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.


January 29, 2011

Facebook Reunion now in Korean Language!


GookMinIlbo_KoreanDaily has Hangul translation of Steve Inman's article!

[쿠키 지구촌] 그리워하고 애타게 찾으면 그리운 사람을 만날 수 있을까. 예전 같으면 생각 속에서만 가능하던 일이 소셜 네트워크 서비스 '페이스북'에 올린 빛바랜 아기 사진 몇장으로 이뤄졌다.미국 일간 로스앤젤레스 타임스(LAT)는 28일 주한미군 아버지와 한국인 어머니 사이에서 태어난 한국계 미국인 남매의 사연을 보도했다.

사연의
주인공은 스티브 이만(33). 그에게는 낡은 사진(사진) 속에만 존재하는 누나가 있다. 이름은 샐리 블루(37).

주한 미군이었던 아버지는 한국인 여성과
결혼해 딸 샐리를 낳았다. 부모는 8개월 동안 유모의 도움을 받아가며 샐리를 길렀다. 아버지의 복무기간이 끝나가자 가족은 미국으로 들어가기로 했다. 그러나 가족 관계를 증명하는 서류가 관계 당국으로부터 승인이 나지 않았다. 비행 시간에 쫓긴 부모는 샐리를 외할머니에게 맡기고 미국으로 떠났다.

곧 미국으로 데려올 수 있을 것이라 생각했던 샐리의 운명은 여기서 갈리고 말았다. 유모가 외할머니를 찾아와 샐리가 보고 싶다며 며칠 데려가겠다고 하곤 샐리를 돌려보내지 않았다.

미국 정착에 급급하던 부모는 없어진 샐리를 찾을 여력이 없었다. 그사이 샐리의 여동생인 코니(36)와 스티브가 태어났다. 하지만 부모에게 샐리의 빈자리는 쉽게 채워지지 않았다.
전화번호로 전화를 걸었다.

스티브도 어안이 벙벙했다. 진짜인지 가짜인지 확인하고 싶었다. 전화를 건 누나에게 친자 확인을 요구했지만 누나 샐리는 거절했다. 자신이 누군지 잘 알기 때문이었다.

샐리가 전한 이야기도 기구했다. 유모에게 간 뒤 9살에 입양됐다는 것이다. 샐리는 "의붓어머니는 당시 유모의 딸"이라며 "유모로부터 샐리의 부모가 미국으로 떠나면서 자신을 맡게 됐다는 이야기를 들었다"고 전했다.

소식을 전해 들은 이들 남매의 어머니는 "미안하다"고 말하며 한참을 흐느껴 울었고, 이들 가족은 웹캠을 이용해 못다 한 이야기를 풀어놓았다.


이국만리 한국에 있는 누나. 그렇다고 쉽게 찾아나설 수도 없는 처지 속에서 그렇게 세월만 흘렀다. 그러던 지난해 8월 SNS가 활성화 되면서 스티브는 페이스북에 '샐리 이만'이라는 이름으로 계정을 등록하고 고이 간직하던 누나 사진 12장을 올렸다.

4개월이 지날 즈음 기적이 일어났다. 샐리는 페이스북을 돌아다니다 자신의 어릴 적 사진을 발견했다. 남동생의 존재를 모르던 샐리는 어안이 벙벙했다. 하지만 용기를 내 페이스북에 남겨진 스티브의

****************************************************************


The Korean War Baby will send the links to every reporter he knows, but if some of you out there know Korean websites and friends PASS THIS ON. Let's make it Virtual, uh wait...OH, I mean "Let's Make it go Viral"!!!

Candlelight Vigils-Coming Again Soon?

 candlelightBack in 2008 the Korean society went absolutely nuts about American Beef coming into the country after FALSE REPORTING on a major network erroneously claimed that thousands of people in the USA actually had MAD COW DISEASE. The MBC program claimed that 200,000 people who had Alzheimer's were infected with MAD COW, this came from another ‘infamous’ wacko who has made outrageous claims in his spurious books. With little proof and with inadequate response by the Korean government, citizens took to the streets, students cried out “I am too young to die, don’t make me eat US Beef!”
Here are some links to the Madness of those days:

Korean American family: Facebook helps Fontana man find sister missing for 37 years - chicagotribune.com

 Just a few weeks ago the Korean War Baby asked if there was SOMEWAY for Korean Adoptees to use Facebook to find lost siblings or birth family members. Many Koreans are now signing up on Facebook now and as THIS STORY shows, it worked for them. They all lived in the USA, but couldn’t it work as well for cross-referencing for Koreans and KADs, scattered across the globe?
BloggingHard_BadHairDay
Somebody help with the technical stuff, how to make it Bi-Lingual. Any suggestions on making a Facebook Page where anyone could post pictures, search under names/alias, or Adoption Agency, etc. A SEARCHABLE SITE? Come on, we need to make it easier for KOREANS to access the information and scan the photos. Who knows how many more Reunions could take place?

