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.

June 30, 2010

BAMBOO GODS AND BIONIC BOYS: Antony Maharaj interview 2007

BAMBOO GODS AND BIONIC BOYS: Antony Maharaj interview 2007

Great man, Tony Maharaj, Indian film maker who I met in the early 80’s on Director Cirio Santiago’s films. Andrew Leavold just published an interview from 2007. Andrew has a great site for B-movie films and Trash movies some of which ‘are so bad their good’. Director Santiago and Tony Maharaj made many low budget but big bang for the buck world market films.

IMDb_Don Gordon Bell 

KingsRansom_KasGarrit_Producer_RichardHill_DonGordonBell Kaz Garas (2nd from left), Tony Maharaj (3rd) Richard Hill, Don (right) On set of “King’s Ransom”

“Final Mission”

“…The film sold everywhere in the world. Cirio Santiago was very happy, he and his investors told me that they were very happy and they thanked me. I then said to him, “You know, I like your work, why don't we make a film together?” And he said, “I'd like to.” I said, “I'll produce it, but you'll direct it.” He said, “Do you have a film in mind?” I said, “Yes, a treatment I have called Final Mission. Vestron Pictures made no hesitation, they bought Naked Vengeance sight unseen.


Director Cirio Santiago’s “Regulars” – (l to r) Bill Kipp, Nick Nicholson, Don Gordon Bell, David Light, Steve Rogers, and of course Henry Strzalkowki (who took this shot).

4Desparados_SteveRogers_NickNicholson_DonGordonBell_HenryStrwalkowski  (L to R-Steve, Nick, Don, Henry) ‘We were thin once’.

“Naked Vengeance”

NakedVengeance_Arnie“What is your next film?” I said “Naked Vengeance”. I came back here, got together with Cirio one more time; Naked Vengeance was by this time very successful. Successful for me in a very strange way.



Don as “Ernie” one of the five rapists, all killed by their ‘comatose’ victim.

There was a rape scene in Naked Vengeance... I had seen “Straw Dogs” (1970) which was a very powerful film, and I always felt that if I ever had to do a film with a rape scene, it must be more vicious than that, but more tasteful. The first newspaper article that came out in the Arizona Herald said the rape scene in Naked Vengeance makes Straw Dogs look like Child's Play. KWB_Naked Vengeance reflections

NOTE: Though it was done professionally all the women on the crew hated us and would not speak to us ‘rapists’ for days later. It was very challenging for me, not ‘fun’ but very emotionally charged. Each of us had our own ‘demons’ in doing this scene. I have seen the director’s cut of this scene and it was powerful, vivid, and caused the “chick Revenge” genre to be reborn.

Naked Vengeance was most difficult for me to do, acting like such a monster, wondering if that evil ‘could be inside yourself’ if under too much drugs. Even in my worst days in my drug and booze period of my life, I could not see myself committing such abuses. The scene is chillingly realist, violent, full of terror, that only someone who has experience such can understand. I think women liked the revenge idea as the heroine one by one kills us. I was reduced to a human slushie. We all tried to keep it serious and professional on the set, but there were moments of lightness, I mean my only garment was a ‘jock strap’ in between scenes.


Thank you Andrew for your interview with Anthony Maharaj

Return to the Motherland-Adoptees come back

BlowingHarp_PeaceChurch_DongSeoul The Korean War Baby first came back in 1994 for a short two week visit. He was with a church group from USA that had conferences in several cities with attendance in the hundreds to several thousand. Playing the harmonica on the worship team, the Korean Pastor from Los Angeles would introduce the members of the American team.
Blowing my Blues Harps. 

