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 3, 2010

Israeli Satellite Images Locate North Korean Rocket Launchers in Positions aimed at South Korean Yeonpyeong island

Well, thanks to Marmot’s Hole Link Here for this update from Israeli Satellite Images. 
nll-map-2
The Green line is the Northern Limit Line set by UN and South Korea. The Communist North or DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) does not accept this NLL and numerous clashes have occurred over the years.
Yeonpyeong_map
The NLL is a Dotted BLUE here and the larger island circled in RED dotted line shows the proximity (12 Km or so) from the RED rectangle of 'satellite image’. This Red Dotted line is what the NORTH considers THEIR lines thus justify crossing over with Crab fishing boats, escorted by North patrol boats.
Israeli Satellite Images Locate North Korean Rocket Launchers in Positions aimed at South Korean Yeonpyeong island

Yeonpyeong1 North Korea fired scores of artillery rockets at the South Korean Yeonpyeong island on November 23, 2010, killing two soldiers. Two soldiers and two civilians were killed in the attack, 18 were wounded. (Read our post reporting the incident on the same day)
RED Rectangle ‘Satellite image’.
Click on photos to enlarge







 
Yeonpyeong5
The South Korean army returned fire with artillery and scrambled fighter planes to the area. The image above taken by Israel's Eros B satellite, obtained by Defense Update from the satellite operator Imagesat, shows the empty firing positions lined up on the roadside, from where the North fired about 200 rockets.




 
 
Soviet122mmBM-21multiplerocketlaunc  


A standard Russian-made 122mm BM-21 rocket battery comprises six vehicles, each carrying 40 ready to fire rockets in launch tubes.






Yeonpyeong5_closeup
Close up of EMPTY firing BERMS, Scorch marks show that
only Three vehicles fired before Counter-Fire caused them
to "Bug out" and relocate.

This satellite image (above) clearly shows the 'smoking gun' - scorch marks trailing each of the four positions, the fifth shows faint scorch marks, while the sixth (at the bottom) does not have such marks at all, indicating that the battery actually fired rockets but was leaving the site before spending its ammunition. The cause of that action could be South Korean counterfire directed at these launchers. Ten impact craters are clearly seen in the image, hitting within a 150 meter circle, centered about 100 to the left of the rocket battery. The number of rockets fired by the four-five vehicles also matches the number of hits counted on the South Korean island (about 200 rounds).


Following the attack the North deployed more mobile rocket launchers near the coastline. Three new batteries are clearly show on the following satellite images taken on November 24, 2010. The images show the new units under camouflage nets, in their firing positions. Part of these positions are protected by earth berms, while others are exposed in the open. The image also shows clear vehicle tracks leading to each of the sites.

Three new batteries in place by Friday 26th
Yeonpyeong2
Battery 1

Yeonpyeong3
Battery 2
 
Yeonpyeong4
Battery 3
**********************************************************************
The KWB notes: This is just 3 batteries of multiple rocket launchers North Korea has moved into place on Friday in this area, remember they are mobile and will change locations. Movement of equipment and troops has been detected all along the DMZ, there are no leaves for troops, they are checking their equipment and weapons TWICE. Remember these are mounted wheeled vehicles, so they are constantly on the move- here today gone tomorrow. Hopefully, surely, we have our own satellite coverage 24/7…Monday 6th of December the South Korean military has vowed to conduct more artillery firing drills, and some experts DO think that the proverbial ‘shit will hit the fan’. Do have your documents in order, flee to Busan/Pusan, avoid running out into the streets if you hear LOUD BOOMS. 

See also: Joongang daily "Most Shells failed to hit targets"

"The Grand National Party’s floor leader, Kim Moo-sung, said at the National Assembly yesterday that after checking satellite images, 35 of the 80 rounds that South Korea fired had landed in the sea.

The images from the global intelligence company Stratfor also showed that many of the rounds that had managed to make it onto North Korean land had fallen into rice paddies and other farming land near a North Korean military base.

Kwon Young-se, head of the Intelligence Committee in the National Assembly, told reporters yesterday that roughly 10 rounds had hit the North Korean military base
and one of those rounds can be seen in the photo to have struck directly on one end of the barracks."
 

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