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.


August 30, 2010

Technical Problems

This month has been plauged with technical problems, deaths of close friends, re-contact with 'lost' friend, IKAA conference. WHEW. Hopefully if you are reading this the domain name renewal finally worked and we are back up.

UPDATE: Google continues to be VERY FRUSTRATING...

August 29, 2010

Part 2-Letter to Dong Sangs

Part II

Letter to My Younger Brothers/Sisters

Dear Dong Saengs (Cont.)

Some of you may wonder "what is this all about?" Well to put it simply it is about the Few affecting the Many, the Few who represent themselves wrongly to the Korean Media as ALL Korean Adoptees "wanting to stop exporting/adoptions" outside of the country.  Some liberal Korean lawmakers are thinking that all KADs are whining and 'want to be white'. Hey, most of us have just dealt with it and matured to realize "hey, I ain't a whitey- I am a person of color". This is the personal Adoption Identity that we all have to walk out.

In Part I, the Korean War Baby, one of the First Generation of KADs, gave a challenge to the KADLinKs (Korean ADoptees Living in Korea) to be upfront and clearly state their position. Adoptee groups A.S.K. and T.R.A.C.K. are in-country KAD activist groups with members from international KADs and sympathizers who are in the Adoption Triad. Both have slightly different agendas and the KWB has joined both in order to understand exactly what they believe. I respect the effects to help Unwed Mothers that both ASK and TRACK are involved in.

However, some members of both are for the Stopping of InterCountry (Overseas) Adoptions as a solution. I know this from their writings and websites on Facebook/websites. I have documented the efforts by ASK to petition AGAINST ICA and though I agree with the PRO-Unwed Mother aspects...I totally disagree with the idea of stopping ICA: WHILE MOST KOREANS DO NOT WANT TO KEEP MOST CHILDREN. The myth of "Koreans do not want to adopt" is foolish, proven to be wrong by KWDI. The Civil Code Law Adoptions and Domestic Adoptions far out number the total InterCountry Adoptions each year. More than 450,000 Korean mothers have given up their children for adoption IN-Country and Overseas.

I have gained research from many sources but best exemplified by Korean Women’s Development Institute and their excellent compiling of MOHWFA facts, charts, and summaries. However, only the Executive Summaries are in English and translation of 200 page reports is difficult. Some are posted as Pages under the heading of KWB.

One highly esteemed and respected (even by me) colleague of yours (KADLinK), in better days, once challenged me, “Don, are you for the F*cking Truth?” Well, YES, I am for the whole f*cking truth, no matter how ugly or shocking.

Apparently, the number of Unwed Mothers KEEPING their children ARE in fact INCREASING. This is DESPITE the challenges that they face. Even the KWDI points out that getting proper numbers is difficult because the right questions are NOT being asked on Census surveys. This year's Census may have modified questions, to determine the mother's status. However, not everyone will admit on a survey with personal information that they were UNWED at time of birth. I have pointed out that Court cases of yearly adoptions may show the CIVIL CODE LAW adoptions that are 100% Secretly done. Adoption is still a shameful thing to admit, ask the KWB wife about that one. She never told her family that I was half-Korean OR adopted after 4 years of marriage. That blew me away and I demanded letters written to tell all her family who the hell I am. THIS IS KOREA. Got to Deal with them with the TRUTH.

INCONVENIENT TRUTHS


Every DAY in 2007 twenty-one babies were born to Unwed Mothers, and every day one thousand to FOUR thousand had ABORTIONS. In the six days of the Gathering that is 6,000 to 24,000 human fetus that would have been born were ‘eliminated or terminated’. That makes me MAD AS HELL, how about you?

What is also a FACT is that for every Unwed Mother who Wants/Keeps her child, that day MANY pregnant Korean women CHOSE to have an ABORTION. They have that Choice by LAW since 1973, and the ratios are from 1,000/21 per day up to 4,000/21 per day (depending on Government or OBGYN doctors’ figures). Let us not mention being ‘lucky’ or ‘fortunate to be alive’ for some get ALL bent out of shape on that, but it is the F*cking Truth. 



But what can you do? Force women to have the baby? Of Course Not. The government pressure earlier this year caused the price of Abortion to more than triple the amount for a short time. Some women went to China to afford the ‘procedure’ facing dubious medical care. Clinics and hospitals raised their prices in order to take advantage, check my blog under "abortion" for links.