Help me out, I don’t know how to DO this, having a Bad Hair Day just trying to figure out HOW TO DO IT.
*********************************************************************************** 
Facebook helps Fontana man find sister missing for 37 years - chicagotribune.com

Steve Inman of Fontana always wondered what had happened to his older sister Sally, born in South Korea and missing for 37 years. Finally, Facebook brought them together.

163593_sister_GAF_xx
Diane Drinkwine, whose maiden name was Chum Ku Yi, holds a baby photo of her biological daughter, Sally Blue, who appears in the background on Skype. Drinkwine and her other daughter, Connie Files, along with her son, Steve Inman, were reunited with Sally after Sally's daughter spotted a Facebook page posted by Steve in hopes of finding his long-lost sister after 37 years. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

For Korean American family, an ache 37 years long

By Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times
January 28, 2011
One night in August, after his wife and 2-month-old boy had long fallen to sleep, Steve Inman got to thinking about family and heredity. With a rare moment to himself, he pulled a box of photo albums out of the hall closet at his home in Fontana.
He found an old picture of himself as a boy and laughed at how he and his son had the same round ears and the funny top lip that flipped up like the bow of a ship. He perused faded images of his mother as a young woman in South Korea, and then came across his oldest sister, sitting in a meadow before he was born.
She was about 8 months old then and had the same cast to her face as his boy, the same squint.
Seeing her in his own first child, he felt an overwhelming rush of sadness, a sense he had let her down. She had been missing for 37 years now. Although he had never even met her, it hit him how much a part of him she was.
He wondered if she was still alive.


Year of the Rabbit

Feb. 3, 2011 Korean 'Sollar' (Lunar/Moon) New Year holiday greetings!!

January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!!!


JUN Yong Soo- age 5

High School senior



















  
Age 27



Age 29



Age 31




Age 32

Age 32

Age 42

Yes, I made it! Finally reached the BIG ONE. In the days of old, in Korea, it was especially rare that men or women reached their 60th birthday. Since, when you are born in Asian countries of Confucius learning, one counts the months in your mother's womb, on the day of your birth-you are One Year old. It is like saying this is your First Year of life. Depending on the birthdate, one could become on the next Moon, or Lunar New Year, called in Korea the Sollar (means MOON not the Solar or Sun in Latin) New Year. Confused? Well, to make it more difficult in recent times SOME Koreans just add another year on the western New Year's date of January first. Some wait until the Moon New Year (not called Chinese New Year over here!).

Age 44



Age 48










Age 54
 
Age 56
Age 57
Age 58



So on this past January 25th, I turned 59 (counting in the Western way) but actually counted in Korea as my 60th birthday. Now it gets worse, for us Old Fart Adoptees, on Febuary 3rd is the Sollar New Year and I would then be 61...Somebody shoot me now!
Hoping to make it another ten years on earth!

January 22, 2011

Hines Ward REAL first visit NOT so Nice

Hines Ward Jeju
Hines Ward's real first visit to Korea was in 1998
“After Ward was named the Super Bowl MVP and South Korea rushed to try and embrace him as its own. He was heralded a national hero and came to be cast as a symbol of shifting attitudes toward biracial children, though at the time people were proud of him more for being Korean than for being an agent of social change. His mother famously told the Chosun Ilbo in 2006, in response to the question “What does Hines think about the Korean blood that runs though his veins?
“What does Hines think about the Korean blood that runs though his veins? WELL, his mother respond:

“…Since he was young, he always got along well with the other Korean and Vietnamese kids. It seems like he does have some pride in his Korean blood. But we've also been hurt as Koreans. When Hines was in high school, there was an inter-school friendship match for the Korean students. Since he was good at baseball, a school invited him to play. But after the game, when the kids went out to eat, the person who put together the event only took the Korean kids, leaving Hines behind (Ward is of mixed parentage, his father an African-American). After that I told Hines to never hang out with Korean kids. Yet when we went to Korea in '98, even Korean people who looked educated spat when we walked by. Koreans judge others based on their appearance and their age. Those kinds of Koreans think that they are so special."