When Pastor Min told them about the Mixed-Blood Honurrah Harmonica player, there was utter silence andVCFMinistryTrip_95_Team every eye focused on  the KWB. Silence was followed by gasps and sighs, shock and awe. Only after a couple of years of living in Korea, after a church invited him to live here in 1995, has the reasons become clear. Korea was already learning about us Adoptees through media. Every week newspaper, magazines, television shows highlighted our stories.
Koreans always assumed that I was just another American, of uncertain genes which even then the KWB did not know.
I have heard from some adoptees who came back in the mid 1980’s to visit and some to work as English teachers. After the Olympics held in Korea in 1988, Korean Adoptees began to come back in increasing numbers to visit the homeland. The relative peace of the 90’s and election of Korea’s first Non-Military leader heralded the transition from military rule to civilian democracy. By then the flow of visiting adoptees was becoming a growing flood.
The Four major adoption agencies had already assigned staff to help in providing parts of adoptee’s files. Why only part, you might ask? Well, we must remember for instance that Holt International has usually only files in English, but Holt Korea (which by the way has been run by Korean leaders since early 1970’s) has both English and Korean languages. ALSO, in most cases there were files at the Orphanage or Center that the child was first left in, places that have in some cases closed down. Some information might be included in the files in the Orphanage/home such as a document called “Reason for Relinquishment”- THESE ARE NOT sent to the Processing Adoption Agencies. This was discovered in a recent case that the KWB helped on. It was not deemed necessary by the orphanage to send along. Important information was provided that was no where in other files.
Yes, there are files that CANNOT be just given to the Adoptee. Even in USA recent case where a birth mother sued because SHE DID NOT WANT to meet the child from a RAPE. Somehow the Domestic adoptee found out her name and just made contact. The Birth woman won a law suit that HER RIGHTS to NOT have CONTACT were broken. Yet I do understand the Adoptees feelings and thoughts, having read many of their arguments. As a BIRTH FATHER though of two children, I personally would like to have contacts and have made inquiries on my son. I do have contacts with my “biological daughter”. But Birth Parents in Korea especially are NOT just ready to make contact. IT IS STILL CONSIDERED SHAMEFUL FOR KOREANS TO OPENLY ADOPT A CHILD, We Should try to see it all from the Korean Society’s perspective.
In the past CLOSED Adoption method was the norm and adoptees just weren’t expected to come BACK. However, Harry and Bertha Holt noted in one of their books that they always knew that some would come back and records were kept as best as possible. As times have changed in the West and subsequently with OUR Western minds many of us who have come, may have thought that Korean birth parents are just waiting for us. This is NOT always the case, nor is it the NORM.
Resilience Yes, there were tragic cases such as in “Resilience” by Tammy Chu (See left column for link) and “In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee” by Deanne Borshay Liem. These are true documented stories of irregularities and outright kidnapping-BY THE BIRTH MOTHER’S FAMILY in Resilience. Deanne was given another girl, Cha Jung Hee’s identity when Cha was sent to Europe. Deanne is still looking for Cha Jung Hee.
These are but some of the weird cases but they do not represent a majority of cases. matterofchajungheeSome claim because birth families cannot be found that must mean that Adoption Agencies are guilty of hiding or falsifying information. There is NO SIMPLE “One Size Fits All” scenario, folks.
“Resilience” has been shown twice in Seoul for special showings and SOLD OUT, after its debut in Pusan International Film Festival last 2009. Hard hitting story that is still developing, covering several years of the principal characters. But it has a bit of Hollywood marketing hype that is a great “Sound Bite”  but just ain’t true.
 “For every family created by adoption, another family was torn apart”. This simply is NOT true, please look at these disturbing facts from the MOHWFA: Disabled (37,276), Mixed-blood (6-9,000 estimated), and abandoned (29,950 NO Name/documents) they add up towards 75,000 plus. These are FACTS confirmed and available in English from several sources.
Were they TORN from their families? HELL NO. Don’t think you can honestly say that…Sounds dramatic but let’s be real, folks. I endorse the film but not the marketing ploy. Watch for “Resilience” to appear in Film Festivals near you. Do check the Facebook fan club.
“So How Come Only 2,500 have been Reunited?”
Could it be that SOME or MANY birth mothers/fathers are faced with the shock of telling OUR husband/wife (Korean way of identity) and Our Family that “Oh, by the way guess who is coming to dinner…your half sister/or worse the sister/brother you did not know about.” (Ask Maya, who is currently writing her story about that one, how her reunited birth family prefers to keep thing “discrete and secret” but could you teach English to your ‘nieces’ FOR FREE. Maya’s story was publicly shared last fall at “Boarding Bridges”. We await her book on the painful reality of SOME reunions).


We must remember that Birth mothers particularly and in less cases Birth fathers have moved on with their lives. The reasons are many for Korean parents gave up, relinquished, abandoned, forced by social and family pressures, etc. THERE IS NOT a single reason but many and could ff20013254c2198739bf0c96d0696b5fbe a combination of several. In a few cases poverty, divorce, or other circumstances led to giving up/away “Extra” children, Usually the younger ones. Hard to get rid of older children. The point is that Children were UNWANTED, REJECTED, SENT AWAY.
NOW THAT REALLY SUCKS!!! Really, adoptees DO face these issues in life and Adoptive Professionals and Adoptive Parents/Family had better learn about them. The RESOURCES are out there for discerning folks to Do it better. But we still have stupid and ignorant folks in many extreme areas of the Spectrum. The EXTREME VIEWS are to be avoided, International agreements and guidelines such as the Hague Conventions are only recently coming into effect in USA, NOT IN KOREA YET.
Hopefully the latest Prospective Adoptive Parents are learning “To DO it better” and Adoption Professionals are also helping Adoptive Parents deal with the issues of Trans-racial and Cross-cultural families, Adoption Identity, Growing up thinking we were white, etc. Go buy the movie “Adopted” and be sure to get the “We Can Do Better” series that the KWB bought (support these gals and guys and LEARN, this series is great for everyone in This Thing of Ours-Adoption).
The facts ARE though that the RIGHTS of Birth Parents must be considered as well as Rights of Adoptees. OH, I read some bloggers of obviously disgruntled, angry KAD’s and other American domestic Adoptees who DEMAND the Basic Human Rights of knowing and getting all their files, so they can locate their birth parents!!! By God, they feel that THEIR right is to have everything in their files and that their Rights outweighs the Rights of the Birth Parents. It might be that the Birth Parents DO NOT WANT TO HAVE CONTACT, let alone explain to their family the shocking news that OUR Olma had given up a child or two before marrying OUR father.
Why is it that we who were adopted cannot see this? Many of us do understand this balance of Rights, but the extreme Anti-Adoption Adoptee Associates claim only THEIR RIGHTS. Doesn’t it make sense that Rights of ALL involved in This Thing of Ours-Adoption have to be BALANCED and PROCESSES followed? It is just plain common sense that certain measures MUST be taken in the PROCESS of Initial Contact, Document Verification, DNA testing recently available.
Only in 2008 did the Korean government pass laws that gave budgets to develop in each of the Four Major Adoption Agencies a Post Adoption Services section. What was done before by only one or two staff, needed to be increased as more and more Korean Adoptees came back to first visit and experience, then some began to delve deeper. Some of us wanted to  search for our birth family…news papers then television shows told our stories, then Reunions happened, yet with all the stories and shows Less than 2,500 have “reunited”.
The reunions are with mixed results, as would be expected. Most of the28adoption_533 estimated 190-200 thousand KAD’s are Korean only genetically. Some KAD’s complain and even whine and moan that they “lost culture, language, identity, family, etc”…somehow ignoring the INCONVENIENT TRUTHS that most of US were GIVEN UP.
We were children of love, perhaps from rape, mothers unable to abort,   mothers able but unwilling to end life yet Unable to raise us as they were rejected by their own family, society, lack of government support. “Products of divorce, spouse abandonment, Physical or Mental Disabilities, Premature, Mixed-Blood, SO MANY reasons.
CribAtHolt Ranging from just days old to teenagers, WE who were adopted Overseas suffered Loss upon Loss, Separation from mother/father, Mental and emotional pains, Rejection, and much more IN VARYING DEGREES. It matters not at what age we were adopted, studies and stories of adoptees show that we were affected.
Yet one must go back to the beginnings, the REASONS we had to go away. Only by going back to the REASONS for being given up can we find any peace of mind. You, dear reader, compare the opinions of many and make up your own mind. Find you own Balance and Peace.

