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.


December 6, 2010

Hard Stand Against NK is Only Option

 The Korean War Baby totally endorses Gen. Bell’s comments.

Gen. BELL: Hard Stand is Only Option

December 06, 2010

Burwell B. Bell

 

“Six-party talks as a way of taming the belligerency of North Korea have failed and should be replaced by tougher military responses and economic embargoes, said a former chief of the U.S. Forces Korea on Friday.
Gen. Burwell Baxter Bell, who was the U.S. commander in Korea between 2006 and 2008, said South Korea and the U.S. should implement stronger, asymmetric retaliatory military strikes against North Korean provocation. Even shutting down the Kaesong Industrial Complex should be implemented, he said.

Addressing a forum in Seoul, titled “Korea-U.S. Alliance: Current Status, Issues and Future Directions,” Bell judged that the recent provocative behaviors by the North, including the Nov. 23 deadly shelling of the Yeonpyeong Island, have proved the policies implemented over recent years to engage the North were ineffective.
Sixteen years of failed diplomacy since the signing of the Agreed Framework has resulted in a nuclear-armed North Korea,” Bell said.

The Agreed Framework, instituted between the U.S. and North Korea in Geneva in 1994, was for the U.S. to give economic aid to the North in return for it giving up nuclear programs.
But that framework became unsustainable when the North walked out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 and held nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
Last month, it revealed a uranium enrichment facility that could provide the North an alternative way of producing nuclear weapons.
For now, we should abandon six-party talks processes. It has failed,” Bell said, referring to the multinational negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament that started in 2003 and has been stalled since April 2009 with the North’s walkout. “As long as Kim Jong-il is in power, the six-party talks process is dead.”
Bell’s words came as China is trying to resume the six-party talks to save its communist ally.
Bell said recent provocations by the North are to lure the U.S. to sign a peace treaty with it, but that is unacceptable, Bell said, because that would bring a permanent division of the two Koreas.
Bell said the only options effective toward the North are military responses and more pressure such as economic embargoes. He said Seoul should strike back at North Korean aggression in a more effective way than it did over the Yeonpyeong attack.

“Next time the North attacks, there should be asymmetric retaliatory military strikes by South Korea. Allowing North Korea to attack the South with no counterstrike consequences sends a message of weakness and timidity to Kim Jong-il,” he said.

On the U.S. part, Bell said, the annual land exercises should involve increasing the number of U.S. combat soldiers participating in them. He said the naval drills involving U.S. carriers should be ramped up and conducted more frequently.
By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

20hu1ok

“William Wallace” Scottis Hero who defied the English and TOOK NO SHIT.

426-braveheart--125664909309859000

Thank you Gen. BELL, spoken like a American with the heritage of a True Scotsman, perhaps ya be of the Riding Clans, a descendant of the Bloody Bells of Middlebie Parish, West Marches, of the Borderlands. We were some of the Border Reivers who raided across into England until they were declared one of the Unruly Clans and marked for destruction and scattering by King James of England. Were yer ancestors “as numerous as the Bells of Middlebie”, who ‘ave bled wid William Wallace’? Aye, ana ye donna shrink frum a fight now, do yer? The Bells have served in the Highland regiments with distinction. Fellow Scotsmen who were scattered came and settled in the United States of America, serving in all of our nation’s wars. God bless you General, for saying like it really IS.

War is terrible, but it must be waged Terribly against your enemy to WIN.

Dear Pres. LEE, stop “talking smack”, JUST DO IT!!

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