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 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.