June 28, 2010

Great Korean War Photos

Remembering Korean War
Thanks to Chris, American friend who gave me this link. Go there and read captions attached. War is full of horror, innocent suffer along with troops from all armies. Both sides killed prisoners, civilians were caught in ‘crossfires’ between the fighting. Some say ‘just stop fighting don’t make war’ but that is a stupid and ignorant thing to say. Warfare cannot be ‘just stopped’, and as long as mankind has existed they have fought. Unfortunately the only way to stop an army is to defeat it. Freedom must be fought for, it is not just given.

People must be killed that are taking away YOUR freedom, but many will never understand. Those in the Republic of Korea in their early 50’s and under, have absolutely NO IDEA of what happened here. Just look at the present day conditions of North Korea, that would be the same here, if THEY had won. Thank God that 22 United Nations sent troops and aid to help the South stay free. These are the facts.

Older sister with brother.
Family with nothing left.
Refugees huddle in streets of Seoul.
South Korean police killed Communist Sympathizers.k12_00701038_ExecutionsCommunistSympathizers
Communists killed 400 Southerners. Many civilians died, caught in crossfires and 'friendly fire'. War is hell.

Allied soldiers/US Marines in Chosin reservoir.
They had to be taken out.k31_N9806774
k28_12040357 Han River Bridge.

To remember the war, one must see the pictures and get a small idea of what happened. Even movies can NOT bring the total reality, there is nothing that can do that. These are only a sample of those posted on this site. Go and educate yourself.
Remember those who have fought for your freedom, hug a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, Coast Guard, police officer today. Er, maybe just tell them “thanks for your service”, might get you into trouble…

Three Wise Monkeys Blog-

 This blog has the experiences of many foreigners living in Korea. It has been around since 2009 and the KWB has dropped by every once in awhile. If you are a KAD in your 20-30’s it will give you a good clue to what living in the motherland is like. Stories are from many cities not just Seoul. Recommend putting them on your bloglist.
The Three Wise Monkeys is a modern-way reincarnation of DDD magazine– A lot of good DDD stuff (Difficult Dirty Dangerous) can be mined from its archive on this site. We are a weekly updated blogazine with inside-out reportage, interviews, images, videos and everything else we can frame into it that is provocative, smart, entertaining and takes on life here from the Korean Peninsula.
Founding Editors of The Three Wise Monkeys:
scott liam soper
john m. rodgers

This week: Am I Korean...American...Korean-American?
Sue Rissberger
…After 30 years of being away from Korea, I returned last summer. A year and a half of planning, preparation and execution coalesced into my return to a culture I’d been born into but knew little beyond what news headlines and friends reported. A Wednesday evening mid-August marked this return; the arrivals hall at the airport swarmed with a mix of Koreans and foreigners. I blended in, but with who? Was I Korean? American? Korean-American?
I wanted a place to call home…(I was on) a personal path toward seeing Korea as an adopted Korean. I arrived in Korea to teach English, hoping to feel at home, but realizing it isn’t about where you are born, where you grew-up, who your biological family is, or even a place you’re connected to ethnically.  Home is where those relationships exist – family, platonic and intimate, it’s that place that spreads a smile across your face as you daydream thinking about it, that when you are far away from those connections, you look forward to the next time they’re within arm’s distance.

Read all of Sue’s musings and check out her own journey of Adoption Identity. Many have taken the same path, first visiting the country of their birth, then taking the plunge to come and work here teaching English. Yes, even European KAD’s can find work teaching English or ‘native languages of Europe. Sue is just one of many that the KWB drops by and checks out.
In your own search look into the writings of those who have gone before you. There are many different experiences, some painful, some satisfying, all will give you more insight into This Thing of Ours-Adoption.
NO ONE HAS THE EXACT ANSWERS…We all have pieces of the whole.
Thank you Sue and all who blog that we may read and learn. Many may not be able to “turn Native”, nor do I think we ever can truly regain what has been lost…We can only find some answers that will help us live for NOW.
Korean War Baby

June 26, 2010

Korean War Videos

 Battles of War-Korean War
Invasion on 4 am on June 25th, 1950 the North Korean Army rolled down on the South. The USA had decided NOT to give the South heavy weapons that might be used to attack the North. In two days Seoul was captured, creating chaos and even destroying the ONLY bridge across the Han river. Panic filled the entire country. President Truman appealed to the United Nations for troops to support them in a “Police Action” in stopping the Communist aggression.