 It seems to this old guy adoptee, that some are ignoring this truth- that TWO out of THREE Unwed Mothers ARE giving up their children for adoption, with 3 to 1 ratio of In-Country (3) to Overseas/ICA.

The daily numbers based on 2008 (according to KWDI-May 2009 rpt) show 14 babies per day GIVEN up by their Choice, (though I certainly agree that ‘forced by circumstances of life, society, family, motherhood, etc’ CAUSE them to give birth rather than ‘termination’). Of the 14 babies, the FACTS show that only 3.4 Daily of these babies were sent abroad in ICA adoptions. So called Domestic Adoptions (those sanctioned through Four Adoption Agencies) account only for 3.6 per day. Where did the other 7 go? Evidence suggests they were adopted through the Civil Code Law Adoptions.

Steve Morrison of Mission to Promote Adoption by Koreans (MPAC) has presented in his session that the final Revision of the Adoption Law will establish a common way for ALL adoptions, Civil Code Law, Domestic, and ICA. Perhaps some of you know of this development, which IS GOOD NEWS for us all as it would further help prevent abuses and standardize the processes into one that would protect the rights of the children, in accordance with Hague Conventions on Adoption and Children’s Rights.


I joined your groups, ASK and TRACK, because I wanted to learn ‘the f#cking truth’. I have studied carefully your writings and those of many blogs, sometimes reading every single posting of ‘Bastard Nation’, ‘Bastardette’ and other interesting sites, trying to understand what some of you believe. There has been many points that I have come to accept after deep reflection, but also some that I strongly disagree with. I respect those with differing opinions, even though I am concerned that a few extremists on both sides muddle the discourse. There is no “black or white” but rather shades of grey or a spectrum of colors in This Thing of Ours-Adoption.

I have told some of you that I agree wholeheartedly with the “Pro-Unwed Mothers”, YET I must conclude based on ‘Inconvenient Facts’ that it is NOT time to stop adoptions In-Country or InterCountry. This is where we differ, yet I have held out hope that with such brilliant young minds that you all have, that it would lead to some small compromise until THAT DAY comes that Korean people will accept Unwed Mothers, divorcees, widows, single moms, etc. THAT YOU BE PATIENT but persistent. Be for Unwed Mother but not against ICA. Publicly state your position on this matter, once and for all to review.

Here is my proposal for peaceful co-existence between YOU ALL and Moi, the Korean War Baby:

First, get it into your minds that while I live and breath and have being on this earth YOU WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH ME!!! SUCK IT UP...you don’t have to love or like me but work with me together on these issues. Let’s be FOR the Unwed Mothers; For showing Korean media all aspects of adoption that it should not be a shameful thing; For bringing into the light of day all wrongs; work to move Korean society to improve on the issues of pity and shame; these are points we DO agree on.

BUT…if you A.A.A.A.s continue to TRY to STOP ICA, then you will have to put up with ME…I WILL FIGHT YOU ALL from stopping ICA ‘cold turkey’, I will DEMAND from the Korean government openness and truth in Civil Code Law Adoptions and Domestic Adoptions; I will push for unity in the Law for all adoption to be in accordance to the Hague Conventions and for Korea to sign and ratify them; I will pressure KCARE to be more than a front.

Am I being Dramatic? YOU have not seen drama yet, people. UNTIL I DIE and my COLD HARD FINGERS CANNOT TYPE, this is my promise.

There must be a Mult-tierred response to all of the complex issues. No one plan-fits-all but a truly comprehensive plan that we CAN agree on.

‘Cause I am HERE, Get over yourselves, DEAL WITH IT!! Deal with ME. THIS IS MY “F#CK@NGTRUTH”! I got more passion and balls to do things you people won’t do. I know how to work the media, just watch.

Many of you will move on with your lives leave the country, but Here I stand, I will stay the fight IN KOREA…will you fight WITH me or against me? It is up to you to chose, be allies together, putting aside our petty differences and working for the BIG PICTURE. I see the hope that one day, like USA or Australia the need for ICA adoption or Domestic adoption will NOT be necessary in this our motherland. Don’t we agree on this? Stopping ICA now is NOT part of the solution!!! Cut the Supply and the Demand will dry up.

