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.

July 31, 2010

IKAA Gathering in Seoul, ROK-Aug. 3-8

 Symposium open to sign ups.

IKAA - International Korean Adoptee Associations

Print International Scholars to meet in Seoul to present Korean Adoption Research

“Scholars from around the world will present their Korean Adoption Studies research during the IKAA Gathering 2010 at the Second International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies to be held Tuesday, August 3, 2010 in Seoul, South Korea at the Lotte Hotel Seoul.”




International Adoption from Korea and Overseas Adopted Koreans:
The Second International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies

Symposium Date: August 3, 2010
Planned location: IKAA Korean Adoptee Gathering, Hotel LOTTE, MyungDong, Seoul, Korea. 
Symposium Sponsor: IKAA (International Korean Adoptee Associations).
Questions?  Contact Kim Park Nelson,

External guest registration here


The Second International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies

August 3rd, 9 am - 5:30 pm
at the Crystal Ballroom, Lotte Hotel

Open to the general public.
Per person: KRW 50,000
Student (with valid ID card that has to be presented on site): KRW 25,000

Payment on site. Pre-registration recommended. Will open soon.
Print e-ticket and present it at the registration desk no later than 30 min. before the event.

To register for the Research Symposium:
1. Go to the online registration
2. Log in if you already have an IKAA account
3. In the "Preferred price category" choose "External Guest" or "External Student"
4. Follow instructions
5. When the registration has been completed correctly, you will receive a link to download your e-ticket.
6. Print out the e-ticket and present it during registration at the Lotte Hotel.



*The IKAA Gathering 2010 is open to ALL adult Korean adoptees (18+) and their spouses/partners and children. You do NOT have to be a member of an adoptee association to register...but we'd be happy to put you in touch with an adoptee association near you, too, if you'd like!*


Don't forget that the IKAA Gathering 2010 will be at a new hotel

Hotel Lotte Myeong Dong 

(“Low teh” for Korean pronounciation).

Lotte Hotel ibis-myeongdong-ambatel-map

Hotel Lotte (Myeong Dong) downtown Seoul. Eul Ji Ro 1 Ga Sta. take Exit 7 & 8 leads into the basement of Lotte Department Store. The Hotel is on the same corner (Southwest for the guys). Click on maps to make larger.

The Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul (Myeongdong district, not Jamsil) is a 5-star hotel and one of the top 3 or 4 hotels in Korea.  It’s such a great location and we’re able to hold all sessions and most activities at the hotel.

The hotel has a great room rate for our Gathering, at only $105 per night per room, single or double occupancy (KRW 120,000).  As at any other hotel in Seoul, there’s also a 10% tax and 10% service charge added.  The registration code is “IKAA Gathering” and reservations can be made online: (NOTE-Cheaper rooms are booked already) The Lotte Hotel has agreed to offer this special Gathering rate to attendees from July 26th to August 12th, so those of you who will arrive a little early or stay a little longer can take advantage of this significantly discounted room rate. The hotel has a fantastic grocery in the basement, amazing food court, and wonderful department store attached – you can seemingly buy anything there!  The hotel even has its own subway stop and you don’t even have to go outside to catch it!

Be sure to visit 3 Alley Pub Itaewon, Seoul 3AlleyPub



3 Alley Pub

ABOVE 3 Alley Pub is the Sam Ryan’s Sport Bar managed by Chris:

samryansGreat Grill, international menu, flat-wide screens EVERYWHERE. Nice wide open atmosphere, Try the Ribs, “dem some good yah!”

Tell Albert, Bernie, and Chris the Korean War Baby sent you!

Also nearby for Korea’s Best Chili:

Chili King


ChiliKingLogo Opening2 motionKevin the Chili King!






  Monster King Kev with 3 paddies of beef, French Fries, coleslaw. Few are able to finish the WHOLE THING.


Itaewon is the area that traditionally was for foreign merchants, outside the city gates of Seoul. Just a stone’s throw from the Yongsan Base where first Japanese, then American troops made their headquarters. For modern Ex-Pats this is the place for best food, drink, comrades to meet both Koreans and foreigners come together. Come enjoy Korean beer or have your favorite brew.

July 24, 2010

Back to Cebu-“Wanted Wives”

I have just returned from Cebu Island, staying at the Pacific Cebu Resort on Mactan Island where I filmed years ago with Cherie Gil and Gina Alajar.
DSC04028 DSC03992

Nanarland-French movie site interview:

“In fact, you never got any lead!”
“Oh, Mon Dieu, pardon moi…No Leading roles? I actually did three, though two were just Filipino films. So please, give me a break! Just a little respect, Si Vous Plait, mon amies.” In “The Five-Style Fists” (1978), starring Ann Villegas, Allan Shishir, Joon Yong Soo -alias Don Gordon Bell, Boy Fernandez, and Jack Lee.
I was the main Contra-vida Lead as the “Eagle Claw Master”, using my Korean name, Joon Yong Soo (wrong spelling Jun Yong Soo). Film was written and directed by Leonardo C. Pascual and produced by Abella Pascual. Jack Lee and I were “loaned” to the Pascual producers by Mr.  K.Y. Lim, before “Bruce’s Fists of Vengeance” (1979) was filmed with Bruce Le and Jack Lee the following year. It was sold internationally but I guess did not make it to DVD listings. 