The Korean War Baby notes: Hines Ward has done much to help Biracial children in Korea. The Pearl S. Buck foundation has also been involved in helping him to help bring attention to the thousands of Biracial and Multicultural children, especially those of Black American fathers (Called TuiGi but applied to all Mixed-Bloods). Prejudice against them is much higher it seems. Read more on this from THIS:

Korean UDT/SEAL Commandos Rescue Success

KSeals  610xvv1 1237646888_GWT (17)

Navy storms hijacked ship, rescues all 21 sailors

Korea stages first Naval operation on international open seas; eight pirates killed, five captured alive

JoongAngDaily Link

21223437

The Korean chemical cargo ship that was hijacked last weekend was rescued at 3 p.m. yesterday Korean time, along with its 21-person crew, after a breathless five-day mission by the Korean military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday. Eight pirates were killed and five were captured.

21223443

The captain of the ship, Seok Bae-gyun, 58, sustained a gunshot wound to the stomach, and three members of the Navy’s special forces were also wounded in the process. Their injuries are not life-threatening, said the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Read the rest and also THIS:

Korean Press Kept Quite-This Time

While Korea’s Cheonghae Naval Unit yesterday successfully rescued all crew members of the Samho Jewelry, a Korean freighter hijacked by Somali pirates on Jan. 15, experts said it’s an example that clearly shows the importance of abiding by a press embargo.
Experts said the Korean press this time abided by the government’s call for refraining from reporting details about the hijacking and the government’s rescue tactics to save the sailors. They said that actually led to the success of the rescue operation without major casualties.

The Korean War Baby notes: Operations do not always go according to plan, they can go ‘south’ (Fail) for just the slightest reason. Therefore, since we don’t have full details, and may never have them all, it is amazing that the second attempt succeeded at all. Remember that the pirates now were in radio contact with the destroyer following them.

When the Samho Jewelry started moving again the second attempt was done, and carried out by elite Korean UDT/SEAL commandos with only the Korean captain being wounded (reports are that he will survive a through and through wound from being shot in his stomach). We were extremely lucky, and praise must be given to the Korean forces who took part in this rescue. Hopefully the public’s trust in the military will be raised.

January 20, 2011

Daughter snatched from hospital reunited with mom 23 years later - CNN.com

Amazing story!! How come we don’t set that up for Korean Adoptees? Hey, out there you younger KADs…help us out and set up something like this. Hello Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link, you guys should be able to expand the Birth Family Search with this idea. I know some folks on staff at GOA’L

 

(CNN) -- In 1987, an anguished, trembling Joy White pleaded for someone to help her find her infant daughter.  "I hope she's all right," the heartbroken mother told reporters at the time before collapsing in tears.  Now, 23 years later, White is crying tears of joy as the decades-long mystery of her missing daughter reached a happy ending.

The saga started on August 4, 1987, when White took her sick baby, Carlina, to a Harlem hospital because of an extremely high fever, a New York police official said.  Carlina was admitted in the hospital and White went home to rest. When the mother returned, Carlina was gone.

Daughter snatched from hospital reunited with mom 23 years later - CNN.com

For her part, Carlina Renae White, had nursed a nagging feeling that she was raised by a family she did not belong to, said Ernie Allen from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Raised under a different name, Carlina grew suspicious when the woman who raised her could not provide her with a birth certificate.

So she scoured the Internet for answers, stumbling on the website of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. There, she came across an item about a baby girl who had been taken from a New York hospital…

 

The KWB notes: 

CNN Live in Seoul, based in Hong Kong, said Carlina actually saw her baby picture on the website of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Korea has similar national websites HOWEVER, I don’t think all KADs are listed.

Perhaps the Birth Family Search folks at GOA’L could help us out, send the best way for KADs to sign up to list their data on the website. A cable channel also has like the “milk carton” Photos and short info on those who sign up. Please check the GOA’L website cause HEY FOLKS, the Korean War Baby IS WILLING to work with them, even if they won’t give him the time of day. Tell ‘em the Korean War Baby sent you. heh heh.

January 16, 2011

Best Burger in Korea


 VOTE on "10 Magazine's survey for the "Best Burger In Korea"

"10" Magazine/best-burger-in-korea/

Kevin, the Chili King


Chili to die for, Best in South Korea!

Spices from all over the world.

Chili Burger
Freshest ingredients on this Cheeseburger.



Chili King Website for more information!



The Korean War Baby voted Chili King as one of the best Burgers in town. He has eaten the King Kev-3 massive all Australian Beef Paddies, with fries! Not everyone can finish!


KING KEV-3 Australian Beef Paddies!

Korean War Baby tackled the King Kev (3 Paddy Monster!)

ATE THE WHOLE THING! Not for faint of heart.



