives arrived. I went down to see them
lobby. Five minutes later the Doc came, told us excitedly that she had regained consciousness. Praise GOD. OUR GOD is ALMIGHTY, blessed be HIS Name. We rushed up to find her dazed but awake but disoriented, in a fog. Remember she COULDN’T speak with two tubes into her lungs and esophagus
Throughout the night I stayed next to her bed. At first she understood Korean but gradually ENGLISH came back to her and she understood me.
By 3 AM Nancy was fully awake but still on ventilator but is lucid and alert. One tube removed, I trust that her lungs will be improved by today to remove ventilator. Grabbing shower, clothes, then back to hospital at 7 AM.

Thanks to all who responded and sent a prayer…especially since I am such a “BAD example of a Christian”, you know getting angry, losing my temper, scaring people with alleged ‘violent physical threats and murder’. WELL...I rest in his Arms of Love. SO buzz off. His loving kindness covers my multitude of Sin. How about you?

More updates to come.

NOTE TO SOME PEOPLE- Still open to meeting face to face with Some People.

Come let us reason together, no matter what-

we are still "family" in the GLOBAL community of

Adoptees in This Thing of Ours-Adoption.

The Korean War Baby is NOT the only voice.

Surely we can find a way for Adjustments, even compromises. This "Village Fool" is willing to meet, discuss as adults who have different viewpoints yet agree to disagree. For the sake of ALL Korean Adoptees let US seek to work together in truth and reality.

I withdraw my demand for Unconditional Surrender.

I offer a Negotiated Peace, in which each individual and Groups may maintain honor, and possibly we may find a Road Map to keep mutual respect.

Lay our cards on the table, my "Redacting pen" is ready to go!! As a sign of my good-will I will UNRED all names into BLACK.

NO ONE should resign from the JKAS. NO ONE!!! We in the Diaspora need you all, (but I would like to hear from more of the Spectrum of Korean Adoptees).

I will not apologize at this time...nor do I claim 'an empty victory'. It is time to sit down, initialize the process, "Stand down".

I will post some 'Guidelines or Road Map' from my position whereby we might find peace.

Please consider these things among yourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Come on people!! Now several days, YOU DON'T EVEN CALL...Know you read my blog, send me your answer to my query. Do you want to have a "Sit Down?"

    Will you meet me face to face?

    ReplyDelete

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