My best and greatest experience was “Wanted: Wives” based on Lonely Hearts Club where men and women exchanged “real Mail” and actually wrote their letters and sent photos to many, looking for romance.

"Cherie Gil wants ME for her Leading Man?"

Top Contravida

My next Lead was in a Regal Films production as the leading man of Cherie Gil, in a comedy called, “Wanted: Wives!” I knew Cherie from working with her brother Michael De Mesa and Dick Israel in several action films. The whole Gil family were actors I remember.
I was sometimes very "Crazy Don"
Cherie Gil was sweet 17!
Cherie has returned to the Philippines and acting, even directing.

Cherie saw me at a late night party, not long after I had met Cherie on the set of a film “Intrusion Cambodia”, when she visited her brother Michael de Mesa. (Michael used his father's screen name and I worked with him for Kinavesa Productions). I was drinking my favorite Tanduay Rum and Coke, when Cherie asked me why I did not try to get the part as her leading man in her next film. She seemed surprised that I had already heard that her "leading man" was decided. The Leading Man role already been cast with an American that I knew was signed on by a rival talent agent, George Weber. Cherie at that time did not even know from her agent.
Don Gordon (Bell) at 28.

I told Cherie that I wished that I “looked more White” then I might have gotten the part, so she laughed and asked me why was that? I replied that since I have mixed-blood it was almost impossible for ME to get a role like that. I would have loved being cast for the part, especially since there was a  love scene with her, I joked. But because of my being half-Korean and SOMETHING that I just did not look like a “real American”. The guy chosen was Caucasian with light reddish-blond hair. What is really funny is that through DNA Haplogroup testing, I know I have Spanish/Mexican/Native American blend from my Birth Father’s genes.

Cherie didn't say much more but two days later, I received a call from Direk Gil Portes, that Cherie had insisted that I, Don Gordon Bell, be her LEADING MAN. Really? What about the other guy, I thought it was a “done deal”. Cherie had discussed the story with the direk then insisted that she wanted ME. At the time I did not know the storyline, had only two days to pack and go.
Will wonders never cease! Next thing I knew I was in Cebu with TWO beautiful Filipina actresses, Cherie Gil and Gina Alajar. “Just shoot me now!”

Gina Alajar


We filmed on location in beautiful Cebu with Gina Alajar playing her cousin. Cherie’s skin color is light brown called a 'morena beauty', so her character thinks it would be better to send a picture of her “lighter complexioned cousin” played by Gina Alajar, to a Lonely Hearts Club for meeting foreign men. My character and Cherie's began a long series of letter writing (Some of you young people may not be able to "Write Cursive or Script- except to sign your name). Then suddenly he comes unannounced to Cebu. The comedy ensues as the two cousins try to fool me that Gina is really Cherie.

The real boyfriend of ‘Gina’ is jealous and unwittingly blows the secret, the truth comes out when he kidnaps Gina to elope with her. Everything turns out cool, because my character tells Cherie that he likes HER no matter "the color of her skin". There is a double wedding at the end of the movie.

My comment about “wishing I looked more White” made Cherie's realize THAT was the main theme of the comedy! Reel life imitating Real life. It was about her character ‘wishing that she looked more fair-skinned’ instead of being a dark-skinned beauty who thought "whiter was nicer". 

“But Direct, you said "nibble on her ear"!

When Cherie and I had the 'dream romance sequence', it was with black background, 'pasties' (on her), blazing hot lights, and about 15 people crowded into the suite, no aircon or fan. Romantic scenes are not what you think, it takes a long time to get things filmed. I was worried about my breath, so I brushed my teeth two or three times, and gargled several times throughout the long sequence.

Cherie commented on my thoughtfulness (apparently some other actors-no names- were not so conscious) and except for some clumsiness and ignorance on my part everything went well. (Never got to kiss lips to lips though-nuts!) 
Until the director told me to ‘nibble on her ear’ and she lurched up and out of the camera frame when I DID just that. (No one told ME that I was supposed to "ACT ONLY like I was nibbling"- Oops, OH...okay. Sorry about that...But Direk, you told me to nibble on her ear.

"Oh, NO." Direk Gil laughed, "The camera doesn't SEE you doing that or anything…so you just have to pretend. Just kiss her face then neck, 'nibble on her ear', then go down, down to her breasts ...BUT only pretend, move your head around, do you get it now?"

I began to ‘get it’ and make all the pretend moves. Finally, we got through hours of filming and the result was really 'dreamy' on screen. 
I was more nervous than her, but Cherie was very understanding and helpful. I will state for the record that since Cherie was already an "up and coming star" who must be 'connected' with Filipino Lead Actors we could only remain as friends. Sayang, talo ko.