Pusan Perimeter-Last stand, spread thinly with US troops who were soft and unprepared. Gen. Walton Walker, tough tank commander under Gen. Patton, gave a “Stand or die” order because they had nowhere to go but the sea. There would NOT be a Dunkirk evacuation he told them. Piecemeal units were brought in and huge gaps were uncovered. Only air power and heavy artillery held back the hoards of the North Korean Army. They held until August as UN countries contributed troops from 16 nations with others providing medical support units.

Inchon was the port west of Seoul that had major variations in tide levels, leaving only a two day window to land troops. It was protested by most of the US generals and admirals. Gen. Douglas McArthur chose Marines and US Army into the 10th Corps to make the landing. Most soldiers had no experience with Amphibious landings that must be synchronized with the high tide levels. Sept. 15th the landings began.

This video shows rare footage as the push to liberate Seoul took place after the Incheon landing. By September 25 the North Korean Army abandoned the city and left. Seoul was to be liberated, then lost again when the Chinese Army entered the war.

With US President Truman limiting airstrikes across the border into China, General McArthur pleaded to be allowed to have restraints taken off. Instead the rules of engagement were full of limitations to use their superior force. Then Gen. Walker, field commander in theater, was killed in an accident. Gen. Ridgeway was assigned the command and realized the demoralized condition to the UN forces. The tried to hold out north of the Han river but were driven back. Jan. 3rd Seoul was captured again. They were able to hold somewhere in Suwon City.

War is a horrible terrible thing, once it begins though it must be fought with all available means. Total war, not run by politicians but by the military. Unfortunately, this is not the case most of the time. Even today our civilian leaders do not let the military do what is necessary to win. 

80422979What will happen here now? Our hands are tied behind our backs, and revenge is thwarted on the 46 lives lost from the ROK ship Cheonan. Whimpering Liberal Socialists of the opposition parties in South Korea call the scientific investigation bogus. Some have direct connections and fully support communism, teach anti-American shit to the children, all in the name of ‘freedom of speech’. Yet in the North hundreds of thousands languish in 22 concentration camps for what their parents might have said or done against the foolish leader Kim Jong Il.

Wonder why during the Korean War that hundreds were ‘executed’ by South Korean police as they were forced back by the Northern army? They had been arrested as 5th elements during the trouble from 1948 to 1950 after the Republic of Korea was declared. That they were killed rather than let them escape and aide the north is just plain practical in WAR. The North refused to take part in the election to decide whether to be Communist or a Democracy.

To HELL with “Sunshine policy”!!!
Dae Han Min Guk
Give me DEMOCRACY or die fighting for it!!

June 25, 2010


This is the day that the North Korean army attacked over the border and began what in the west we call the Korean War. There are many sites that cover the War and all the newspapers are for sure carrying some references yet in the hearts and minds of most Korean people it is sadly a distant event. Only those who lived at that time or were so deeply effected by it will really take time to consider this day. Here is just some sites that are worth looking at:

In this link the history of USA/ROK relations is looked at (203 pages): USA/ROK relations history

In this life we will always face conflict, though we can deal with issues as rationally and peacefully as ossible, sometimes you have to face violence with violence. I have never been good at “turning the other check” unfortunately. Who ever you are try to consider for a short time, the conditions before, during, and after the outbreak of war.
We must learn from the past, if possibly to prevent war again, but most of all we must be ready to fight, kill, even die for our freedom. Some have done that…in order for the many to enjoy freedom. So many died during the war, and the suffering of separation still haunts us. Those of you who were Adopted From or even IN Korea were affected by the events of post World War 2 and the Korean War. We exist in a “state of war” to this day, and we must maintain readiness.
Pray for Peace…but be prepared for War.


By Andrei Lankov
Most of our readers live in the country whose official name in English is the ``Republic of Korea.'' But how does that name sound in Korean? And how did this name come into being in the first place?
To start with, the official Korean name of the ROK consists of four syllables, Dae Han-Min Guk. Each syllable might be seen as a separate word, or rather a separate root, and all these syllables-words are of Chinese origin.

June 24, 2010

Patriotism? Dae Han Min Guk!

It is heard throughout the land of the morning calm, “Dae Han Min Guk” which means literally “The Greater Korea” somewhat like “Great unificationBritain” meant before they changed it to United Kingdom. You might not know it but school children are taught that they are living in the “Great Korea” not just the “Republic of Korea”, known to most outsiders as SOUTH KOREA. Confused? Basically the maps of school children show NO DMZ on the map.
The idea of the country being ONE GREATER KOREA is stressed as reality- never mind the, umm, most heavily mined and defended border in the world. The reality of life is ignored, and during the past two Liberal Socialistic governments the solid blue flag of hope was this:

[Viewpoint] Two different types of patriotism - INSIDE JoongAng Daily

We watched as tears streamed down the face of Japan-born striker Jong Tae-se as he stood with his North Korean teammates listening to their national anthem being played at the World Cup for the first time in 44 years. The tears warmed many hearts and elicited a variety of interpretations of their meaning…
But my heart turned heavy watching this young athlete let tears flow as he gazed at his country’s flag, undoubtedly reflecting on the harsh realities of North Korea...I felt both sympathy and fear for the young man.
And suddenly I started to wonder if our young people would be a match for such strong-minded counterparts from North Korea.

