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 16, 2010

Vice SG of GOAL Katie Mee Joo Kim Putes From Hawaii



-the following is unrelated to Election-

Diamond Head, Hawaii.

Torn Between Two Cultures-Katie Mee Joo Putes
In 2006, Ms. Katie Mee Joo Kim Putes co-founded Korean Adoptees of Hawai'i (KAHI). Before moving to Korea, she served as President of KAHI and helped to organize the first Asian Adult Adoptee Gathering and Film Festival in Hawai'i.
Wednesday - December 27, 2006

Born in South Korea and adopted by a loving Kaneohe family at 3 months old, Putes grew up knowing other Korean adoptees in school and around the neighborhood, but she wrestled with questions of self-identity.
“When I was in high school and going through a bunch of identity struggles, I really wished there were other Korean adoptees I could reach out to that would understand where I’m coming from,” says Putes, who’s now a 23-year-old University of Hawaii senior. “I had one person like that but it would have been nice ... to be able to have support in that type of aspect.”
Today Katie Putes and Ji In Lugtu, a Korean adoptee from Iowa, have helped organize a group of adult Korean adoptees that aims to do just that.
KAHI members (left to right: front) Eileen Sugimoto, Katie
, Joelle Lee. (back) Sarah Fowler, Kristina Alger, Peter
Savasta, Charlie Ritts, Sabina Wilford, Ji In Lugtu, David
Clark, Alana Sasaki, Nate Kramer
“We’re all Korean adoptees, we all have different experiences, we’re all looking for different things,” Putes says of the group, Korean Adoptees of Hawaii, or KAHI. “Some of us are here just to socialize, some of us are here to do in-depth things like birth search, discuss adoption issues. We just want to provide resources and networking in whatever way we can and provide that community support.”
….Although KAHI doesn’t focus on birth searches, it’s something that both Putes and Lugtu have successfully done.

As a personal request the picture was taken down. The KWB does not seek to even ask why but the issues of Reunion can be very very sensitive.

We do suggest that the same request be done for the backlink article
as ANYONE can "google" and find the photo.



If you don't want your story public DON'T go to the Online PRESS.

Both of these Adoptees have walked down the path,

a path that only 2,450 some KAD's have done so far.


Putes reunited with her Korean family last year while studying abroad in South Korea. She visited her family in the port city of Ulsan, a five-hour train ride southeast from Seoul, and learned she’s the youngest of seven children.

“When I found out I had two brothers, four sisters and 11 nieces and nephews ... that was kind of crazy,” says Putes, whose Korean name, Mee Joo, was given to her by her adoption agency.

While there, her family gathered for a studio portrait and placed Putes center stage, behind her seated parents and surrounded by all six of her siblings, two in-laws and 10 nieces and nephews. Her adoptive parents and birth parents have since met.

Ms. Katie Mee Joo Kim Putes might sometime share more on their reunion story when she cares to do so publicly. Reunions are sometimes difficult to work through. Language barriers, social barriers, embarrassment, many facets can come up and not all stories have "fairy tale endings". Media hype from Korea and international tend to "COLOR" reunion stories in unrealistic ways. We do not know from the internet about each case and each case is unique in itself.

Since the return of over 50 to 75,000 KADs that have returned for visits to the homeland many changes have occured and more help is offered. Some KAD's are on the first quick look to visit the land. Maybe on subsequent trips, some seek to search, appear in newspaper articles, or on Television programs. There have been only 2,450 some cases have had mixed results with reunion.

It is a challenge, as Ms. Putes' friend Lugtu relates more details from her own account.

Lugtu, meanwhile, learned she has three older Korean sisters. Her first meeting with her birth parents was an emotional one. Her mother cried the whole time asking me for my forgiveness and saying how sorry she was,” Lugtu recalls. “My birth father was more traditional. ... He wasn’t very emotional. He kept telling my mother to stop crying and he didn’t look me in the eye. He was just looking down at the table and reciting that we were poor, we didn’t know what to do, we were very poor.”