If you will simply publicly state for the record that you will take down petitions against ICA on ASK website, not work to stop ICA WHILE Koreans do NOT take care of their own, I will reciprocate and withdraw many of the names and events posted on my blog. I will make it go away. Names will be deleted and entire posts will disappear.

UPDATE: After a heartfelt discussion Sat. Sept. 18th,  with Rev. Kim DoHyun I have offered to DELETE LAST Names as a SIGN of Sincerity and gesture of GOOD WILL. I will begin this action this week. We both discussed that the process of reconciliation will take many steps from all of us. Come dear KADLinKs, let us reason together for the best interests of those Daily being born in Korea, Hmmm. 

This is my heartfelt offer, and I DO respect what you want to do but NOT the way you want to ‘solve’ issue of stopping ICA. Is this too much to ask? Look at the realities, can you change the hearts and minds of Korean society and government policies so quickly?

What is your solutions to the children who cannot be adopted because of Koreans distaste for children with disabilities, abandoned, premature births, older children, etc? Surely you would not stop a premature child with heart conditions from being adopted by a well-vetted foreign family, would you? If you stop ICA that would happen. THAT will NOT HAPPEN while I live.

Come, let us reason together. Tobias, Kim Su, Jane, Jenifer, Nicole, Jan Wenger, Rev. Kim, K. Stoker, Tammy, Jenny, Johnny, and all others who are dedicated to these issues…

Let’s MOVE ON in peace. Or get it on. Again I say to you, I will be you best ally as a ‘First Generation KAD’ in all this OR YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE continues. This is not a threat, just reality. I am not asking for too much, am I? Only on the point of stopping ICA before the time is right. Is this too much for peace and well being?

I post this for you consideration and debate. Can’t we all just get along? Please discourse among yourselves and get back to me.

Respectfully,

Don Gordon BELL,
The Korean War Baby


August 23, 2010

Open Letter to My Younger KAD Brothers/Sisters

Aug 23 2010


Open Letter to younger brothers and sisters, GOA’L new leaders and staff
 
Dear Dong Saengs, 
 
I wish to take this opportunity to reach out in a gesture of peace and reconciliation to all DSC03512 those KADLinKs (Korean ADoptees Living in Korea). Concerning the ‘troubles and drama’ of the past five months, well actually going back to January of this year, I believe we must consider ‘turning the page’, ‘moving on’. So in this spirit, I have approached certain leaders to work out our differences.
No matter how negatively a “few of you” feel about me, WE ARE part of a large ‘family’, we who are called Korean ADoptees, part of the bigger Korean Diaspora, coined by Tobias Hubinette. I have asked Tobias Hubinette to be a liaison to those in the local KADLinK community that have been strongly opposed to me on the issue of continuing InterCountry Adoptions (ICA). I approached him during the IKAA conference, on the hope that peace and harmony could be brought back to the KADLinK community AND the International community of KADs.
 
 I present my thoughts and concerns to those of you in the local KADLinK (Korean ADoptees Living in Korea) and the greater Global/International community to be considered and evaluated. Many of you perhaps have issues with me and my position on fighting against InterCountry Adoptions versus ONLY helping Unwed Mothers. This is the main issue that seems to divide us. Is it the single-minded plan of A.S.K. and T.R.A.C.K. to stop ICA without concern for the children who are NOT WANTED by the Korean people?
 
2010-04-16 13-15-36_0047Please STATE publicly your position on this matter, clearly and stop talking about “Neutrality and separateness”. These are empty words, HERE IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT, Tell us what do you say on ‘stopping InterCountry Adoptions while Koreans secretly adopt the youngest up to five months AND there are STILL “Left-over babies” Each YEAR.





UPDATE: The KWB requested that A.S.K. and T.R.A.C.K. publicly state their position on the matter to 'Stop ICA without concern for the children'. Leaders from T.R.A.C.K. have assured the KWB that this NOT their agenda. Based on communications between these leaders and their own publications online, the KWB can be fairly certain that the stopping of InterCountry Adoptions is NOT on the agenda, plans, political purposes of T.R.A.C.K.

A.S.K. haven't heard from any of you...What say you to my words, will you not consider them? Will you ignore me forever? Are you waiting for me to die? LOL.

