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

S.Korea Paid Astronomical Sums to N.Korea

Astronomical Funds Paid to the North Koreans

Unbelievable the huge amounts Paid out as out and out Bribes to the North Koreans. The two LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE governments from 1998 to 2008 followed the “Sunshine Policy” of rewarding the North in an APPEASEMENT program that makes Neivel Chamberlain seem better. You young people don’t know him, the former English Prime Minister who tried to appease Adolph Hitler? This article says it all:

South Korea gave North Korea an astronomical US$2.98 billion Dollars, during the Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations from 1998-2008, according to a government tally announced Thursday. That is 1.5 times more than the amount of aid China gave to North Korea over the same period, which totaled $1.9 billion.
The government and private businesses gave North Korea $1.84 billion through commercial trade, $544.23 million for package tours to the Mt. Kumgang resort, $450 million for an inter-Korean summit, $41.31 million in land use fees and wages for North Korean workers at the Kaesong Industrial Complex and $30.03 million as part of various social and cultural exchanges, according to internal documents of the Unification Ministry and other government agencies.
Funds to Develop Nuclear Weapons
"North Korea is believed to have spent $500-600 million to develop long-range missiles and $800-900 million to develop nuclear weapons," a South Korean government source said. "And the cash provided by South Korea could have been used to develop them."
However, the whereabouts of the cash payment of $400,000 is also uncertain. That was the money North Korea demanded in April 2007 to build a video-link center for the reunions of families separated by the Korean War. North Korea has yet to start construction. "I think they just extorted the money," a South Korean government official said.
Hungry for Cash
"North Korea demanded money for every event
," said one Unification Ministry official who was in charge of humanitarian cooperation projects during the Roh administration. "We got the feeling that North Korea was trying to use the reunions of families separated by the Korean War as a means to make money." (YAH THINK?!!)

A National Assembly audit in 2006 revealed how North Korea made money off South Korean broadcasters. A key example is the W1 billion (US$1=W1,149) that state-run South Korean broadcaster KBS gave North Korea in 2003 to record a TV show about a singing contest in Pyongyang to mark Liberation Day.
In 2005, SBS gave W700 million in cash and W200 million worth of paint and other goods to North Korea for a concert in the North Korean capital by South Korean singer Cho Yong-pil, while in 2002, MBC paid the North W320 million in cash and provided 5,000 TV sets (worth W734 million) for two concerts in Pyongyang by South Korean singers Lee Mi-ja and Yoon Do-hyun.
North Korea also received sizable amounts from South Korean businesses and civic groups through unofficial channels or backroom deals.

This suggests that a considerable amount of bribes were paid. One South Korean owner of a garment company that was based in Pyongyang said, "Bribes South Korean businesses paid in the early stages to prevent any problems later became customary. After North Korean officials got a taste of the money, they ended up asking for bribes first." (UH, DUH, again)
A Unification Ministry official said, "It's impossible to estimate how much money was given to North Korea through unofficial channels. We can't even trace the use of official government money given to North Korea, so there is no way of telling what happened to money handed over under the table." / Dec. 03, 2010 13:32 KST

The Korean War Baby cries out: “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Give, give, give, with nothing back. They used the reunions with such powerful raw emotions to extort the thousands who are ‘waiting to meet their separated loved ones’ as helpless pawns in their games. Enough all ready, the Sunshine Policy must be put out of its misery, NO MAS!

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