Adoption Pro and Con Factions

The Korean war baby would like to comment about adoption narratives. In the years since the adoption began from South Korea there have been a growing number of adoption narratives written by Korean Adoptees themselves.  These narratives  have increased with the advent of blogging on the Internet. Anyone who searches on adoption, reunion, international adoption,trans-racial adoption, etc. will find numerous BLOGS, web sites, and information on the subjects. Hundreds of KADs have put their life stories on the world wide web providing others a chance to find out they are not alone in their feelings.

One quickly finds that there are two sides of This Thing of Ours-Adoption, one side is strongly Against Adoption and the other side is strongly For Adoption. The Korean War Baby has found that there are some extremists in each faction. Both sides have some of the truths but not all of it. Extremism in adoption discourse is neither accurate nor helpful. There needs to be a balance, respect towards other’s views, less all inclusive language using qualifiers most of the time.

The Anti-Adoption faction mainly consists of birth or natural mothers, Korean adoptees, and some liberal activists. In the case of birth or natural mothers, they are both Korean and foreign mothers who deeply regret giving up their children for adoption. The Korean adoptees who are Anti-Adoption are not always “angry adoptees”, however, the number of them feel that all their life’s problems were caused by adoption. Some activists, who rightly campaign for the rights of birth or natural mothers, also unfortunately seem to disregard the realities of life.

The Pro-Adoption faction mainly consists of adoptive parents (AP) and adoptees who might be labeled “happy adoptees” by some. Again, it is only the extreme group of adoptive parents and adoptees, not all, nor a majority, who sometimes attack the Anti-Adoption faction. One will find Abusive language used by a few adoptive parents/adoptees against those who are against adoption.

The Korean War Baby feels that both sides need to chill. We cannot have adoption discourse under these war-like conditions. He feels just as strongly that the both sides need to dial it down. Many times he has commented and called for restraint and understanding between all involved. This includes adoptees, adoptive parents and family, and birth or natural parents and family, but also includes all adoption professionals in adoption agencies, government officials, NGOs, even the society of both the sending and receiving countries.

The Korean War Baby has been living in South Korea for fifteen years and being deeply involved in the issues, he has studied all the various arguments. We all agree that there is a plethora or spectrum of stories, viewpoints, attitudes, emotions, etc. There are indeed many who have kept a balanced outlook. This is a very good thing and one wishes that all would follow certain guidelines of civility and prudence.

There are times when the Korean War Baby has used strong words, hyperbole, sarcasm, militaristic language, wit, incredulous outbursts, etc. He has tried to always address his comments to both extremist viewpoints when they do not respect the other side. Some may have misunderstand, some have grossly misinterpreted, his words and cartoonish satire, but they are directed at the ideas and not at all towards the individuals.

He is fervently against those who distort the truths and facts of the situation here in present day South Korea. When some use inaccurate facts and bogus arguments the KWB WILL attack the facts and arguments but is NOT attacking the individuals. When for instance, some are ignorant of current reports from KWDI and MOHWFA that shed new light on these issues related to understanding the Korean society’s attitudes currently...WELL, KWB has gotta set down a challenge for them to prove their points. Frequent requests for Open discussion have been repeatedly ignored however. Calls to KADLinK (Korean ADoptees Living in Korea) groups and individuals to work together on the issues that we agree on, have been likewise totally spurned. When such is the case, discourse cannot take place.

Instead, a very small group of Anti-Adoption activists has overwhelmingly influenced Liberal Socialist Activists and media in Korea to attack the very institution of adoption. They mislead the media to believe that they represent ALL KADs, well, they Don't represent ME! This does not sit well with the Korean War Baby, and he will continue to challenge those who want to stop adoption both domestically and internationally.

The truth is unfortunately the Korean people do indeed adopt children, though it is done secretly because of the shame of infertility or desire to have a son and daughter (Based on this female babies are 65% of the secret adoptions). Though most are never told, many DO find out in shock that they were adopted, overhearing relatives or by blood tests. Don't you think a person should be TOLD that they were adopted, because they will then have most of the thoughts/issues that Transracial International adoptees have PLUS the secrecy issue.

The myth “Koreans don’t want to adopt their own” is WRONG. NGOs and government officials have ignored and hidden the Civil Code Law Adoptions (Court records DO account for the numbers). CCLA at present neither vet the Prospective Adoptive Parents or protect the interest of the child. Hopefully, the Revisions of Adoption Laws will correct this, combining all adoptions under one code of Law. That would be progress towards Korean being able to sign the Hague Conventions.   