Rev. Kim DoHyun, director of KoRoot, and the KWB spoke face to face on Saturday the 18th of Sept. We enjoyed a meal together and discussed many things. I can say from our talk that Rev. Kim stated that he is NOT against ICA. He is an honorable man, pastoring a church as well, and I completely accept his word. We discussed possible steps towards approaching those in interested in peace and reconciliation with the Korean War Baby.

Of course, it is a long path, fraught with divergent and sometime strong feelings and opinions. I am hoping for sincere and open Face-to-Face meetings with those willing to do so with me. Later on, negotiations and discussions may lead to our continuing to work for the common good. I eagerly await responses from KADLinK members, new leaders of GOA'L, A.S.K., and T.R.A.C.K. and any imput that the International Adoption Community may input.

How about it Yedura? Please have discourse among yourselves and let Rev. Kim know your ideas concerning this. I continue to delete certain last names as my gesture of sincerity. Come, let us reason together, work for the future, with balance as each organization does its own agenda. I could compare to the Armed Forces, each have their specialties and abilities, yet all co-ordinated together. Hey, Marines need the Navy to support them; Army troops need Air Force to support them. Combined forces always get the job done better.
************************************************

Let’s not forget the thousands of older children left to grow up in 280 institutions until they are kicked out at 19 years old with about 200 dollars on their own. Children with Disabilities are less than 3% adopted by Koreans IN this country, the rest 97% each year, only find homes in foreign lands. WHAT? Can’t hear you, wha’cha gotta say about THEM?What will you do with these abandoned children, unwanted by their people? WHAT SAY YOU TO THAT?
Not Korean War Orphans-Growing up NOW in Institutions
Earlier this year some people wanted to ‘take over GOA’L by democratic means’ because it is the ONLY Adoptee group that is a NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION. This plot has been exposed! Uncovered in your naked desires to fight against Adoption as though it were the “great evil”. You claim to be NOT Angry, yet your writings in Korean media and on websites show your true feelings. Opposition to ICA does not propose solutions to the thousands left unadopted each year. Your newspaper interviews repeatedly and  falsely suggest that the majority of Korean Adoptees are not happy they were adopted. UH, WRONG.

JUN Yong Soo_'56Passport_CUFormerly known as JUN Yong Soo
Donald Gordon BELL. I am not going back to old identity AND NO ONE CAN LEGALLY USE THEIR OLD NAME. Not until the Dual Citizenship bill is LAW. Hey, call yourself whatever but you are fooling only some people.
Do you think changing your name back to A.K.A. "Korean name" will fool somehow Korean people?
DUDE, get real. 



DON’T SPEAK FOR ME!!! Nor do you speak for thousands of KADs who understand the conditions and situations that caused their abandonment, relinquishment, separation, given up for a better life, and ALL the various reasons that  developed over the years for Korean women/men to give us up.

 I am damn happy that I was not killed on the streets of Seoul by Koreans who hated my MIXED-BLOOD TUIGI non-person being. Ironically, NOW the country is awash with over 120,000 MIX-BLOOD/MULTICULTURAL children. DEAL WITH THAT, Korean Society!!! Because of rampant ABORTIONS, the male/female RATIOs dropped in rural area to 130 males/100 females. Answer? Bring in YOUNG wives from 3rd wold countries, and though 10-15% wind up in divorce, the rest are working out. NO MORE HOMOGENEOUS SOCIETY, hahaha!

You who are "FULL-BLOODED Koreans might want to consider WHY you were "Barida" Abandoned by your people, mother and father, both their families, AND government. YOU might as well face it, YOU ARE BANANAS, persons of Yellow skin on the outside but WHITE culturally, mentally, emotionally...YOU will never be accepted as a REAL KOREA, nor will you lose your 'bad language skills'. Don't give up though, push on, defy the system, just get tough and be prepared for daily rejections. 
YOU'LL be fine, and not want to hit too many Korean people. Many will compliment you on your efforts, but please don't marry my daughter or son.
THIS IS THE UGLY SIDE OF 'BACK TO THE MOTHERLAND'.

 Deal with it, you can survive. 

10011_DealWithThis_Imprint
Well, I just learned to DEAL WITH IT, and Korea now must also deal with US. We are coming back some for only short visits, some for longer stays, a few hardy stubborn types to live here.