20100612000090_0 The thousands of young people at Seoul Plaza shouting their hearts out for our team at the World Cup must be driven there by a fervid love for their country and fellow countrymen. They cannot be a wholly different group from those cynical about the Cheonan report. There are two types of patriotism - an easy, self-serving one, and a difficult and sacrificing one.
20100612000092_0If I want to defend my own country, some form of sacrifice is inevitable. Bearing loyalty to one’s country regardless of the sacrifice is the difficult kind of patriotism.

Chanting “Daehanminguk!” in a festive mood while rejecting any hardship and obligation to defend the country would be the easy brand of patriotism.

Then THIS:

Applicants for Navy decrease

The Navy is suffering from a considerable drop in the number of Cheonan'sStern applicants for enlistment, following the sinking of a warship that took the lives of 46 sailors in March, a lawmaker said Sunday.
Stern (rear) of Cheonan corvette

skwarship_doomsday_604x341 Rep. Shin Hak-yong of the main opposition Democratic Party said the number of applicants has decreased by half over the past few months in the aftermath of the Cheonan sinking by a North Korean torpedo in the West Sea.


The lawmaker said during the January-March period, the Navy saw 7,974 prospective seamen apply for 2,787 vacancies, or an average of about 2.87 people for each opening for enlisted servicemen…Rep. Shin said. "The military should urgently address the growing tendency to avoid joining the Navy."

North Korea meanwhile has few problems with morale and even the Babes in uniform are disciplined troops.

2458067017_fe0b1be604 2453323973_062744b414
According to a recent survey by a local monthly magazine, one in every five childrenoccurred between Korea and Japan. described the war as one that
Goose Stepping with precision.

More than 40 percent said that 38th parallel was the borderline between the two Koreas, said the survey of 3,660 elementary school students from grade three to six, conducted by Monthly JoongAng.

North Korean Women Sailors ARE NOT suffering from fear or worry ofnkwomanNavy dying for their country. Only need to look at the skinny, hungry soldiers, who are more than motivated to destroy the capitalistic Southerners.
The women seem to be much better fed than the men.


History Loses Place in School Curriculum
(091001) -- BEIJING, Oct. 1, 2009 (Xinhua) -- Militiawomen attending the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, rehearse on the Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 1, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Yanhui)  (lyi)A survey by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security last year found that 56.6 percent of people in their 20s didn't know what year the Korean War broke out. (uh, 1950-53)

These "embarrassing" survey results may stem from education policies consistently de-emphasizing national history, especially in high school.


For those who fight for it, Freedom has a taste the Cowardly/weak kneed young men and women in Korea HAVE NOT EVER KNOWN. Only those in their sixties and seventies actually lived during the time of the war and have memories. The Korean War Baby was born in the midst of the 3 year war.

One wonders in alarm how many in the South Korean Armed Forces will hold their ground- IF the North begins shelling the crap out of their positions? Korean mothers may drive up to fetch their darlings from harms way. Fears and tensions are mounting, just what the Communist North wants. They are following the same patterns that preceded Kim Jong il's transfer of power.

Rumors on the internet are creating some panic, it makes the KWB smile. Fear can be a good thing but a few 'shots across the bow' would REALLY get the blood flowing in many young people. No, we don't WANT the North to attack...but a few shells across the border would perhaps destroy the MYTH that Socialists Pinkos believe. Unity my A.S.S.

In the years of being a KADLinK (Korean ADoptee Living in Korea) the Korean War Baby has always tried to instill pride in his Korean male students to be willing to serve in their country’s armed forces. Many Korean young men look at the mandatory military service as not necessary, a waste of time, a horrible break during their university studies, etc. Most of the men would much rather NOT bother, after all, the North is our own blood the younger mislead fools think. Liberals whine and whing about the Conservatives destroying the Sunshine Policy that was BOUGHT outright by former leaders. The Sun doesn't shine 'down there' and all the South got was "Ddong Shimmed" by their 'brothers' in the Commie North.

road_runner The country shouts DaeHanMinGook but has barely honored the death of 46 Sailors. Instead young men are RUNNING for the exits, Korean mothers probably worried sick that their little baby boys will serve in the Korean Navy and die. What hypocrisy as the masses easily 'shout in the streets but don't really support' or even attend football games. Only the World Cup gets out the Red Devils and produce "Patriotic fever". The slaughtered sailors are mostly forgotten, oh well, Korean mothers crying out " I don't want MY SON to die for his country". WHAT A DISGRACE!!!

Few indeed think of service as a patriotic thing to do. Most of his own male students have at least been exposed to the truth of what REALLY happened after the WW2 and how the country was divided. With almost one out of three teachers belonging to (Socialist Liberal) Teachers’ Union recent surveys show that many Koreans don’t even know the YEAR the Korean War started. (June 25 is remembered but they don’t put the year, 1950).

God help us if the North Korean war machine starts another incident and it escalates into full blown war. Will USA really be able to hold back the tide with only AIR POWER? Will Tactical NUKES be needed to save Seoul? Will there be time to even decide? Be ready if the shit hits the fan.

Pray for Peace, be prepared for War.

June 23, 2010

Job Opportunity-Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link

*The Korean War Baby DOES want this organization to continue…as long as the emphasis is REALLY NEUTRAL. There seems to be NO limits on “deadlines” again. Send in your paperwork, fill out the forms, somebody SAVE THEM, be sure to indicate that Secretly you hate adoption and would love to see NO MORE children find loving homes In-Country or Overseas”. One does not need to hide your whiney feelings of loss of culture, language, birth family, etc. Just pretend to be NEUTRAL. Hey, Julie Jeong Koch, you can send your application in now!