There are changing situations in Korea and the slow acceptance by some towards Adoption, Multi-cultural marriage and their Mixed-Blood children, Globalization, prejudices against other races, etc.,  will help to find a balanced viewpoint in the next generation, maybe. Things must take their course, as in the case of Multicultural marriages number over 150,000 and their offspring now number 120,000 SO THE COUNTRY MUST DEAL WITH IT. Everything must be factored into the equation, yes? Until these changes come though, there must be  flexible Mult-tiered solutions.

The Anti-Adoption faction frequently uses language with no qualifiers, accusing sometimes ALL adoptive parents of international adoption of ‘stealing children from their country, culture, language, and mothers’. Other arguments, such as the ‘colonial white privilege’ of adoptive parents is laughable and irrelevant to the broader issues. ‘Rich white people Adopting children of color ‘ is another accusation frequently heard, but it is far from the truth if one knows many other KADs they would dispute That one. Such All Inclusive Statements are considered by the Korean War Baby to be utter nonsense and subject to correction in his colorful and flamboyant ways.

As for the Pro-Adoption faction, he also has strong reservations against those attacking birth or natural mothers and Korean Adoptees as being simply angry. He has spoken out and called for moderation whenever he has seen a post written by an prospective adoptive parent (PAP) that is also guilty of attacking with all inclusive statements towards what they may consider "angry" natural/birth mothers or adoptees. Wanting a family is fine but don’t disparage those who are disillusioned about their own adoption or ‘losing a child to adoption’. Some of their arguments are partly valid, their feelings and emotions we must respect and acknowledge as their own.

We must continue to separate the issues from the individuals, respecting each other even as we may hotly contest the complexities of This Thing of Ours-Adoption.




          

Woman finds her family through Facebook | Video | abc11.com

Came across this story and gives some great ideas, in this age of communication. Many Koreans (Real Koreans as some call themselves) are joining Facebook. MAYBE other Korean ADoptees could put together a Bi-Lingual Facebook Page for searching for Birth/natural family members, Adoptive Family members, and Korean Adoptees. It must be searchable in Korean and English, perhaps other European languages. Some of you out there know the ins and outs of HOW. Why can’t we set up a database that is user-friendly to Korean Mothers who gave up their children? Open to discussion on Facebook, or email on how to set this up.

 

This is an AMAZING STORY and gives evidence that it is never too late for something completely unexpected. If only there could be more and more, especially in Korea that they would hear about this story. 

Woman finds her family through Facebook | Video | abc11.com

January 13, 2011

When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines: Cool Jim Gaines interview!

gaines1
by T. TEYMUR / Today.az (16 May 2010)
Some movie fans say, that the peak of war-action movies was back in the mid and end 80's. I'll have to agree with them. There however was another so called "branch" of action movies - the ones that were shot in Philippines. They were cheesy, brainless, with lots of explosions, deaths, fights, in other words - action was over the top, and it, as the time went on, turned them into cult movies. The good thing is, the leads in the movies, were mostly americans, or widely known international stars. Such as Gary Daniels and Richard Norton started their careers in "Philippino action" films.
There were also american actors, who stayed in Philippines, and were acting in pretty much every action movie that was being made there at that time. To name a few, Jim Moss, Nick Nicholson, James Gaines. And James Gaines in fact, is the one who will be answering the questions! With just under 50 action films under his belt, veteran actor shares his memories about the "golden era" of action films, difficult work as a director.

Read the Rest:  When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines: Cool Jim Gaines interview!
 RescueTeam_DonGordonBell_Writer&SupportingCast dongordonMikeCohenNickNicholsonJamesGaines
The Korean  War Baby was once privileged to work with James in numerous films. I first met James back in the late 1970’s during the filming of “Apocalypse Now” where I worked as a Casting Assistant. After I left the Philippines in 1985, James and many others continued to make films.
“When the Vietnam War Raged” is a great blog by Jack who has covered the zany low-budget B-movies that I had a chance to take part in. For ten years I worked with “American actors” our group was called “Pigs in Space” an assortment of guys in the Philippines and making a living out of the local and international film business.
James was a great friend and recently I made contact with him during a visit last year to Manila. I salute my friend and colleague, see more of him on Internet Movie Database (IMDb). James Gaines
JamesGainesHenryStrzalkowskiAndrewLeovold

James Gaines, fellow actor Henry Strzalkowski, and Andrew Leavold, writer and blogger that also chronicles the Filipino Film industry. This was taken recently, late in 2010.  

January 10, 2011

New York City Reports 41% Pregnancies Result in Abortion!