 Most Adoptees throughout the world have also just dealt with the issues of Transracial/transcultural adoption. NO ONE PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN in life, there is no guarantee of great Adoptive/Bio Parents and family. Allegedly the European KAD’s suffered more prejudice than we USA KAD's, but I have never heard a US KAD say they did NOT have some events of prejudice/ignorance during their life, even we half-breed mixed-blood types got the same crap. YOU JUST DEALT WITH IT. STOP THE WHINING, STAND UP for your personal rights. Put a ROCK IN A SOCK and FIGHT. Don't take crap, like one of my ancestors, Geronimo of the Chiricahua Apaches, resisted thousands of US Army and militia for five years. GROW A PAIR.   

Everyday in the last 15 years, living in the 'motherland', I am faced with this truth, "REJECTION", OOOH Dear! I boldly proclaim to the Korean people, “I AM BACK, your worst nightmare”, a half-breed orphan, ‘impure by your standards’ who can teach YOUR children that prejudice is WACKED. Welcome to MY nightmare, I am teaching YOUR Children the truth of Korean homogeneous BULL. Got Globalized? Children running off to other countries and STAYING. HAH.


Children are still being given up, relinquished by women who cannot face the hardships and prejudices. It is happening still, today, right fricking NOW, and there are valid reasons such as the prejudices against Unwed Mothers from their family, lack of government support, NO paternal responsibilities, few child care facilities in public work places, society’s general disdain, future marriage chances LOW, etc.

We cannot judge women who are under such pressures, when every damn day, one thousand to FOUR thousand Korean women CHOOSE to abort, terminate, their UNWANTED PREGNANCIES. This grieves me but they have the right to do so, and I do not judge these women, where the hell are the men who fathered them?


The Law of the land doesn't even force them to support their own child. THEY GET OFF FREE. HELL with THAT. Most don’t even get involved or go with their girlfriends to clinics, same as the states, they run as fast as they can. No Law in Korea forces paternity tests either, only if they WANT the child. I asked at KWDI meeting earlier this year, "what about bio-logical fathers? You make a law that they CAN reclaim Parental Rights up to 18 years old, thereby leaving children in the Institutions, UNADOPTABLE. How many have done THAT? Reclaimed their uh, parental rights?" Answer NONE, NADA, ZIP, OPSO, not one damn case of it. But they got the law for it.
 
Yet on the bright side is this: 37.8% of Unwed Mothers in 2009 WANt TO KEPT their babies. THIS IS GOOD but the actual numbers keeping them is closer to 30%. Society is changing, slowly. Twice as many women continue to CHOSE TO GIVE UP or RELINQUISH their child, as those who are Unwed Mothers. This is the Inconvenient Truth, these are the Fricking ungodly FACTS. A.S.K. leaders, can you dispute this? I think not.



WHAT WILL YOU DO- STOP ICA AND DOMESTIC AND CIVIL CODE LAW ADOPTIONS? You have never answered or stated your position, yet in ASK and TRACK published documents you continually state that ICA must stop. IS THIS YOUR POSITION?


UPDATE: T.R.A.C.K. leaders have reassured me that they are NOT pressing to STOP ICA. I am giving them a chance to CLEARLY STATE this position ON THEIR OWN WEBSITE. I will not be satisfied with claims of NEUTRALITY. IF you are reading this please send me a PDF file so no one can claim that I altered the document. 


Adoptees Solidarity Korea-I extend the same to you, Answer me, Don't ignore me. I will hammer and rage against any person or organization that would stop InterCountry Adoptions WHILE MY MOTHER'S PEOPLE REJECT, ABANDON, DON'T SUPPORT MOTHERS/FAMILY, GIVE MERE PITTANCE OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT, ETC. 
 
In the past five months we have been at odds, to put it mildly, on these certain issues. Let me clarify, clearly and succinctly to you my position. Let me shed light on the real reasons I have been forced to DO what I have felt compelled to do. Why the “Drama”, as Isaac has put it to me, had to be played out. (You may not have any clue to what I am talking about unless you have heard of the events from January to March 27th at the GOA’L Annual Business Meeting- Go to March 28th onward for full ugly details).
 
