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.


May 6, 2012

Adoption Healing Supplement by Joe Soll

Adoption Healing Supplement by Joe Soll

'via Blog this'


If you order any of the other Adoption Healing books at the same time,
you may take a 20% discount on both!   cid:image002.jpg@01CC7603.2C5D4030
doption Healing… a path to recovery Supplement
 
 Joe Soll 조살,  LCSW, DAPA   
This supplement to the Adoption Healing series offers brand new ways for
understanding the profound effects of,  and ways of healing from,  the wounds
of the separation of mother and child.  Through more focused inner child work,
using new techniques for self-understanding and navigating personal,
reunion and relationship difficulties,  the reader is given more toolsfor his/her
self-help toolbox.

Using the same format as the previous editions, each chapter focuses on different  issues
and provides  exercises that one can do on one’s own.  I believe and have seen that healing,
recovery, peace and contentment is possible, however it is a journey that begins with you.
   Are you ready? 

"Injuries caused by separation of mother and child can, in time and with work, be dealt with
effectively to the point where the loss will not interfere daily in our lives. Instead, the pain
might rear it's head a few times a year. We may need to cry--get a hug and perhaps vent
our anger--but the pain will pass more quickly each time."

AHsupplementwithtitle

Reviews
http://g-images.amazon.com/images/G/01/x-locale/common/customer-reviews/stars-5-0.gifJanuary 26, 2012
"Joe Soll has probably worked with adoptees and first parents more than anyone else on the planet. His approach has always involved empathy, intuition and introspection, without which dialogue runs dry. Few know the depth of the adoptee and first parent experience as well as Joe Soll, especially the dark side, where loss and loneliness reside.
Combining his experience, or perhaps we should say wisdom, with current therapeutic approaches, Joe creates an environment where growth can occur. Read his work, try it out, see how it works for you." -
Robert Andersen, M.D., psychiatrist, author of Second Choice: Growing Up Adopted and A Bridge Less Travelled: Twice Visited
http://g-images.amazon.com/images/G/01/x-locale/common/customer-reviews/stars-5-0.gifNovembe 11, 2011
"Loss, loss, and more loss. Joe Soll, in his latest book about adoption, knows well how the pain of loss can undermine relationships, including in reunion. Delving deeply into both the loss of the child and of the mother are necessary preludes to reunions if they are to proceed without another devastation. In this book, Joe gives many helpful suggestions and ideas toward healing these rifts. One of the most important is to deal with reality. Then there is allowing for the grief and persevering toward empathy, both for self and for other. This requires courage, tenacity, and strength. This book will help those affected by adoption to find these qualities and permit themselves to engage in fulfilling relationships." - Nancy Verrier, psychotherapist, author of Primal Wound: Legacy of the adopted child, andComing Home to Self: The Adopted Child Grows Up
http://g-images.amazon.com/images/G/01/x-locale/common/customer-reviews/stars-5-0.gifSeptember 8, 2011
"This Supplement to the Adoption Healing series creates a way for anyone reading it to gain insights into what "affected by adoption" truly means. This book creates a means for those affected by adoption to fully grieve the losses inherent in adoption by simply opening the book, reading, and doing the work contained within the pages. In this book, Joe Soll brings together the painful experiences of adoptees and their mothers and ties together the two previous books into one clean, comprehensive, and easy to read package. For those who are directly affected by adoption and those who interact with them, this book provides a way to examine 'the adoption experience' in a gentle and sincere way allowing for a unique healing opportunity." - Jean Provance LCSW, psychotherapist and adoption educator.
http://g-images.amazon.com/images/G/01/x-locale/common/customer-reviews/stars-5-0.gifSeptember 12, 2011
"This 'supplement' offers practical advice for adoptees, their parents and therapists - much of it updated, or not available in Joe Soll's original 2000 edition of Adoption Healing. There are also well-organized appendices, such as a fascinating one entitled Myths and Facts, and a needed emphasis on concepts such as Healing the Fracture in Adoptees. The focus throughout, is on the healing power of openness, truth and validation of self, in adoption (rather than the toxic secrets, lies and myths, still so prevalent in the adoption world). This is an important book .a must read." - David Kirschner, PhD., Psychoanalyst, author ofADOPTION: UNCHARTED WATERS. . A Psychologist's Case Studies. . Clinical & Forensic Issues.
http://g-images.amazon.com/images/G/01/x-locale/common/customer-reviews/stars-5-0.gifSeptember 4, 2011
"We have been given a gift; a ground breaking, deeply insightful analysis of the complex reasons why adoption reunions are so often interrupted or destroyed by the lack of self-knowledge. Soll explains that in order for reunions to be successful, adoptees and their mothers must first individually climb the ‘mountain of recovery’ to understand and overcome the devastating effects of the ‘profound’ loss experienced by both at the moment of their separation.
Adoption creates powerful emotional conflicts caused by layers of trauma and the false belief systems that grew up around adoption and which sabotage reunions. This book shows adoptees and their mothers, those brave survivors of the excruciating trauma induced when they were separated, how to heal their own selves in order to prepare for and deal with reunion. How both parties conduct their reunion journey determines success or failure at the shared destination.
This book teaches mothers, adoptees and their therapists about the extensive preparation required to prepare for success. Barriers to success are named as traumatic sorrow, loss and pain but the good news is adoptees and their mothers will no longer need to bring their accumulated traumas along to disrupt their reuniting. Soll has provided a detailed set of psychological skills for reunion travelers to follow, enabling them to travel safely and well." -Joss Shawyer, author of Death by Adoption


Joe Soll
조 살, LCSW, DAPA 
Author of, AdoptionHealing… a path to recovery   (  1 for moms, 1 for adoptees, 1 for both )

Co-author of Evil Exchange and Fatal Flight.


"I never gave anybody hell!   I just told the truth and they thought it was hell." - Harry S. Truman

"The horrors of war pale beside the loss of a mother [or child]." - Anna Freud, J.S.

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