Someone sent me an email that ‘questions your facts on abortion numbers’ in South Korea.  They could not believe that Abortions were as high as 4,000 PER DAY, and practically accused the KWB of, well inflating the numbers, claiming that they had only seen ONE THOUSAND PER DAY.
WELL, being an unlettered simple person, I DO try to get several sources for facts and still don’t put faith completely in just 2, and I have copies of dozens of articles from the net on Abortion/Korea. Doesn’t take a ‘rocket scientist to factcheck. HOWEVER, anyone can check on GOOGLE or other Search Engines for themselves- “abortion korea 1,000 4,000” and you would get the many results in nanoseconds.
FIRST Check THIS:  NYC 41% NY City Pregnancies Result in Abortion
“Like it or not, the legality of abortion is a settled question in New York for the time being,” said Greg Pfundstein, executive director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation. “That doesn’t mean we have to accept the fact that in parts of the city nearly half of all pregnancies end in abortion.
********************************************************
 Illegal abortion, South Korea's open secret
“At a clinic in a fashionable area of Seoul, young women sit in plush leather couches waiting for a doctor to give them an illegal abortion. By the hundreds of thousands each year South Korean women have gone to clinics like this, which operate in the open.
Abortions have been illegal for almost as long as South Korea has existed but, in an uneasy compromise, law enforcement officials have been willing to look the other way as long as qualified doctors perform the operation.
The law allows for abortion only in cases where the mother's health is at risk, the baby is to be born with severe birth defects or the pregnancy was caused by a sexual crime (Rape/Incest).
"Most abortions are for pregnancies out of wedlock and not for health reasons," Park said.  According to the most recent figures, an estimated 350,000 abortions were performed in 2005. That is equivalent to about 43.7 percent of the total number of babies born that year. (450,000 Births PLUS the 350,000 = 800,000 total Pregnancies SO, help my math here, 350,000 equals 43.7 percent.)
Korean War Baby notes: SO, SOUTH KOREA has MORE than the New York City percentage, according to the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Family Affairs there are about ONE THOUSAND abortions PER DAY... BUT, READ ON, dear reader for the whole SAD truth...not one but FOUR Thousand per DAY.

First, this:
When is Abortion LEGAL in South Korea? (found on a T.R.A.C.K. posting online)
Thanks to Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network for posting this image from MBC on their site.
It says that according to the mothers and children’s health law Article 15 put into force July 8, 2009, abortion is allowed in South Korea within 24 weeks of pregnancy in the following cases:
  • Sexual assault, incest
  • Danger to mother’s health
  • Hereditary disease (including psychiatric disease, hemophilia, epilepsy, etc.)
  • Contagious disease (including AIDS and hepatitis)
All other abortions are illegal.”
*********************************************
South Korea looks at Legalizing Abortions
SEOUL, July 28, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Early-term abortion may be legalized in South Korea, according to a Ministry of Justice committee considering changes to the law, reports the Korean journal JoongAng Daily.
Official data from the Ministry of Health indicates that doctors perform about 350,000 abortions per year, while they deliver on average just 450,000 babies, meaning 43.7 percent of pregnancies end in abortion.
However, the actual number of abortions may be at least five times the official estimate, with a spokesman from the ruling Grand National Party saying that a National Assembly inspection last October found that the number of illegal abortions in Korea exceeds 1.5 million a year or roughly 4,000 babies aborted per day. (KWB notes: This is also the 700+ OBGYNs of Pro-Life Doctors who know the medications {RU-486 and Plan B} that are considered Medical Proceedures to eliminate 'Unexpected' pregnancies)

The move by the Ministry of Justice to look at legalization of abortion seems to fly in the face of the government's "Increase Koreans" project, aimed at increasing the birth rate and persuading more women to carry their pregnancies to term. (GEE, How's that working? Uh, not too well it seems!!!)
Korean pro-life groups have warned that legalizing early-term abortion will only increase the number of abortions.
 One group, Pro-Life Doctors, has been formed to encourage women to carry their pregnancies to birth and to encourage doctors to abandon the practice of abortion. The organization runs a hotline to report practitioners of illegal abortion to the police.
*************************************************
OBGYN_ProLifeDoc
Dr. Shim Sang-duk is an obstetrician who changed his mind about performing abortions. (Jean Chung / For The Times / November 20, 2009)






