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.


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.

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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.


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black_ribbon_300

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."

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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.





North-Korea-military-001
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.







north-korean-army-babes-320x309

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.



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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.

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