"Makulay, ang Daigdig ni Nora"

nora008 A year later I played the SAME type of character on Nora Aunor’s “Colorful World of Nora Anor” as a guy working on a oil rig in Brunei.


He (my character is an American-number one choice for getting a husband) is writing a pen pal in Manila. She does not mention to him that she is confined to a wheelchair because of polio. Of course, after he meets her and the truth becomes known he insists that he wants to marry her no matter what. It was my second “marriage” on Filipino media.

Just recently Cherie Gil is back in the Philippines, in the business again.

Her next film earned her several times what she made on "Wanted: Wives". I knew that she was going to be a great actress, one who would survive because she was talented, able to play completely different roles.

"FULL GALLUP" 23 March, 2014
Cherie Gil has made a great name for herself. She has continued to be one of the great Filipina actresses of all time because of her ability to play a bitch or a diva. She has indeed become a 'force to be reckoned with'.

Don Gordon (BELL)
I used Don Gordon as a screen name at this time.
Thank you Cherie for giving me the chance to be your ‘leading man’, a Mixed-Blood guy who was given a once in a lifetime 'dream' role.

After the last performance of FULL GALLUP, 23 March, 2014

Cherie Gil as fashion doyenne Diana Vreeland in a one-woman play, "FULL GALLUP"...23 March,2014

July 19, 2010

Blast to the Past

The Korean War Baby is back in the Philippines, a flood of memories filling his mind. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and all in between. Some of the thoughts and memories that suddenly come to mind are freaky, like the first Filipina woman I met, umm, you know, not exactly a girlfriend but it was during a typhoon. Ah, you have to read my book, if I ever live to write it all. Thing is that such a memory popped up in my mind at all. (I discovered that my Korean wife is actually reading my blog and is NOW ON FACEBOOK-the Horror, the horror!)

I am taking some shots and will post them when I get back. I have only 30 more min. on this card for internet service, at 2$ per hour. I am sitting here at 4:30 AM and it is warm! Today it was at least 95 degrees F. Drinking a San Miguel and coffee, hey try that sometime. Shout out to all my friends. Got to check my email. Bye for now.

July 15, 2010

Genetic Lessons From a Prolific Sperm Donor - Newsweek

What? Why is the Korean War Baby concerned with Sperm Donors? Well, just consider the good, bad, and weird things that Science and Medicine has wrought in the couple of generations with In-Vitro Fertilization, Birth Control Pills, ‘Emergency Contraception’, ‘deadbeat birth fathers’, etc.

Look at this article and you get the perspective from a man who thought he was doing a good thing. “Donating Sperm” did not make him rich, at $20 USD per…uh, specimen.

Genetic Lessons From a Prolific Sperm Donor – Newsweek

"You would get a personal phone call from a nurse saying, 'The situation is urgent! We have a woman ovulating this morning. Can you be here in a half hour?' "

"It's a crisp fall day in Northville, Mich., a small suburb of Ann Arbor, and Kirk Maxey, a soft-spoken, graying baby boomer with a classic square jaw, is watching his 12-year-old son chase a soccer ball toward the goal. Maxey is doing what he does every Saturday, along with hundreds of other family men and women across the country, but he's not your average soccer dad. Maxey, 51, happens to be one of the most prolific sperm donors in the country. Between 1980 and 1994, he donated at a Michigan clinic twice a week.

Maxey was a medical student at the University of Michigan, his first wife, a nurse at a fertility clinic, persuaded him to start donating sperm to infertile couples. Maxey became the go-to stud for the clinic because his sperm had a high success rate of making women pregnant, which brought in good money for the clinic. Maxey himself made about $20 a donation, but says he was motivated to donate more out of a strong paternal instinct and sense of altruism.

When he began volunteering, he wasn't asked to take any genetic tests and received no psychological screening or counseling. He merely signed a waiver of anonymity, locked himself in a room with a cup and a sexy magazine, and didn't consider the emotional or genetic consequences for another 30 years. Both his cavalier attitude and the clinic's lax standards, Maxey says, explain why he may have so many offspring. But now a fierce conscience is catching with his robust procreative drive.
Now the confluence of genetic science and an increased awareness around the consequences of sperm donation is changing the game—and potentially the lives of Maxey's offspring. Today sperm donation is no longer a shadow business, partially because infertility, single motherhood, and homosexual parenting have become more socially acceptable. (The California Cryobank alone now sells an average of 30,000 vials of sperm a year.) At the same time, donors and offspring have begun to connect though genetic testing and Web sites like the Donor Sibling Registry.
In 2007 two of Maxey's offspring, Ashley and Caitlyn Swetland, who are now 21 and 18, used the site to find Maxey, who had been a registered user since 2005. No other children have come forward, but as Maxey's relationship with Ashley and Caitlyn progressed, he began to think about the consequences of his earlier donations.