“For nearly two decades, obstetrician Shim Sang-duk aborted as many babies as he delivered -- on average, one a day, month after month. "Over time, I became emotionless," the physician said. "I came to see the results of my work as just a chunk of blood. During the operation, I felt the same as though I was treating scars or curing diseases." Shim, 42, eventually came to despise himself, despite the money he earned from the procedures. So, two months ago, he founded an activist group of physicians who refuse to perform abortions and advocate prosecution for doctors who continue to do so. The group's stand has brought a tidal wave of criticism from the Korean Assn. of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which represents more than 4,000 physicians in this country where abortions, although technically illegal, are so prevalent it has been tagged as "the Abortion Republic."
But Shim's campaign has triggered a rare public debate on abortion. Lawmakers now call for tougher enforcement of existing laws, and are asking parents to reassess the cultural value of childbirth. Beginning in the 1970s, officials advocated fewer births as a way to fuel economic productivity. The policy was perhaps too successful: Birthrates in South Korea plummeted. A decade ago, officials reversed their stand, calling for residents to have more babies. Yet the declining fertility trend has proved difficult to reverse. The country's birthrate is now among the lowest worldwide, with just 1.19 live births per woman. Meanwhile, abortion rates have kept their pace, many say.
For years, Shim rarely, if ever, even used the word "abortion." Rather, he said, he sought to "erase" or "prevent" the fetus. "I bought into the government's argument that it was OK to do this," he said. "It was good for the country. It boosted the economy." Still, Shim was often baffled by his patients' behavior: After receiving their abortions, he said, most women cried. "Many patients cry when they give birth," he said, "but these were a different kind of tears."
Korean War Baby notes: The Pro-Life group of OBGYNs has grown in size to first 700, then during the year 2010 surpassed 25% of the estimated 4,000 practicing OBGYNs.
This SITE below, has excellent research on this complex issue:

Korean Gender Reader CHECK this out!!
south-korea-abortion-pro-choice-protestors
The Marmot's Hole Blog has also done many postings on the subject.
“This year, however, the Korean government has sworn to resolve the ever decreasing birthrate and one way of doing this is to get tough on abortions.  But have abortions disappeared in South Korea? Apparently not: According to the AP article, a Mrs. Kim became pregnant with her third child and, already struggling to get by, decided to terminate the pregnancy.
It took Mrs. Kim 10 tries to find a doctor willing to perform an abortion, and he’s demanding nearly $1,000 in cash. To scrape together the money, the six-weeks pregnant woman took a second job cleaning an office building overnight for a few weeks.
“I can barely afford to have an abortion. How can I afford to raise and put a kid through college?” the 31-year-old secretary said, dunking a rag into a bucket of water.
As she sacrifices sleep to save up for her abortion, Mrs. Kim says she is trying to safeguard her family’s well-being by terminating the pregnancy.
“Our current income is just enough to feed four and educate the two,” she said. “Activists and policymakers can debate all they want, but I’m the one sweeping floors to kill my baby.”
Apparently some of the doctors she had approached were similar to these doctors we discussed in an earlier thread:  Dr. Choi Anna and Shim Sang-duk who basically sold their souls for $340 dollars performing abortions but later had a change of heart.  It is also interesting to note that Mrs. Kim’s abortion was for $1,000 dollars, which, even though it is nearly three times what Drs. Choi and Shim charged, it is still cheaper than the going price.  According to this AFP article (March 9, 2010):
Byun Hea-Joung, a counsellor and professor at Sogang University, said the cost of an abortion had risen from 300,000 won (264 dollars) to three million won and would continue to increase.
***************************************************************
The KWB notes: This Abortion cost increase happened throughout the year of 2010, with up to TEN TIMES at major hospitals, as the government continued to try to INCREASE birthrate numbers. We are waiting to see what effect this had on the year’s numbers of LIVE Births to Unwed Mothers Stats, for instance. The KWB thinks the numbers of LIVE BIRTHS to Unwed Mothers will significantly INCREASE for the year. (Again, based on Korean Women’s Development Institute’s reports 2 out of 3 will be Given up for Adoption.)
Getting back to the Ratio figures. IF the numbers given by OBGYNs of 1.5 million or 4,000 PER DAY- what are the percentages then, “Somebody” help me with the math!
 450,000 BIRTHS and 1,500,000 ABORTIONS
Totals = 1,950,000 Pregnancies/Year
450,000/1,950,000 = 23%
1,500,000/1,950,000 = 77%
Hmm, WELL check my numbers:
 A Korean “FETUS” has approximately ONE in FOUR or
23% chance to LIVE outside the WOMB.
fetus-at-five-weeks
OR
Sadly, a 77% CHANCE of the decision,

 “TERMINATE WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE.”
vlcsnap1847665
THREE TIMES more “Chances” to be Aborted, is that Right? Double check me, now, Please.
It seems that South Korea has New York City
beat all to hell, BIG TIME in the Stats,
YAH THINK? My people perish for lack of knowledge and hardened hearts! One is “lucky to be Born alive” in the land of the MOURNING Calm.
******************************************