Contrary to erroneous and somewhat twisted fools jackasses, oops persons, who think and claim that the KWB is “just a sore loser” due to the election, let me be absolutely clear on this. It is all about the PLAN hatched by “intellectual super-brains” who are part of those who have determined that stopping Adoptions within and out of Korea is the ONLY WAY TO GO.

THIS IS WHY I FIGHT, for the right of children to have a loving home, IF THE MOTHER CHOOSES TO RELINQUISH HER CHILD. It was determined by this small faction of KADLinKs, that they must have a more legal base for their operations. Thus, since GOA’L is the only Non-Government Organization (NGO) of the Korea based adoptee groups they ‘planned to take over by democratic means’ GOA’L to ensure getting legitimacy and even funding. Adoptee’s Solidary Korea leaders and members now have strong footholds on ‘community committees’, Board of Directors, and the process for APPOINTING the Secretary General and Vice-Secretary General continues as it was done for six years under Jan Wenger (now using KimDae-Won, alias Dae-Won Wenger).



WAS the election last 27th of March, 2010 FOR REAL or was it a total FAKE SHAM, so that the new Board of Directors, loaded with Anti-Adoption Adoptee Associates and progressives, could appoint whom ever they wanted

New GOA'L Leaders... 

Which brings me to the new Secretary General James (Kim Yoo Shin) Rosso and Vice-SG Isaac Tufvessen…PLEASE TELL US-WHO ARE YOU GUYS?? Will you stay hidden. What a marvelous story the former SG has of finding his birth family members. It was posted online, under his Swiss name, Jan Wenger, and tells us of his luckily finding his birth family through a newspaper article, yet he chose for some reason to not divulge it. Though Dae-won Wenger was the public leader for GOA’L some six years. Why? If you are a leader your life is an open book, you are an example and sharing your story helps others to know “where you are coming from”.
 
Uh, James, what IS your name? It is NOT YET back to original Korean, Yes you may call yourself whatever you want, your perogitive.  It is premature to use only your Korean name, Duel Citizenship has NOT yet passed into law. Don’t want trouble with taxes do you? And as leader of GOA’L REAL Koreans might be confused as to who you are, mistaking you as a Korean, not an adoptee or a Kyopo. How about using a composite name James, perhaps James YooShin Kim-Rosso or a shorter version.
 
In the past ‘election’ candidates were required to submit Letters of recommendations, letters of motivation to why you want to serve,and an extensive self-introduction, all in the presentation to the membership of GOA’L. This was to vet and help members decide who they would vote for as their leaders.

However, after the REALITY of the pretend Election was revealed apparently this was not necessary to do. We have only simple paragraphs of introduction and it seems that no one knows who you guys are or your own personal Adoption Stories.

Might I suggest, wait…may I strongly recommend that to bring legitimacy and Openness to your leadership of GOA’L. Perhaps you could publish on the GOA’L website more than a short blurb. Put your lives on the line, tell us who you are and why YOU should be leaders of GOA’L. The membership of GOA’L are not fools and unless you establish your credentials you both are tainted with the shadow of the unusual way you were appointed…in secret. Talk about DRAMA. Hey, I am just suggesting that to remove the smell of SMOKE from the offices of GOA’L and from the stench of the fake election you might want to have a fresh start, tell us all about yourselves in detail.
locusofcontrol  ARE YOU LEADERS OR MERE PUPPETS?
Prove to us your mettle, give us your credentials, publish letters from those who know you, tell us how much you KNOW? What made you want to come and serve? Why are you the final choices? People want to know. The Korean War Baby might even re-join the GLOBAL Overseas Adoptees’ PAB1915Link. You may consider my challenge rude but it is the inconvenient truth that your ‘selection was not by election’. Overcome this little incongruence and SHOW US why you would take a job that pays so little and demands so much work. I REALLY do think you are Leaders but you must show us first, then demonstrate by your actions where you will lead Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link.
I will give you the benefit of the doubt but GOA’L members past and present cannot be expected to endorse nor trust leaders who hide their lives from the organization that they are leading. The eyes of the global community are upon you, James and Isaac, so get off to a great start and reveal yourselves to us all. We WANT you both to do well, bring sanity back to GOA’L and to ‘mend fences’ and push onto the future.
 
