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 23, 2010

Sore Loser? Bite ME





"Sore loser? Bite ME"

A young woman KADLinK (Korean Adoptee Living in Korea) sent this email to me, after I emailed "ONE time" to let GOA'L members know the real report of the AGM before it underwent RENOVATIONS and slight Modifications, Alterations, etc.

NOTE: Over 65 persons have sent emails thanking me for sending them the original report. BUT we cannot for privacy reasons post their names, but I do thank them for "Having my back".

Dear Don Gordon Bell,

Dear Don Gordon Bell, (got my name correct!)

Please Do not Send Me to more e-mails as I appreciate that you Do not take Advantage of The GOAL's take all The e-mails by mistake, putting them on your Website and Sending this e-mail.

"Take advantage" of mistakes is how it it done, dear. GOA'L members have the right to know why they are denied a "democratic" voice in the election of officials.

I was at The AGM and I must say that I Do not really understand your behavior during and After The Meeting. I Think You're Bringing The Term "Loser Sore" to a whole new Level with your Writing on your blog and your Threats to people . The smear Campaign Stop your behavior which is as abhorrent IT! Not The people at GOAL , neither NOR Other Organizations The Meeting attendees adoptee.

My behavior during and after the meeting was simmering outrage because BEFORE the election I knew that "Something was amiss, plans were afoot". First I learned that Julie Jong Koch, veteran of 3 months of being a KADLinK-Korea ADoptee Living in KOREA, was announced as a SG candidate. ANY ONE WOULD KNOW THAT SHE WAS JUST A "Straw MAN" or Fake Candidate ... Because The 11 Plus 22 abstention voters could have voted her as Easily BUT THEY DID NOT DID THEY SG? OH, what happened to the Abstention Votes? All through the 'election' people were asked to raise their hands to VOTE TO ABSTAIN, as they do in Europe, RIGHT dear#?? (Initials redacted for privacy concerns).

From the FIRST VOTE to vote SEPARATELY for BoD candidates did NOT REACH A MAJORITY OF 25 votes but only 20 votes (Nicole "Somebody" pointed out this but apparently SOME people disregarded her sage advice-whatever that was to them).

When I tried to Protest with a "Point of Order" (Roberts Rules of Order are Observed in Korea as in The USA) I was unlawfully denied The Right to be recognized . They went on and voted separately When should they have voted IN CORPORE (which challenged latin Folks Mean for U.S. AS A GROUP . UH, I Think Most people CAN Figure out Reading My blogWHY I WAS A BIT UPSET. IF you want to do something DEMOCRATICALLY then follow the damn rules.


I ALSO already knew that "The Chairman of the Board" KIM WON WOONG should have presided over the meetings according to Article 18 of the Bylaws, DEAR, Did you know that, Dear? Uh, this is American sarcasm, not threatening speech by the way, dearest. Just want you to be upset ... called inflammatory language. Nothing personal, like an attack or something on your character because I don't know you.

#?? (Redacted name of female Adoptee) Perhaps you might Ask # 24 (http://www.koreanwarbaby.com/2010/04/group-of-33-24-is-adoptee.html)
who made comments on my blog at first against me, then later apologized after reading more, we had private conversation between us three times by email. I will personally respond to you as well soon, not a threat, but a promise to clarify and perhaps persuade you with facts and reasons.

I think # 24 would agree somewhat with me. He just sent me another of his emails after his return and viewing of the film "Resilience" by Tammy Chu (Excellently done btw and is currently filling the theaters of Film Festivals world-wide and the greater Adoptee network will enjoy this film-soon to be released in regular theaters and available in SPECIAL EDITION DVD's to SPONSORS who donated, like myself and several of my students).

HEY, # 24!! I need someone who really HAS BALLS, to give an account. # 24 I Will continue to Keep Secret Because SOME PEOPLE might name or target you, but I respect YOU for speaking out and Responding. YOU were there on 27 March 2010 . Please give us your personal account on some of the things I have stated. On the points above that I have brought out, am I correct? Send me an email please. Could you tell the world, am I lying about abstention voting, and other things? Did not 11 members vote Against and 22 Members vote to Abstain couple of times? AM I the one misrepresenting the truth?

There were at least others who saw and witnessed the Sham Election. Will none speak up, I will keep your identity hidden. WON'T any one stand with me?

Personally, I was considering The AGM Voting for you as you were before candidates One of The Who had rights Most Knowledge About Korea Culture and adoptees . But at the meeting it became clear to me thatyou wouldn't work for the things I want GOAL to stand for.

WELL, Dong Saeng, what is it that you, as a KADLinK 'want GOA'L to stand for' dear? (Dong Saeng could be male or female). Since you must be a Korean ADoptee Living IN Korea could you tell us again. I don't want to assume to know your mind, but could it be you are against some practices? Care to expound on this?

Your identity will always be hidden. Yikes, better change your initials some people could figure you out. Where is my BLACK REDACTING PEN? WHEW, I have redacted it's name.

After The Last Couple of months that IT has Become clearer to Me I Made The Right Choice as you seem Suffer From delusions . I would advise you to seek professional help as this obsession is not healthy.


*******************************************

Suffer from Delusions? Would some of you respond to that? Does the Korean War Baby 'suffer from delusions' in the matter of the election? Check the files, if you have ten minutes to spare.

OBSESSION is another word for "I am mad as hell and I am not gonna take it any more!!"




2 comments:

  1. Dos CuatroMay 24, 2010

    To the European Adoptee,

    I take it that you were there as well? Do you not feel like everything was unorganized and rules were made up as the meeting progressed? To me, as a professional organization, I think that the process should have been smoother. It seemed though everything was reactive instead of being proactive. Did you not want to have a vote in the middle of the meeting to quit changing the number of times that we could vote for one issue? One thing lead to another, next thing you know we were out of time and everything started to be rushed. Do you remember everything that went on in the last 20 minutes? Do you really think that is how organizations work? I am sure if all the paying members got a video feed of the meeting they would probably be a little bit disappointed, because I know that I was.

    People express themselves through many different mediums, Don chooses blogspot to express his thoughts and feelings. Trust me, I was in the same boat as you at first, I thought that his views were a little one sided, but then I realized that he was passionate/intense, and he is just expressing his opinion, in which he is entitled. I think you really have two options, you could quit reading his blog, out of sight out of mind, or maybe you could start your own blog so then people could have choices on what to read. Nothing like a little friendly competition, you know see who can get the most hits in one day. Sorry maybe I am just desensitized to the whole smearing type campaigns, I am American, I that is a normal thing over in the states.

    But really, I don't think that calling Don a "Sore Loser" is really going to solve anything. I think that it is better to communicate with each other in a civil manner in order to understand each other better. Though me may not agree on different issues we don't have to be hostile to one another, the world has enough of that already. The best thing that can come out of this is that GOAL learns from the last AGM and applies towards the next one, that way something like this doesn't happen again.

    So instead of fighting and arguing, maybe we should try understanding, it is okay to disagree, that is what makes the world an interesting place. But when you share ideas you often find that new ideas arise, who knows what we might think of.

    Well, I hope that you have a good week, we should all go get coffee and talk sometime this week. Heck, we might even know each other already European Adoptee and this might all seem silly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dos CuatroMay 24, 2010

    And please don't take the posted commented the wrong way. It is not an attack on you nor I defending anyone. What is happening is not between us, it is much bigger than us. What is going on now can potentially affect the lives of many others that don't have a voice yet to share their thoughts and concerns about the whole adoption paradigm.

    Right now there is an organization that needs help, help from the community in order to support the future as had it may of supported you in the past. So can we please look past our differences?

    ReplyDelete

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