January 8, 2011

North Korea Plays the Game

N. Korea Asks for Rice

N.Korea Asks for Rice, Cement, Heavy Equipment

North Korea wants rice and materials to repair flood damage such as cement and heavy equipment from South Korea, it was said in a message Saturday. The Unification Ministry on Tuesday said the message came from the North Korean Red Cross and was sent to its South Korean counterpart after the South offered some W10 billion in flood relief (US$1=W1,179). (This was offered back in August of 2010 BEFORE the September shelling attack that killed two civilians and two ROK Marines, wounded 16 ROK Marines, and 28 civilians on the border island of YeonPyong.)

The North asked for rice, cement, vehicles and bulldozers if the South is willing to help. The message was a belated response to the South Korean Red Cross's offer on Aug. 26 of emergency food supplies and medicines.
But Seoul is less keen to provide rice and building materials since such aid has been put on hold as part of sanctions after the North sank the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan since the North has a history of diverting such aid to the military. Heavy equipment, cement and iron bars proved controversial when the South gave flood aid to the North in 2006 and 2007.

BUT THEN THIS:

NIS Agrees NK has Massive Rice Stores for Military

NK Military Sitting on ONE MILLION TONS of Rice

Seoul Mulls ways to Insure Aid get to Needy in NK

“The underprivileged never benefited from the aid provided by the Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations. They only fled the country in even greater numbers. Instead, the aid went to those in power and the military. It may seem implausible that nothing at all reached the underprivileged, but the fact is that almost no foreign aid was distributed to the people for free.  

A senior North Korean defector said, "The entire food shipment from one foreign aid organization was shipped to the 11th Hospital for the People's Army, from which it was distributed to be administered to undernourished soldiers." A foreign aid official who accompanied the shipment to the North, uncertain if the medicines of nutrition were properly distributed, made an abrupt request to visit a kindergarten in the area, which was accepted. That evening, the military hospital rushed food to the kindergarten to satisfy the inspector, and later it took it all back, according to the defector.

A South Korean pastor who helped children in North Hamgyong Province by having a bread factory built, stayed there for three months to make sure the children were well fed. When he visited six months later, he was dismayed to find that the children were just skin and bones.”

********************************************************************

Yes, Reality SUCKS. The truth is that North Korea is now Playing the Game to get what it wants, and the stupid politicians of USA, South Korea, etc are falling over themselves to get a seat at the Comedy Theater. “I’ve SEEN this film before!!” Will we never learn? US Pres. Obama is pulling the armlock against the South to join the game and ‘give them something or the mean Northern bullies will really throw a temper tantrum. Lord, help us.

January 6, 2011

InKAS Internship Program

image 

Why not try International Korean Adoptees Services (InKAS) for your needs? Operating since 1998 InKAS has been helping Korean Adoptees in many ways. The KWB highly recommends that KADs utilize All the resources available.

I am Korean American- Edward Hong

Frome “I am Korean American” - Edward Hong, a Spoken Word artist does a Kick-Ass job expressing his own journey from Facial self-loathing to embracing his Korean American identity. His turning point was dealing with the extreme acts of one young man who committed the VTech university shooting just a few years ago. Edward faced his own ‘demons’ and discovered the key to understanding his own father/son relationship has SO much to do with his own outlook on his identity.
URL at IAKA
"I AM KOREAN AMERICAN" is a spoken word performance written and performed by actor and poet Edward Hong, and directed by Steve Nguyen of Channel APA.
From the VTech shooting to jajangmyeon cravings, Edward takes us on his journey from racial self-loathing to embracing his Korean American identity.
In Edward's own words:
I wrote and performed this poem because I want Korean Americans across the nation to think about what their identity means to them. While it's specific to that particular identity, this poem is ultimately about the human nature and the struggles we all face when it comes to the self-hatred that can live inside all of us. It is a reminder to accept the flaws and ugliness within ourselves and turn it into something beautiful. This is what I wish to accomplish with this poem.
Being Korean American has its ups and downs (repressed rage and contradictions, anyone?). However, with our ongoing dialogue on IAKA and personal projects like Edward's, we can learn how to reflect on these inner battles and empower ourselves instead of staying silent.
For more Edward Hong awesomeness, check out:http://iamkoreanamerican.com/2010/01/08/edward-hong/
http://hansarangmovement.wordpress.com
http://www.8asians.com/author/eddlyhong
Posted December 21, 2010 by I Am Korean American

Skype