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 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!!

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