Mr. Maxey’s ‘reunion’ with just two of his offspring has been positive, yet it demonstrates the tip of the iceberg. It is good that he ‘began to think about the consequences of his earlier donations’, but how many sperm donors in the past and present feel the same way? Many ‘deadbeat’ birth “Fathers (NOT a father)” are most likely to run the other way when a girlfriend tells them, “I tested positive”. Korean ‘birthfathers’, a real joke of a term, are now immune from prosecution from their own ‘sperm donating’.

633635914173530286-disbelief2In Korea there are NO LAWS to test for Paternity or force the Bio-logical ‘sperm donor’ to even help with medical costs, let alone give child support for the 37% of Unwed Mothers who KEPT their babies in 2008. That represents more than ONE out of THREE babies born that year and from 2000 it was only 8.6%. (See KWDI_May2009ReportIssuesUnwedMothers)

YET some Liberal Socialists Opposition Lawmakers are pushing for a law that would give a biological “father” the right to RE-CLAIM his Paternal Rights if a child is given up for IN-COUNTRY Adoption.
Talk about a Dead-beat law…Uh, WHY? I asked some Korean Women’s Development Institute’s professors if ANY Korean father would even WANT to do that. They had to agree that they knew almost none would do such a thing. There are SOME things that the KWB agrees with some people in the liberal camps, when it comes to women’s rights and rights of the child.

On the same note though, Korean women have the legal and moral right to RELINQUISH their child and 63% DID SO in 2008.

Would that more Bio-logical Sperm Donors/boyfriends/even rapists/just plain jerks WOULD have a change of mind and consider like Mr. Maxey the consequences of their actions. The Korean War Baby DID and at the age of 28 he did the drastic step of having a vasectomy. Years later he and his wife had to try science to produce a child, ending in failure twice. Many do not know that the success rate is about 20% and many eggs are fertilized and frozen. Hard decisions had to be made and moral issues abound. (watch for the book).

For Adoptees NOT knowing both of our biological parents are difficult issues. There are parallels to those who discover that they were ‘produced’ by Medical Science. Whether egg or sperm OR BOTH, they must deal with some of the same issues. In the end we must all help each other and stop just blaming or trying “Knee Jerk Reactions” like thinking that JUST STOP INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS will solve it all. Nothing is simple in This Thing of Ours-Adoption.

Some other articles about the pitfalls of Sperm Donation, IVF, etc.:

The truth about donor 1084


More Moral Dilemmas

July 13, 2010

Castro blames U.S. for stoking nuclear tensions -

The Korean War Baby is a conservative Republican, all-American, US Marine (now inactive not retired), ‘don’t take shit from anyone’, proud of all his heritage by genes and adoption. So you can imagine my reaction to the claims by old Fidel Castro about the USA. HAH!! Go suck an egg you older fart and die.
Castro blames U.S. for stoking nuclear tensions -

Birds of a Feather? Progressive Socialist?

“Havana, Cuba (CNN) -- The United States is pushing for what would become nuclear wars against Iran and North Korea, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said in a rare televised interview Monday.

Castro blamed the United States, not North Korea, for the sinking of a South Korean ship that killed 46 sailors. The incident was orchestrated to stir conflict in the region, Castro said.

The former Cuban leader, who is 83, said he was disappointed that China and Russia didn't veto a U.N. Security Council resolution for additional sanctions against Iran for its alleged illegal nuclear program.”

Hey, DUDE, go off and die. Let your brother really take over. You are irrelevant to the Cuban people now, let them enjoy coming back into the Global society.
The REAL thing that bothers me is that one out of three young South Koreans (they call under 45) will BELIEVE this or already BLAME the USA for 'sinking the Cheonan'. The opposition parties have put out online lies and fabrications, called into question scientific and investigative facts and the results of an International Team of Maritime experts in explosives, investigation, and all that. But don't confuse the Socialist/Communist sympathizers in the South with such information.
Oh, no, they still believe that the two young middle school students in 2002 were "murdered" by US troops, and a recently released film on the No Gun Ri incident is based on the Associated Press's faulty Pulitzer Prize award. The joint commission to investigate the allegations have shown that the main "witnesses" US soldiers who claimed they were "ordered to kill 'em all" WHERE PROVEN TO BE LIES. THEY WERE NOT EVEN THERE ON THE DAY OF THE INCIDENT. US News magazine first exposed that AP reporters KNEW that key witnesses were found to have NOT been with the unit on that day, the main person Edward Daily did not join the unit until SEVEN months later.
See this first: Nogunri Massacre?
Actor Lee BeomSoo Donates to Multicultural Centers
Actor Lee Beom-soo, who married interpreter Lee Yoon-jin on May 22, donated the entire gift money from the wedding to the Central Office for Multicultural Family Support Centers last month.
The agency, which is under the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family, assists 159 multicultural family support centers nationwide.

