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 21, 2010

Email Errors




SOMEONE'S WATCHING!!!


NOTICE: THIS IS A PUBLIC DOCUMENT ON GOA'L WEBSITE-
NOT A MESSAGE GOTTEN BY SPIES,
OR FORMER STAFF,
OR DISGRUNTLED MEMBERS.


Thu, May 20, 2010 11:12:31 AM
Regarding e-mail error
From:
G.O.A.'L
Add to Contacts
To: info@goal.or.kr

2010 May 19

Adoptee community members and supporters,

G.O.A.’L mistakenly sent out the Annual General Meeting Statement and
Report to some members
that displayed personal e‐mail addresses. We are deeply sorry for such
a grievous error and
apologize for any inconveniences that may have resulted.

One of the individuals affected by G.O.A.’L’s error is Mr. Donald
Gordon Bell
. G.O.A.’L has requested that he immediately remove the personal, member‐related information he has made publicly available, cease exploiting this error, and respect the privacy of our members. G.O.A.’L opposes and takes seriously the harassment and threatening of individuals and organizations.

G.O.A.’L is an organization sustained by adoptees; adoptees, supporters and friends are always welcome to express their opinions, be actively involved, and to create
change. As stated in the 2010 Annual General Meeting, “…At G.O.A.’L we strive to do our best to work for and with the adoptee community. Constructive feedback – positive and negative – is welcomed and encouraged at all times…” (contact information:
http://goal.or.kr/eng/?slms=info&lsms=1&sl=1&ls=7 ).

Sincerely,
G.O.A.’L


**************************************************************
DO SEND YOUR CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM TO LINK ABOVE
THAT IS IF YOU CAN TAKE
FIVE MINUTES OUT OF YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE.



WELL, Well, well. Let me first say this ONE MORE TIME. Personal emails were not mistakenly sent out by ME. I have only printed partial REDACTED EMAIL ADDRESS list to show that GOA'L staff MADE THE MISTAKE. We are further REDACTING the list to ensure no amount of electronic magnification can be done.

Even Dr. Rasmussen (Is Pink okay?) compounded the same mistake when he wrote "OPEN LETTER DON GORDON BELL". Since I am showing the exact thing that he posted I DID NOT ALTER ANYTHING- but I have a solution.

I DID NOT POST THOSE email addresses that Dr. Rasmussen, umm, mistakenly put IN Carbon Copy form AGAIN. Uh, In the interest of privacy I put only my name. So they perpetuated their own mistake by sending Dr. Rasmussen's letter with lists of up to 100 people's email address. HOW ABOUT COMPLAINING TO HIM?

I ONLY SENT a document that SHOWS CLEARLY that some ANOMALIES that appear on (Track Changes format) SEEM to be Corrected and Altered for the the Final report posted on GOA'L's website on the Annual General Meeting. Side by side comparison has been done to show that curious changes took place.

INSTEAD OF WORRYING ABOUT PRIVACY-

Why don't you explain why the documents DON'T match up? Why there is missing even on Page 21 from Track Changes format:



"Minutes taken by Ms. Katie Mee Joo Putes Vice Secretary General,
Date: 2010-03-27

"Approved by Board of Directors
Date: 2010-04
????


Then we compare with THIS below, on the "Final Report AGM" Note some deleted sections?

WHO took the Minutes of the AGM? Wasn't it VSG Katie Mee Joo Kim-Putes copying everything down carefully on 2010-03-27?

Did the Board of Directors approve the report? WELL, NO.

Heck, the Chairman of the Board did not preside over the meeting (Article 18 of Bylaws) well, because Mr. Kim Won Woong was busy preparing and NOW is currently campaigning for Bi-elections to be held on June 2. Perhaps he can "Approve the AGM report" after the JUNE 2 Korean Elections. WHEN THE BoD can finally meet and APPOINT THE NEW Secretary General.

Final Report does not have any Vote to Abstain!!! YOU LIARS, the first report clearly shows your duplicity.


YOUR CLOAK OF LIES HAS BEEN STRIPPED AWAY, YOUR NAKEDNESS HAS BEEN EXPOSED

(figurative language folks I am not
advocating any literal thing)

Heeeeerrreee's PAGE 21 of the Final Report on AGM (drum roll please, for the Cheap Political Thriller Theater) and it can be found here
GOA'L website, on the bottom of the page two files will need to be downloaded as PDF.
301612732426160.pdf (103.8Kb) Introduction
301612732426161.pdf (500.7Kb) Final report.



So I will REDACT just a little more on email address... but BY GOD, it is time for WHOEVER is in charge over there at GLOBAL Overseas Adoptees' Link to RECONCILE the TRUTH from Fiction.

STOP THE MADNESS, come clean and tell us all, ON MY BLOG what is going on? Did you VOTE TO ABSTAIN OR What? Are you calling me and others present at the election LIARS?

And you Adoptees IN KOREA, who want to follow with Dr. Kim Su Rasmussen/KilSeung Seo (No death threats intended) may just help him set up a new NGO group for yourselves. BE my guests and I will EVEN JOIN you as well. BUT KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF Global Overseas Adoptees' Link. GET your own NGO...dude.

I have given you a name for it:
KADLinK

Korean Adoptees Living in Korea

2 comments:

  1. AnonymousMay 22, 2010

    How many KADLINKs are over there? It seems European adoptees all want to complain about their being "stolen or kidnapped". Some blogs are full of stupid senseless statements based on a few cases. I love my real family and don't care to know the ones who gave me away.

    I am not interested in coming back a country that last year hated our beef, now that the communist north threatens them they are crying out for the USA.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There are perhaps 250-300 estimated KADs living in Korea at any given Sunday. Some are not GOA'L members but those who also have come to stay for various reasons and found employment in many types of jobs.
    Of course teaching English or other European languages is easiest but many have started businesses and are quite settled.

    NOT all in the "community of KAD Living in Korea" are involved in the affairs of GOA'L because they are busy. It is a very active cell of activists that have good intentions and that I even agree with on some things, such as providing MORE support for Unwed Mothers.

    Do come back and have an open mind, everyone's experience is similar yet different. You may find that just going to the Adoption Agency and seeing some files that are in Korean, or visiting the place you were staying will impact you suddenly.
    It is a physical encounter with our roots, and I have seen many times KAD's overwhelmed with seeing, touching, experiencing the land of their birth.

    For each of us it will touch us in different ways. If you get a chance, you could apply for some programs that may even provide scholarships that will help with costs.

    Coming back to visit is NOT rejection of your Adoptive Family, hopefully you talk that out with them. Many Adoptees are able to share that experience together with them.

    Come and see for yourself, most Korean people DO welcome back returning Kyopo (emigrants) and Ibyanin (Adopted persons). Read more about those who have come back and you will see many examples.

    ReplyDelete

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