This will endear you to Board of Directors Jan Wenger and Rev. Kim Do Hyun, Dr. Kim Su Rasmussen, and SOME PEOPLE who are KADLinK’s Korean ADoptees Living In Korea). The next leaders of GOA’L cannot possibly be from those who had a “Good Adoption experience” YOU NEED NOT APPLY. “For Gettabout it” because you won’t even get considered if you are a “Happy Adoptee”.

As long as he lives, he will demand answers and accountability on the issues that we ALL FACE, not just the 200 odd KADLinKs (Not all are disgruntled Anti-Adoption Adoptee Associates by the way either).  

The Korean War Baby does vow this:




Great opportunity to work for Global Overseas Adoptees' Link (G.O.A.'L)!
G.O.A.'L is hiring for the following positions:

Secretary General & Vice Secretary General

Please see the attachments for more information.

2010-06-05 10:44:23

Attach File
442312757022630.O (105.0Kb)
442312757022631.O (104.9Kb)

June 21, 2010

In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee-Upcoming screenings!!!

The Korean War Baby endorses EVERY film about This Thing of Ours-Adoption. We can learn from each story, which represents SOME of the Spectrum of lives and situations in adoption issues both Domestically and with InterCountry Adoptions. There is more than just “pro and con” issues at stake, input from many may help improve our understanding as Adoptees, Adoptive Parents, Birth/Natural Families, Adoption Professionals, Social Workers, government officials, etc.

*If you're in the neighborhood, check out these upcoming screenings of:


A film by

Deann Borshay Liem

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Winner of the Audience Award - San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, 2010

Winner of Special Jury Awards - Best Director and Best Editor (Vivien Hillgrove), LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2010


Provincetown International Film Festival
TONIGHT! Thursday, June 17 @ 4:30pm at The Vixen

Friday, June 18 @ 7:00pm at The Schoolhouse Center

Provincetown, MA 
Buy Tickets Here

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Special Screening with AK Connection
Saturday, June 19 @ 3:00pm

  Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota
Details Here

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Asian American International Film Festival

Saturday, July 17 @ 12:30pm

  Clearview Chelsea Cinema, NYC

Buy Tickets Here

IN THE MATTER OF CHA JUNG HEE is a co-production of Mu Films and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Katahdin Productions, and American Documentary/P.O.V., with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

CJH on Facebook.gifBecome a fan of IN THE MATTER OF CHA JUNG HEE on Facebook!

mufilms-logo.jpg ITVS logo.JPG CAAM Logo.JPG cpb logo.JPG  Katahdin_Red-2.jpg NEA_LogoBlack.jpg POV_Logo.jpg

Get educated!! Spread the word, support KAD artists, musicians, actors, writers, all who help US understand our Adoption Identity, deal with personal issues, find peace and well-being.

The Korean War Baby urges you to get involved, speak your mind…even if he disagrees with your logic HE WILL LISTEN and POST YOUR VIEWS.

BRING IT ON…Do you want to stop Overseas Adoptions? Tell us the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, HOW…of the matter. Enter into debate with not just the KWB but all my dozen readers “who are paid to ‘click’ on the site to drive up the numbers”. (LOL)



What will you do with “Left-Over, Unwanted children” in Korea?

How will you change the hearts of Korean Society to WANT to OPENLY adopt children?

Will you STOP Overseas Adoptions COMPLETELY, and just put children in Foster Care, Institutions until they are 19 then out on their own?




June 18, 2010

A Piece of my Seoul-What's Up

"Capturing the thoughts of a Korean Adoptee who was reunited on Sept 24, 2009 with the family who relinquished her for adoption in early 1977."

A Piece of My Seoul-Hee Jung 

It is always a pleasure for the Korean War Baby to turn to other bloggers out in the Cyberspace, who are writing about their own "Journeys of discovering their Adoption Identity".

Even in the past almost three months of struggle to expose and question the "goings on" at the dubious election of 27 March, 2010, I have often dropped by those who are blogging their own experiences. I want to bring some attention to some of these fine young (hey, everyone is younger than me) KADs.

In this post of Hee Jung, the topic of "Looking Korean" yet NOT of Korean Culture, language, etc. is looked at.

Some excerpts:

"I feel extremely comfortable thinking that I'm White - maybe that's part of the problem? I haven't done anything to date to change it, and I'm quite comfortable in my daily activities -- until I look into that mirror and suddenly realize, "Damn, I'm Korean!" 

....I know how silly that must sound. But it's something that I struggle with every day. Does it bother me? Yes and no. Like I said, I'm quite comfortable where I'm at, but then all of a sudden I "realize" what I really look like, but depending on what's going on (at work, or whatever), I just brush it off. 

....I know my husband looks at me and sees me as Korean (not culturally, but by looks). I look at my kids and see them as half-Korean. Yet, I'm struggling to feel Korean myself. The Swedish (and American) cultures are so much a part of me, I don't know how to, or even know if, I can change.

.....I can spend all the time I want trying to learn the language and culture, but the feeling of being integrated into the Korean culture and way of life may never materialize. I know that. Maybe that's why I'm not even trying? I don't know. But I still feel lost, like a stranger in my country, whenever I encounter native-speaking Koreans in my own backyard. I feel like an outsider at home. "

Read more, perhaps you can identify with much of the writer's feelings. How DO we deal with this conundrum of our existence?  

