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.


November 28, 2010

China Warns U.S. as Korea Tensions Rise

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USS George Washington aircraft carrier and it's task force will conduct exercises off SW coast of Korea.
DANDONG, China—Beijing on Friday lodged its first official protest of a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise planned for Sunday, even as the aircraft carrier USS George Washington steamed toward the region.
North Korea also responded angrily. "The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war," the state controlled Korean Central News Agency responded Friday to the maneuvers, which are set to take place in the Yellow Sea between the Koreas and northeastern China.
The strong talk was the latest fallout from North Korea's hour-long artillery attack of a South Korean island on Tuesday that killed four people. The next day, the U.S. and South Korea said planned joint exercises would go ahead over the weekend, heightening fears in some quarters that already-tense relations between North and South Korea—and their respective international protectors, China and the U.S.—could be heading for a showdown.
Yet China's outwardly defiant response belies a more delicate political reality: Beijing's continued support of North Korea's erratic, martial regime is beginning to extract real costs. China's statement Friday included a face-saving formulation that appeared to open the door for a scenario China has long sought to avert—a U.S. aircraft carrier, a potent symbol of U.S. military might, plying the edge of Chinese waters.
The KWB notes: The rest of the article explains that China back in July of this year protested against a US Carrier (same one that WILL not take part, the USS George Washington with it’s task force) in ANY part of the Yellow Sea. Korean’s call it their West Sea. By clarifying that as long as the task force stayed away from the 200 Nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone limits it would be okay. Off the SOUTHWEST COAST of Korea is outside of this limit, giving both China and the US/South Korea wiggle room that also tells North Korea that China is giving tacit approval for the exercises.
What this means is we can relax. NK will probably do ‘saber rattling’ (making a lot of noise) fire a few shells but nothing like last week. WSJ also points out that China’s Pres. Hu Jintao has a trip to Washington in January to meet with Pres. Obama. So a compromise that saves their face and does not prevent but rather sets guidelines are very reassuring.
But Don’t believe the KWB, read the entire article.

2 comments:

  1. Please note: I firmly believe China has already fired a warning shot at the U.S. also as that thing off the coast of California was definitely a missile, government lies beside. Thanks to Clinton allowing them to buy missile guidance technology along with this President's Chamberlain like tendencies (Anti-American in my book) it stands to reason that China is getting exactly what it wants
    I wrote the following well over a year ago. In the full post, I made the argument that this President showing the weakness that he is now known for would in fact aid and abet this tin horn dictator in N.Korea. I just above took the China card into consideration as to my premise. Now, the madman is taking his shots as I feared and the Moron in Chief has the utter gall to proclaim this isn't a crisis or something to that effect.

    "WE CANNOT NEGOTIATE WITH MADMEN! Chamberlain Jr. has got to get that through his fat head! While we fiddle/faddle, Korea lies to our faces while working at getting what they want! One other thing here. The folks on the left seem to think the Koreans, being the honorable people that they are would never do anything stupid! Wrong!! As is evidenced buy their latest action, the North Koreans are willing to risk destruction well knowing the weak sister leaders of the world will cave in as always. And in the eyes of the morons in power here, they can't deliver a payload! WRONG! They have a short range missile that can deliver a small warhead. And lest anyone forget, we have 35,000 troops around the border there. One bomb. That's all it takes! But we'll trust the Anti-American UN and a madman?! Good Grief!

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  2. Joetote, Yes I agree with almost everything you say. Things could go 'south' in a heartbeat. What the article DOES point out is that China is finally DOING something to hold back their petulant 'little brother' NK. The USS George Washington, as I write is about 60 miles south of the border in the West Sea or Yellow Sea, well outside of the Chinese EEZ of 200 Nautical miles. The North will fuss and fume but with China's tacit approval of the Naval exercise they won't do Too much...we are prepared to strike back. NO they will wait until after the task force leaves.
    Thank you for your comments.

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