The KWB applauds his efforts to help and give publicity to the 170,000 Multicultural families that ARE trying to make it. Over 103,000 children of Mixed-Blood or HoNurAh are now registered by the Ministry. NOT ALL Multicultural families end up bad, but there needs to be more guidelines to avoid such things as THIS:

Mentally Ill man kills new Vietnamese wife
A Busan man (age 57) with a history of mental illness fatally stabbed his Vietnamese wife eight days after she arrived in Korea, prompting the government to plan measures that would prevent mentally ill men from going abroad to seek wives…
Police are investigating whether the matchmaking company that introduced Kim to the Vietnamese woman screened candidates for mental illness, as they found Kim received treatment in a mental hospital 57 times in the last eight years.

Yes, do they screen candidates? NO, hey maybe a good idea to also stop the 37 year age difference as well? WTH, THIS is what goes on in this country. HOW can “authorities” be thinking? About 10% to 15% or these marriage by pick and choose are no more than SEX tours for young brides. International couples must/should be regulated to stop obvious abuse.
The ten percent of marriage that DO fail also leave behind Mixed-blood children and some of them are abandoned. Wife beating, prejudice from husband’s family, language difficulties, social acceptance, are just some of the problems. The many Centers for Multicultural Families are helping the great majority. What must be done is COMMON SENSE, like stopping “instant marriages”.
The KWB is trying to make contact with the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family, and the Multicultural Support Centers to get more direct information. The children of these marriages are changing the demographics of the FORMERLY HOMEOGENOUS Rep. of Korea.

July 11, 2010

Don Gordon Bell « “I Am Korean American” site.

Traveling through the cyberspace one day I came across this site.
Don Gordon Bell « I Am Korean American
I am a Korean-American” and at that time I was pondering just what does it mean to be Korean-American or any other HYPHEN-American. Help other and yourself by first checking other short bios then Submit your Adoption Story. It will help you sort out WHERE you are at in working through your Adoption Identity.

Submit Your Adoption Story

I have come to realize that as a TRUE AMERICAN when I was first a child in elementary school I had to fight for my IDENTITY because SOME PEOPLE’S CHILDREN just don’t get it. Yes, I got SOME kidding about being Oriental (back in the 1950’s!!) but there were Negro kids (Again this was a good word and some said “Colored child”- better than the N-word) and some Mexican kids in my school. America is a MELTING POT but this kind of stuff just happened.
I never remember “thinking I was WHITE” because I always got the “What ARE you?” or “Are you Oriental, Japanese…Chinese?”. NEVER EVER heard “Are you Korean”, so I told them “My Story” etc. NO BIG DEAL.

Now there are always those “ten percenters” who never get the MEMO that it ain’t cool to be prejudice. What I learned as a young boy was I had to stand up for my rights, and if I got knocked down by a bigger kid I got back up again and kept attacking…I earned respect. NOW, now, you think…I must need HELP, psychotherapeutic counseling ( thank u spell checker), and so forth. NAY. I be fine. Now I have always been for the underdog and stood by anyone who was picked on by bullies.

SOME PEOPLE have thought that I, the Korean War Baby have threatened SOME WOMEN Adoptees who just happened to be AAAA (Anti-Adoption Adoptees Associates). Why I have never even hit whores that robbed me, YES, in the past I was quite a BAD PERSON and frequently PAID for SEX though most of the time I ‘worked for it’. In fact I paid MORE than other guys because I thought my own Korean mother had been a prostitute. NOW, I have information that makes me believe that ‘OLMA’ was instead a girlfriend of my Birth Father and stayed with him over Three years. BUT I digress.

bitch_slap I HAVE NEVER physically threatened any WOMAN. Stupid FOOLS may twist my words and blog post photos meaning but they are full of SHIT, DONG, MANURE, DOG DOO DOO. Please, look carefully, you will not see any threats of PHYSICAL harm.
Don’t you just love this kid?

From the time I learned Judo from a Japanese friend and all through my years of Martial Arts training (TaeKwonDo, KajuKembo, Uechi-Ryu, weapons, etc) I have maintained the basic principals of Bushido and the disciplines that I learned from all my teachers.


Under all of my Instructors I gained by teaching the younger brother/sister students. When you have to TEACH you must learn it completely. It is not just techniques but the SPIRIT of Bushido, the Way of the Warrior is in the MIND first…then the Spirit, finally the Body. Mind, Spirit, and Body all must be ONE, but without the Inner Mind developing a strong BASE, the rest will never come. Most are impatient and focus only on the physical elements and have no time for the Inner Mind training. This comes only with the few who seek the Art in Martial Arts.

bell07_KickingI have seen young men with great technical ability, blazing speed and power- all aspects of the Yang energy, BUT they LACKED the discipline to study the YIN elements of the Mind and Spirit. Those who study only the physical can be defeated by one who has trained in the INNER MIND and SPIRIT aspects of Oriental Martial Arts.

Seven Virtures of Bushido

bushido-signsGi: Justice. Deciding the proper course of conduct.
Yuu: Courage. Courage is doing what is right.
Jin: Benevolence, love, and magnanimity.
Rei: Politeness, courtesy, etiquette, and manners.
Makoto: Sincerity, and truthfulness.
Meiyo: Honor, pride, and glory.
Chuugi: Loyalty and devotion.