June 14, 2010

Tuigi-Devil Child? Updated ProfileKWB

"Tuigi" born to a Korean woman and a "foreign Devil" but by adoption I am now a Child of GOD.

TuiGi or 튀기- Korean people called me a "Child of a devil" but I am now a Child of God

The KWB was born during the Korean War and given up for adoption by his Korean Mother. He and his sister discovered late in life that they were actually Really biological siblings. We were in the first early flights to the land of our American father.
He grew up in Southern California, uneventful, then served in Vietnam with the US Marines; enjoyed a "career in B-movies"; worked in many construction jobs; drifting most of his life; then in 1995 he arrived in Seoul.

Teaching English and helping Korean people to understand about This Thing of Ours-Adoption. It is his hope to help change Korean people's attitudes concerning Adoptees and Adoption with more openness and acceptance, for Civil & Domestic Adoptees and Overseas Adoptees.
"We are all like a brotherhood."
Overseas adoptees had both Trans-Racial and Cultural challenges, and some of our lives have been confusing and difficult, many have adjusted quite well. There are a myriad stories from terrible to wonderful. It is a Spectrum of life, reflecting all that is good and bad, no one has the only "Voice" of the whole. He thinks we all need to listen to each other, and find consensus.

In Korea we lived, when millions were aborted, a 'perfect solution'  (Please NOTE: Painful Sarcasm Alert) to unwanted pregnancy or sex selection. Abortion in the Republic of Korea continues to be used as a contraception option. These are uncontested FACTS- many women are forced to choose by circumstances, lack of support from "biological sperm donors" (Father is a Non Sequitur-it "does not follow logic")  OR are just not ready to be a mother.

These young women are left on their OWN by 'boyfriend', their own family, government's lack of services, few NGO's, and abandoned by society to make this 'choice' almost completely ON THEIR OWN.

Many, many "fertility/women's clinics" can be found in every city of Korea, whose main business is abortions. An early abortions (Search 'abortion' with Lijit on Left Column) may cost from 35 to 50 US Dollars and OB/GYN doctors who rebelled against the 'so-called illegal abortions' report that the national number is close to 4,000 PER DAY. They are open seven days a week, no questions asked, no real age limit required. The KWB believes that a young woman should be shown ALL options before she makes her final Choice, as she will personally live with THAT DECISION all her life.

It is commonly reported that FIFTY PERCENT of Korean women have had AT LEAST ONE ABORTION, and of those one third had more than two. The KWB has personally met dozens of women in counseling with his American wife who had 3, 4, 5, even 6 abortions in order to have a SON. Yes, this is changing but slowly. More than half of the couples surveyed still consider a son VITAL, and the percentage on single child families with BOYS far outnumber the families with GIRLS.

In 2007, Unwed single women gave birth to children. KWDI (Korean Women's Development Institute) reports 7,774 estimated 31.7% of women kept 2,464 children to raise on their own. For 2,296 children who were sadly relinquished by their mothers for adoption, the numbers are almost evenly split Half domestic/ half InterCountry.

2464 + 2246 + 3014 = 7774

What of the 3,014 remaining? They are called 'Unknown' but it can be assumed that they are "CIVIL Code Law" Adoptions, that are not in government figures! Court records almost TRIPLE the numbers each year of the OFFICIAL "Domestic" adoptions. At a recent KWDI forum in Feb. 2010, every panelist member bemoaned that "No one knows the number of Civil Code Law adoptions", YET IT IS IN THEIR REPORT. I pointed that out to the President of KWDI that everyone agreed on the problems but no one seemed to have solutions.

Estimates are that 97.8% of Civil Code Law AND "Domestic" Adoptions are SECRETLY done.

 Society's beliefs are still very strong, difficult to change. Yet, change comes slowly, hopefully some of you will see the hearts and minds of Korean society accept that a child can be loved and adopted. Those children are also growing up with some finding out about the SECRET.

How do they "DEAL WITH THAT?" Maybe the KADLinKs (Korean ADoptees Living in Korea) could help them work out the issues of Adoption Identity? Aren't we almost like brothers and sisters, and who else but Korean Domestic Adoptees can understand Adoption better...Hmmm?

 The Domestic Adoptees grew up within their own country and Ethnic groups, but even recent reports demonstrate that many In-Country Domestic Adoptees have discovered that they were secretly ADOPTED. Ask Ron Morgan of the Late Discovery Adoptees about those issues.

"Who, What happened, WHY? Have I walked past my mother on the streets of Seoul?" These questions haunt them just like International adoptees, do they not? I have personally met now 5 Korean Domestic/Civil Code Law adoptees who still cannot tell openly that "I was adopted".

This is monstrously wrong, talk about Human Rights for the Child, this is absolutely hideous and does not acknowledge the primal wounds of separation that almost all adopted children go through. Yes, even those who are living in their "birth country" as a dirty open little secret that most older extended family members KNOW. If it is learned that a Korean was adopted there are a huge majority of Koreans who would call off the wedding plans.

THESE ARE FACTS...Dr. Kim Su Rasmussen and Dr. Eli Park Sorensen, What say you about these KADLinKs have nothing to do with the thousands of Domesic and Civil Code Law Adoptees? You have never acknowledged in your writings or our own discussions between us about the plight of these "Kindred Spirits". Dr. Eli Park Sorensen helped to develop the plot, er plan to "take over by democratic means" former GLOBAL Overseas Adoptees' Link. But he resides outside the motherland, writes against the "adoption industry" and is a staunch member of the AAAA. I welcome his response and would publish either of their responses in Totality...with my own comments in a separate posting.