OH, and Isaac, you only mention the “localcommunity on the website introduction…are you not aware that the 'G' in GOA’L stands for GLOBAL? Just being MELODRAMATIC, DUDE. LOL. Gotta get with the program, you serve more than the KADLinKs here in ROK. Hundreds up to a couple of thousand KADs were served in 2009 from the GLOBAL community. Do you know that THEY are members with NO VOTE for the next Annual General Meeting (which by the way should be Bi-Annual).


Will you continue to disenfranchise their ability to vote electronically in the future, and limit it only to KADLinKs again? Hmmm? Just keeping ya on your toes guys. This old fart Adoptee DOES wants to be friends but you cannot ignore me...I AIN’T DEAD YET. Welcome to my world gentlemen. Deal with me. I will be here long after you leave…I plan to die here.
We who are adopted world-wide salute you both and wish you the best.


Sincerely Welcome to the motherland!!

I AM the Korean War Baby- Deal with it.

International Korean Adoptees Associations Gathering-Seoul 2010

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Tim Holm opening statements for 2nd International Symposium on Adoption Studies










Aug 3, Tuesday 2nd International Symposium on Adoption Studies
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Membership Training 'Ice-breakers'
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Membership Training Group
 
IKAA Gathering-Seoul 2010

IKAA_KoreanWarBabyPhotoFile 678This is the Korean War Baby finally getting around to reporting on the fabulous, fun-filled, packed-with-useful-information, awesome Gathering event. This was the 3rd time that the Gathering has taken place in Seoul. First was in 2004, second was in 2007, each with increasing numbers of Korean Adoptees from the scattered Diaspora of KAD's. There were wide variety of events, emotional presentations from Unwed Mothers, Adoption Agencies, Adoptee rights groups, MPAK, Amazing Race in Seoul, late night Singing rooms (Don't publish THAT video !!!), two fisted drinking, World Cup Soccer with killer plays in blazing heat and pouring rain, performances by drummers and dancers in Korean cultural garb.

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Samsung Dancers

This year marked again the attendance of some from the Local community of adoptees, which I, the KWB have 'coined' KADLinK (Korean Adoptees Living in Korea). Composed of 150-200 adoptees who are currently staying for extended stays from a few months to many years for a few hardy souls. Some are here for study, research, working in Language as teachers, a few have even started businesses. 



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Wedding dance.
Many come and go, after discovering more of our rich Korean culture, and seeking to understand our Korean identity. Everyone has various experiences that range from wonderful to well, disappointing, even at the worst nightmarish. Then add life's BS like divorced A-parents, death of one or both parents, sexual abuse, difficulties in Adoption Identity, 'wanting to be white', A-parents not prepared for their Transnational Adoptees difficulties, and on and on.



But don't you have to go back to the beginning, WHY did you and I get sent from the land of morning calm? Reasons changed but some are the same, we all just have to sort it out and Deal with it.
Ginger checks map with teammates in Amazing Race
Major TV stations covered on Prime Time!
I personally believe that each individual must decide for themselves IF and WHEN they want to "Go beyond Cultural Camp"To learn more about Korea, the history, culture, language. Language study can enrich us though as Kim Stoker reported in her presentation in the 2nd International Symposium on Adoption Studies, BUT there are limitations. Ms. Stoker revealed the frustrations of relearning or learning Korean language fluently enough to be 'accepted' by native Koreans. Much like certain EU countries, some people in Korea will not be satisfied with your abilities (even deriding your efforts as childish) but many Korean people DO appreciate and encourage KAD's attempts to speak the mother tongue.

The KWB has found that due to his "Don't look Korean at all" Multicultural appearance most are so shocked when he speaks at all that he is forced to repeat 3 or 4 times. OH, WELL. Grin and Go with the flow. I am amazed how well some of the KADLinKs in the local community HAVE become quite adept and are even working in English / Korean translation work. It is a beginning, yet only a few can do this. Most of us go back to our own realities.

Banners swirling Samsung ladies drummed and danced.
For the vast majority we must live out our lives, content with more or less depth of understanding of our origins. In the Gathering I met adoptees who had never much thought about their Korean Identity until recently. The full gamete to those who have been back to Korea ten times or now live here.
Several adoptees told the KWB they have accepted their 'Lot' in life, they are composite in that they are ethnically / genetically Korean yet their inner being, their mind and soul is perhaps French, Dutch, Danish, American, etc. For those who have come back several times this realization seems to be more settled, those who are just starting on the 'journey' it is new and exciting.