Study the Art


With some serious training from a teacher who understands his students they can develop the WILL to stand up for themselves. I have seen young students after just a few months of training gain confidence, not from learning twenty kicks and punches. It is because they have gained Confidence and their willingness to fight.
This is the ONE who will not acknowledge defeat, will not stay down, but will struggle to his feet again and again. THIS ONE will not give up because he will NOT take shit No WAY, No MORE!

I have taught many people to stand up for their rights by having the “Don’t take NO shit” attitude, balanced with the Oriental Way, this Western attitude seems to fit right in. Knowing the Gi/Justice is knowing the right moment when it becomes necessary to strike or walk away.

2010-04-16 13-10-12_00402010-04-16 13-15-36_0047
First I am Friendly and I Give respect, but if you disrepect me…

…THEN you get THIS!

When you are taught the basics well, you can fight for your dignity and gain self assurance, even if you are beat down and pounded, you WILL get back up again. You will gain respect from others, even from most of your foes. Most important YOU will have SELF-RESPECT. That is a fact. Once a person learns “why and how to defend themselves” they will no longer take crap and the bully KNOWS he can no longer intimidate.
Korean-American and DUAL CITIZENSHIP? It can mean many things to many people. How many KADs want or can seek it? How many have the chance to come and live, and try to ‘go native’? There is a ‘mixed bag’ of those who have come and lived here for some period of time. Just to visit once is an experience that I still remember with many emotions, good and bad.

I AM A KOREAN-AMERICAN, YES! I am of BOTH Peoples, yet the level of Culture, language, knowledge, etc are at different levels for everyone. The lines are very thin between one level and another. Korean-American can also be a genetically ‘pure’ Korean (IF there is such a thing) yet if one was born in the USA, or moved there when young, children in Korea call them Kyopo and “Not Real Koreans anymore”.

The “Kyopo” and IbYangIn/Adoptee are often SHOCKED to find out that they are considered MIXED, just like a Mixed-Blood the label applies, though there are many differences. We who were Adopted have varying degrees of SOME to almost NO language, cultural understanding, knowledge of traditions, habits, etc. It’s a Sliding scale of Koreanness.
See my post on “Real Koreanness” on the first post for “I am a Korean American” and find where are you on the SCALE of Real Korean.

We can learn but can we 'make up' for the lost years? Doubt it but go ahead and try. Don’t give up, learn what you are comfortable with wanting to do. You will have to accept that you ARE a Unique human being, One of a Kind? No, there are tens of thousands of brothers and sisters JUST LIKE YOU…even tens of thousands who were adopted In-Country and many are just learning that they were Secretly Adopted. Are they not our brethren too? YES, they are indeed.

SO, continue on YOUR JOURNEY, be strong and full of courage, SUCK IT UP if you can, AND help those who are staggering under the weight of personal suffering. Lift them up and help them, together we can move forward and find peace, love, understanding in,


July 8, 2010

Martyrs cry out to be remembered - INSIDE JoongAng Daily

“71 Into the Fire”

Review: "71 Into the Fire"

“The film is based on the true story of 71 South Korean student soldiers who defended Pohang, a port city in North Gyeongsang, during the Korean War in 1950. As the South Korean Army converged on the Nakdong River to guard against the advancing North Korean Army, the student soldiers who remain in Pohang become the only defense against them.
The film opens with a battlefield scene. Bullets fly and the crack of gun shots and blasts is relentless. From the collapsing buildings and bomb explosions to the fluttering particles of dust and realistic makeup, everything is recreated in realistic detail, showing where the 11.3 billion won ($10 million) might have gone.”

[Viewpoint] Martyrs cry out to be remembered - INSIDE JoongAng Daily

k16_01116017 The Korean War, which broke out on June 25, 1950, has been a forgotten war for a long time. Who remembers the war? Is there anybody who can remember the song we sang with resolute determination beginning, “How can we forget that tragic day?” Although we have forgotten the song about the Korean War, it is a matter of no importance. It is not a karaoke song, and elementary school students no longer learn how to sing it. What is there left to do? Forgetting the war would be just as irrational as forgetting who we are.

The JoongAng Ilbo is encouraging people to remember the forgotten war. k34_10221029 This is a truly welcome event. The newspaper is releasing its series of interviews with Gen. Paik Sun-yup - a vivid, well-written memoir of the tragic war - as its New Year’s special. The Korean War was definitely a national tragedy. Scars left by the war are still visible everywhere in this nation, though left unattended. Take a close look at the horrible situation facing South Korean prisoners of war detained in North Korea. They grew old working in underground coal mines. Some went through hell to escape. However, there are still others who shed their blood and sweat in the North’s “valley of tears.”

How can we forget those unknown but brave soldiers who, like sparkling dewdrops, shone with the dawn and then disappeared without a trace? Among them were volunteers who fought as student soldiers in the Korean War. Those boys who put down their pens and slung guns over their shoulders for the sake of a nation in imminent peril numbered nearly 50,000. Seven thousand were killed in battle, but approximately 1,000 are still alive.”