Please, Dr. Kim Su Rasmussen, you sent an OPEN LETTER, and I have OPENLY RESPONDED. Where is your Counter Rebuttal? Why do you not answer on the legitimacy of the Election of 27 March 2010? Did "YOU sign off" on the "Final Report of the AGM"?
In the past and present, 60-70% of Koreans will only adopt 'blood relations' and secretly. Officially, so called "Domestic" Adoptees number over 87,000 (This does not count Civil Code Law adoptions which could exceed all estimates and actually be almost DOUBLE the "Domestic" number)- yet 97.8% are NOT told that they were adopted due to the shame of adoption. This ought NOT to be BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS.

Inconvenient Truths held by our mother's people, but it will take a prolonged campaign to change their hearts. Stopping InterCountry or Overseas Adoptions is not enough!!! Shame has not worked, rather more open stories are necessary like those of KUMSN or Momma Mia organizations that highlight the plights and struggles of Unwed Mothers who valiantly defy society, family, government prejudice to overcome and raise their children. There are huge numbers of Korean mothers who have KEPT their children. Approximately 55,000 Unwed Mother HAVE KEPT their children! Check the facts, don't believe the KWB.

We see some promising changes coming in Adoption Law Revision (This will NOT effect CIVIL CODE LAW ADOPTIONS). BUT Changing Laws does not change Hearts of the people.

This is "What it IS", plain and ugly, simple facts.

Everyday in 2007, these numbers: Twenty (21) children were born alive Daily, but 4,000 aborted EVERYDAY.........Inconvenient truth? Damn Right! Maybe we ARE 'LUCKY' to be born alive. Know that some had that terminology but it is incredible odds 4,000 to 21 = 190 "Terminated human fetus" to one Born Alive. Gee! Can we call this "Lucky to be born?"

The KWB does not have all the answers. He is willing to listen to all and seek answers. But some will argue extreme positions that make NO SENSE. Extreme and irrational views must be balanced with realities. Let us reason and work together to find a Balanced Multi-level plan of action. We must work with all to come to a better solution.

We are the Korean Adoptee Diaspora (Scattered). Many of us long to discover our roots and Self-Identity. Many cannot or DO NOT desire to go "beyond Culture Camps". How many of us can become KADLinK (Korean ADoptees Living in Korea)? They are just the few who CHOOSE to do that and are ABLE, and it is those of us like the KWB, who are meeting with "Real Koreans" everyday and sharing our stories. Many CANNOT OR DON'T desire to come and live in the motherland. We all must do our own thing. In the year 2009 it is estimated that 5,000 KAD's visited the country. Less than 500 live here for more than 3 months. Not all are disgruntled or angry, some of us are damn glad we WERE adopted.

To educate the Korean People! That is why the KWB has stayed, though everyday he faces a bit of rejection because of his "unKorean face".

In the 15 years he has lived here though he has told his story to thousands of students, parents, teachers, church members, etc.

"Mixed-Blood" has always made me feel like a Divided Person, Half Asian-Half somthing. Since DNA testing helped to establish Bio-Father's ethnicity the KWB has also come to understand the Institution of Adoption, celebrating his Scottish Identity from his Adoption. He is a Multi-Cultural S.O.B. thank you!!"

"Take No Shit!!"

Each of us visiting, working, and living, do our share in putting a "FACE" to adoption. Let us also help to bring Korean Society to view Adoption as GOOD, not just bad.

There are many reasons that 63% of Unwed Mothers in 2009 GAVE UP for ADOPTION their children. For every child adopted Overseas there are THREE adopted In the Country.

Crib for children in process for a home SOMEWHERE, inside Korea or 'exported', pure chance on where one goes. Life is a 'crap shoot'.

All Korean Adoptees, even our secretly adopted Domestic brethren, all need to find out "Who am I". Adoption Identity has different meanings to each individual.

Most have found loving families, though some have faced further loss from life's many situations. A few have suffered abuse, wrongful separation from birth family. There are stories of sexual or mental abuse, of Adoptive parents who have difficulty understanding the issues Transracially adopted children have had.

The movie "Adopted" delves into many of the issues that Transracial Adoptees face with some parents. "We Can Do Better" is a DVD that comes with the movie that is a MUST for all involved in This Thing of Ours-Adoption.

We must all be open to each other, hear all sides, find better ways to prevent possible abuses, most of all to find our own personal Self-Identity...and peace.

The journey of Self-Identity is difficult, emotional, stressful, and some may never find all the "answers". We who were Adopted must walk our own paths and sharing our stories can help all members of "This Thing of Ours-Adoption".

The "first" generation of KAD's from the 40's (yes like Sen. Paull Shin of Washington State Senate) and the 50's are now in our late fifties and sixties, grandparents now. Young KADs are coming in their 18 to their twenties, seeking their own Adoption Identity. Three generations and it continues...

The reasons for our adoptions changed over the years but still everyday babies are born and given up, children are abandoned for physical, mental, and just the crap reasons of life-divorce, separation of parents, death, etc.

It took some countries years to no longer have a "supply" of children for adoption, such as Australia. Yet throughout the world there are millions of children who have been "single or Double" orphaned, needing homes. The supply and the demand will always be with us.

Preventing abuses and malpractices are the main goals, but the Korean War Baby supports a multi-tierred approach to Adoption. This seems logical and practical, acceptable to all. Can't we all work out a compromise, without hatred or ignoring each other?

Can't we all get along? Hopefully, most of us ARE willing and able. Let's work together.