We are all on different places on this journey, some (only 2,500) have found reunion, and many of us will never have that. Some may not want to even search for biological family. This too is okay ... individuals must make their own choice to search or not. We can rejoice with the happy cases and weep with the disappointing ones.
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Got Makoli rice wine? It's an acquired taste. LOL
One thing that became so clear to me was the DIVERSITY of our community. There were representatives from Gay and Lesbian KAD's, 'married and happy' to ... well, 'happy to be divorced'. There were Europeans from several countries with high numbers of KADs or just a few; Americans from many states, not just Minnesota and Michigan. I think more than a dozen countries were represented.

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Ages ranged from the First Generation in their late 50's to the youngest twenty year old. (The KWB was only the oldest Male present, there was a Nuna from the West Coast of USA).




 
 

2010-08-08 16-28-21_58years20years The twenty-somethings were the biggest group but many were in their thirties and forties. Korean women look so much younger than their age, ask my Korean wife who complains that I look too old with my natural hair color!! Sorry about that, no more pretending. I am an old fart.
The KWB (58) met the youngest adoptee a young man just turned twenty while strolling through the palace grounds.

 
WORLD CUP SOCCER! 
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KADLinK Team Korea
The Gathering had something for all ages, interests, desires, with events like the World Cup Soccer pitting teams from USA, Korea, and Europe. The KADLinK team did well but one of the European teams won. (I cannot remember which so I wont say). Somebody help me, Dutch or Danes?
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Wednesday was filled with presentations from many interesting perspectives, one wished they could be able to attend two or three at the same time.
Film Festival:
"Going" Director Jason Hoffman
"Made in Korea: A one-way ticket Seoul-Amsterdam? " Director In-Soo Radstake
"Adopted" the movie Director Barb Lee
"The Woman, The Orphan, and The Tiger " Director Jane Jin Kaisen
"Resilience " Director Tammy Chu
The Film Festival had Five films that were screened with a range of different perspectives, highlighting just some of the spectrum of cases. All will generate spirited discussions and opinions and draw attention to the complexities of This Thing of Ours-Adoption.
Sunday nite was the Black N White Affair! Singers, musicians, and Rappers rocked the house!
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For more photo albums check the LEFT COLUMN for FACEBOOK as well as PICASA ALBUMS.

August 15, 2010

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Last Night of the IKAA Gathering Seoul 2010




Just figured THIS out. Follow link below to my Picasa Web Albums, THEN click on SLIDESHOW:

Sunday Nite- Black and White Affair

Look for other IKAA albums on Picasa 3 Web Albums. Be sure to tag yourself and others you know. KWB

Left Column: FACEBOOK albums have other shots.



















August 2, 2010

IKAA » About IKAA Gatherings

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This Thing of Ours-Adoption

The Korean War Baby is attending this IKAA Gathering and looking forward to meeting KADs from the GLOBAL community. KADLinKs welcome our brothers and sisters to the motherland. Enjoy all things Korean!!

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From IKAA Gathering Website

Gathering News

PROGRAM OF SESSIONS & PRE-REGISTRATION NOW AVAILABLE

Pre-registration for workshops and sessions is now available to Gathering participants registered for the full conference. Register here

IKAA GATHERING 2010 SEOUL KOREA - AUGUST 3-8 - REGISTER NOW!

It is still possible to do a last minute registration by clicking here!

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES BEFORE & AFTER THE GATHERING

Holt Travel Agency offers a wide variety of optional activities to Gathering participants and their families: read more
The Holm Family and AAAW offers a 7 days Post-Gathering tour to the great sites of Korea: read more

THE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM OPEN TO EXTERNALS GUESTS

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. The Symposium is open for external guests. Read more here

IKAA » About IKAA Gatherings

IKAA Gathering 2010 Sponsors

                                      

             

     


    
 

                     
 

                   

 

Come to the Gathering if you are currently a KADLinK-Korean Adoptee Living in Seoul!!! See you there!!

Korean War Baby

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“Though we may disagree on issues strongly, we must continue to dialogue, study, compare, learn from each other, teach each other, for we ARE a unique GLOBAL COMMUNITY. I welcome a ‘sit-down’ with any fellow adoptee on HOW to DO things better.”

Don Gordon Bell

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