As they were student soldiers, they had neither official rank nor military serial numbers like the regular army. Yet they sacrificed their precious youth and fought, risking their lives in a precarious position as civilians, just like the armies raised in the cause of justice during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) did. In fact, in all the countries of the world, there is no precedent for students to volunteer for military service to protect their nation from external aggression. Nevertheless, they became forgotten heroes of the war without adequate compensation because they were civilians.


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The 15-year-old boy prayed silently beside a freshly dug grave as he and other prisoners waited to be shot by a North Korean firing squad. Kim Man-kyu, barely taller than his M-1 rifle, had fought with other South Korean student volunteers in an 11-hour battle before being captured just weeks into the 1950-53 Korean War.

"Suddenly, a fighter jet appeared and bombed and fired machine guns at the area," recalled Kim, now a 75-year-old retired pastor. Under attack, the North Koreans abandoned the execution of the prisoners, including some American soldiers.

About 100,000 South Korean students volunteered to fight in the Korean War, which broke out 60 years ago Friday 25th June, 1950. More than 1,970 perished, according to the War Memorial of Korea, a national museum in Seoul.

Kim was one of 71 students whose story is told in a blockbuster, star-studded film, "71 — Into the Fire," which opened to huge audiences in South Korea last week. The distributor plans to release the movie in the United States and Japan too, though no dates have been set.

July 6, 2010

KCare-Korea Central Adoption Resources

Last year in July of 2009, Korea Central Adoption Resources was officially launched. KCare recently moved to another office *Note New address below. Adoptees who are interested in doing a search or just to get copies of their adoption files should realize some basic facts first. There are several groups that facilitate help for Korean Adoptees to make contact with their Adoption Agency to discover more about themselves.
Remember there are many groups but basically they will all help in different ways to connect you to the Post Adoption Service sections established officially since 2008 in Holt-Korea, Korea Social Services, Eastern Social Welfare Society, Social Welfare Society, and some of the other established Adoption Agencies in Korea.
They are responsible for both Domestic (In-Country) adoptions numbering over 87,500 and the Overseas or InterCountry Adoptions (the terms change over the years. It is amazing to many that the number of children adopted WITHIN Korea is quite high, and THIS DOES NOT COUNT the Civil Code Law adoptions that may be almost DOUBLE the number of Domestic adoptions (which are ‘better’ because they have more safeguards for the children, i.e. background checks for Prospective Adoptive Parents).
It has been Korean Government policy to promote Domestic Adoptions but if one checks the numbers you would find that the truth is that roughly one out of four children are sent abroad. That is after the Civil Code Law adoptions, then Domestic adoptions take place. It is unfortunate and regrettable that the “left-over children” those LESS wanted by Korean Society (UH do know that 97% of In-country adoptions are kept SECRET because of prejudice and shame, in most cases the child is never told but SOME do find out). These are Inconvenient ugly Truths. This is why the Korean War Baby believes in continuing the InterCountry Adoptions. Where do the children go if they do not get a home and family? Into over crowded institutions or foster care where they are NOT a member of the family. THAT SUCKS.
KCare, is still a “work in progress” an attempt to centralize the process of adoptees, birth families, adoptive families in the complexities of what is called “Post Adoption Services”. Now PAS was being done over the years by staff members but as the numbers of returning adoptees increased and through the work of GOA’L and other Adoptee organizations, the Korean government finally passed laws and gave budgets to establishing more robust sections in each of the big four.


Map_thumb1NOTE New Address:
(100-954) 10F,  Cheongyang Bldg, 1-ga Chungjeongno, Jung-gu, S.Korea

KCare Webzine_Guideline for Post Adoption Services
The Webzine is still under construction in parts and much work is ongoing. It must be remembered that the function of KCare is mainly as a Central hub. Your name and basic information will be digitized on their file system BUT remember the main files are at the Adoption Agency that PROCESSED the Korean Adoptee.
Contact Choi Min Wook  (82-27769680) or email: for inquiries to find your adoption agency’s phone numbers, email addresses, etc.

The Journey...: Leaving soon!

 There are so many excellent blogs that show personal journeys, here is one that shows how some Adoptive Parents are dealing with all the complex issues of raising International Adoptees. They are not “rich white folks” but a simple young couple from middle America, typical couple who turned to adoption to have the joy of being parents. For some this is a ‘horrible thing to do’, they actually claim that people who adopt are…get this, ‘stealing’ children. HAH, what rubbish!!
Examine the motives and the heart of this couple through this blog and see for yourself how they are learning and working through all these issues. For the great majority, adoption is a wonderful thing for most involved, yet it is not perfect. There are complications and the birth families are part of the equations.
The reasons for giving up/relinquishment/abandonment are many and life goes on for birth mothers/fathers/family. That some are able to reunite in a larger extended ‘family’ sometimes takes place. Sometimes it is NOT so nice.See how this family are also dealing with that. Some interesting and eye opening things are shared, we who are involved, ALL of us need to keep an open mind. Let’s not jump to conclusions or put people into some ‘box’.
The Journey...: Leaving soon!
My thoughts about my family's journey through life, focusing mainly on raising our two children, both adopted from Korea.