“Traditional” means that with ‘three older Korean sisters’ and NO sons a fourth daughter was, well, traditionally bad news. The Birth father claims of being poor are not exactly the real reason for Ms. Lugtu being given away. Have any of you heard “SON PREFERENCE?” Traditional families follow the Confucian ways, needing a SON to remember you in the next life, doing the traditional ceremonies during the holidays. NO SON means no continuation of the BLOOD-LINE. Poverty had probably little to do with it. It was just his excuse. Reality is that four daughters was probably just too much for the “traditional” father.

While not every birth search is successful, Putes and Lugtu both say meeting their birth families was a positive experience that brings with it its own challenges in which some questions are answered and new ones arise….

e-mail KAHI at ; a web-site will be coming soon at

Well, Ms. Putes has been working as Vice Secretary General of GOA’L for many months and been caught up in this horror that was the Sham Fake election of 27 March, 2010.

Katie is supposed to be ‘wearing the hat’ of Interim SG until the Board of Directors can meet and APPOINT whomever they wish.

The election was all a farce and exercise for pretense anyway, because the Board of Directors actually in the Bylaws will appoint the Secretary General.

This email was sent out last week by SOMEONE at GOA’L by mistake OR INTENTIONALLY? The KWB has REDACTED the LIST OF 500 plus, Paid-up Members of GOA’L. The finished report was sent out to the over 2,000 members (from March 2009 until present according to revised membership rules) IN CARBON COPY or CC list where all members of a group are present. Think it was meant to be Blind Carbon Copy or BCC so that PRIVACY is ensured.

WHO is Kim Mee Joo (김미주) ( DO THEY MEAN Kim Mee Joo Putes maybe...

Page 1
Thank you WHOEVER you are for providing over 500 Paid up members email address to the Korean War Baby. A summary of the election Sham and links will be sent to ALL on this list (Using Blind Carbon Copy). SEE, some people are not happy with what has been done. Was this a "deliberate mistake" or was it due to overwork? Never the less, In "cyberwar" one must take every opportunity to uncover the plans of those who would “politicize” the organization.

Page 2
Now again for privacy, this list has been partially REDACTED. The 500 members were sent the FINAL Annual General Meeting report with all the curious changes from the first draft. THAT REPORT will be sent to let the members compare what was first done with the Minor Alterations and COOKING of the Report to tenderize it.

Page 3
(This has been RE-REDACTED to ensure privacy-Please let us know at Adoption Special Service if we missed redacting Your Private email)
The Korean War Baby hopes that something is done to undo the abomination that has happened. Ms. Kim Mee Joo Katie Putes must be stressed out, with hardly anyone else in the office helping her.
The “document has been prepared to clarify the results of the AGM” has little to do with clarifying- more to do with outright “Cooking the Report!”
Perhaps when the members get a copy of the FIRST draft and compare each side by side, THEN THERE WILL BE CLARITY. Send the KWB an email to get your own personal copy of both reports. THEN DO SOMETHING!!! Are you ALIVE, Act alive and SEND IN YOUR statement,
{ X } I do NOT approve
Jer 6:27 I have set you up an assayer, an examiner among My people, that you may know and try their way.

It is YOU, out THERE who are to "Examine and Assay", Not just me...I am only one voice crying in the wilderness,
"Let my brethren GO, if they are Unwanted and unloved.
Let them have a chance to grow up in a loving home!!!


  1. Oh dear, I do see that I missed a couple, as soon as I can I will RE-REDACT. Thank you for noticing.

  2. AnonymousMay 20, 2010

    PLEASE remove the GOA'L email with our addresses on it for the world to see. You haven't blacked out all of them, and someone can easily blow up the image and get those addresses. Stop exploiting GOA'L's error and invading adoptee privacy. If you have a problem with GOA'L, please talk to GOA'L and stop pulling 500 people into it, who don't want to be involved!!

  3. According to Kim Su Rasmussen, no one reads my blog. The emails cannot be seen or figured out now.

    "stop pulling 500 members into it" WELL they are 500 plus members who damn well should be involved. I am not the one who made the mistake, but the error must be shown.


    I will stand by this RE-REDACT. I DO NOT NEED TO BLACK OUT ALL of the email address. "invading adoptee privacy" does not apply.

    Kim Su Rasmussen is invading the rights of Overseas GOA'L members, what say you about THAT?

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