About Me

I am the mother of two awesome children, ages 10 & 12, both adopted from South Korea. I'm the wife of Jim, the engineer/scientist and hot air balloon pilot. I'm also a fourth grade teacher. I started this blog to start collecting links and information about being the parent of two Korean children, to share my thoughts and ideas on parenting them, and to hear from others who also parent Korean children. It is a journey for me, as I learn more about them, more about myself and more about Korea.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Leaving soon!
I just realized how quickly my trip is approaching! Next week the kids are at Camp Chin-gu (friend) - a local Korean culture camp. A week from Sunday we leave for our 18 days in Korea. While I am very excited, I am suddenly hit with the realities of dealing with leaving for almost 3 weeks and with getting everything figured out over there (subway, buses, guest house, etc.). Lots to do. Right now we will land in Seoul on 7/20 and spend the night at the Holt Guest House. We will have 2 days in Seoul. In the afternoon of the second day we will take the KTX Train to Busan (so fast!), where we are staying with the parents of a friend of mine - they are so sweet and kind to us. The next day we will take a bus to Goseong and pick up my son's younger brother who will come to Busan to stay with us for several days while my son's Halmoni is working. This is great!! We were not expecting to be able to do this. This will allow my son to have lots of time with his brother.
This blog is from a couple who are ‘learning to do it better’, helping their Korean Adoptees to learn about their native culture through Culture Camp for example. This trip will be monumental in the family’s development and help their identities as Koreans. Read more of this family’s experience as they grow together in understanding This Thing of Ours-Adoption.

July 4, 2010

Guidelines for Birth Family Search


Guideline for Post-Adoption Services (Family Search)

Division of Family Support
The Ministry for Health, Welfare,
and Family Affairs

These are the basic guidelines from the Korean Government. Any Korean Adoptee, Adoptive Parent/family, Birth Family members, adoption professionals should go and copy this to their PDF files. This will help to understand the standardization that is being attempted to use the same forms, and is a step in the right direction.

REMEMBER IF YOU ARE A KOREAN ADOPTEE, Maybe you are NOT ready yet to search but REQUESTING your files may help you to understand your circumstances better. You may then decide to make further steps to try to make contact. Study and read, TALK with friends and Adoptive Family about what you FEEL and your thoughts. BE OPEN, for you own sake and your loved ones.

Pg. 6

2. Application Process

  • Adoptees or adoptive parents who live overseas may request a birth family search from the central authority of the adoptive country or their co-operating agencies, or request through KCARE or the adoption agencies in Korea.
  • Adoptees or adoptive parents who live in Korea may request a birth family search from the adoption agencies, or from KCARE if information from the agencies are insufficient.

Required Documents :
- Post-adoption services application form,
- Adoptee's ID card (e.g. passport, driver's license),
- Adoptive parents' ID cards, and a parental consent form (for adoptees under 18)
- Photograph of the requester(taken within the last 6 months),
- Other related documents and pictures from the original adoption that might help with the birth family search.

Note THIS on Pages 7-8:

4. Deadlines and Notifications

  • A. Disclosure at the Beginning of Application
    KCARE and the adoption agencies should disclose the following items to the requester at the beginning of the service :
  • Service may be limited when it is difficult to locate an adoption
    triad(adoptee, adoptive family, or birth family) or when a triad (member) does not wish to be contacted (e.g. phone calls, mails, etc).
  • If an adoption triad(adoptee, adoptive family, or birth family) has been notified of a search and does not wish to be contacted or be reunited, no additional request will be made until the refusing entity changes his/her mind.
  • No information will be released when the birth family or adoptive family did not authorize the release of their information at the time of the adoption.

Page 8: Application for Post-Adoption Services

Application for Post Adoption ServicesThis is the form that is used by all Adoption Agencies Post Adoption Services sections.

NOTE: THEY DO NOT REQUIRE but it is a good idea to have the document taken to a Notary Public with Identifying documents. A scan of your PASSPORT, Driver’s Licence, or other ID with Photo and signature should be sent also.

KCare is the Korean Central Adoption Resources quasi-government entity that has been working for just over a year. Remember that they have only a few facts digitized on cases, what they will do is help to direct to the main Adoption Agencies. IF YOU KNOW THE ADOPTION AGENCY, just GO directly to their Post Adoption Services section:

Social Welfare Society (SWS) Post Adoption Services

Korean Social Services (KSS) Post Adoption Services

Eastern Social Welfare Society (ESWS) Post Adoption Services

Holt-Korea Post Adoption Services


In turn the orphanage/baby home/etc. that one was FIRST brought to will be contacted. Your files should have that information in them. However, do remember that sometimes the orphanage or home has closed and some records may or may not be included. You will be told what happened to the orphanage or home.

To be continued.