TuiGi or 튀기- Korean people called me a "Child of a devil", because my birth father was a foreigner.
|There is a REAL Don Gordon so I went back to Don Gordon Bell|
|I used Don Gordon as a screen name also.|
|Radioman on "Apocalypse Now"|
After a life-changing incident he left the film business and went back to the States. His focus became centered on helping others find peace in their lives. As he found healing of his own he learned to help others find forgiveness and healing.
He has worked in many types of jobs, drifting most of his life. Wanderlust to strange places and meeting different people has always been interesting to him.
In 1994 he arrived in Seoul with a church ministry team and moved with his Kansas City wife for just one year...
|Pastor Kim's wife, Kathy, Don,|
Looking at logbook at Holt Museum
That year turned into now 15 years of teaching English and helping Korean people to understand This Thing of Ours-Adoption. It is his hope to help change Korean people's attitudes concerning Adoptees and Adoption in general, with more openness and acceptance, for Civil Code Law, Domestic Adoption, and Overseas Adoptees. At present over 95% of adoptions in-country are done in secret, due to the feeling of shame about adoption. Thousands of children are not even aware that they were adopted, yet both Adoptive Family and Adoptee can face similar problems that many adoptees may suffer. We are all in this sense a brotherhood.
They are too old now to be adopted. They will suffer the detrimental effects
of institutional care on a child’s development.
In Korea we lived, when millions were aborted, a '
The KWB believes that a woman should be shown ALL options before she makes her final Choice, as she will personally live with it all her life. Everyday from One to Four thousand Korean Women chose to "terminate their pregnancies".
In 2007, Unwed single
2464 + 2246 + 3014 = 7774
What of the 3,014 remaining? They are 'Unknown' but it must be assumed that they are "CIVIL Code Law" Adoptions, that are not in government figures! Estimates are that 97.8% of Civil Code Law AND "Domestic" Adoptions are SECRETLY done.
Some of these adopted children are also growing up finding out about the SECRET by blood types not matching, or overhearing relatives talking about them. They must then deal with the SAME issues that Overseas Adoptees face. Are they not our brethren even though they grew up within their own country and Ethnic groups?
Ask Ron at the Late Discovery Adoptees about that.
"Who, What happened, WHY? Have I walked past my 'real' mother on the streets of Seoul?" These questions haunt them just like International adoptees, do they not? I have personally met now 5 In-Country adoptees who still cannot tell openly that "I was adopted".
This is monstrously wrong, talk about Human Rights for the Child, this is absolutely hideous and does not acknowledge the primal wounds of separation that almost all adopted children go through. Yes, even those who are living in their "birth country" as a dirty open little secret that most older extended family members KNOW. If it is learned that a Korean was adopted there are a huge majority of Koreans who would call off the wedding. THIS IS AN UGLY FACT.
In the past and present, 60-70% of Koreans will only adopt 'blood relations' and secretly. Officially, so called "Domestic" Adoptees number over 87,000 (This does not count Civil Code Law adoptions which exceed all estimates and may actually be almost DOUBLE the "Domestic" number)- yet 97.8% are NOT told that they were adopted due to the shame of adoption. This ought NOT to be BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS.
Inconvenient Truths held by our mother's people, but it will take a prolonged campaign to change their hearts. Stopping InterCountry or Overseas Adoptions is not enough!!! Shame has not worked, rather more open stories are necessary like those of KUMSN or Momma Mia organizations that highlight the plights and struggles of Unwed Mothers who valiantly defy society, family, government prejudice to overcome and raise their children. There are huge numbers of Korean mothers who have KEPT their children. Approximately 55,000 Unwed Mothers HAVE KEPT their children! Check the facts, don't believe the KWB.
We see some promising changes coming in Adoption Law Revision (This MAY effect CIVIL CODE LAW ADOPTIONS according to Steve Morrison of MPAK). BUT Changing Laws does not change Hearts of the people. This is "What it IS", plain and simple facts but we can impact and help move the Korean people to recognize that adoption is not shameful. Whining about our life though, those few who do seem to blame their adoption for all of their problems, causes some Progressive politicians to think WRONGLY that adoption is bad. WELL, they don't speak for ME or for thousands of adoptees who were NOT WANTED BY THEIR PEOPLE, birth family, or birth parents.
There are many reasons that 2/3 of Unwed Mothers in 2009 GAVE UP for ADOPTION their children. For every child adopted Overseas there are THREE adopted In the Country.
Everyday in 2007, these numbers: Twenty (21) children were born alive Daily, but 4,000 aborted EVERYDAY.........Inconvenient truth? Damn Right! Maybe we ARE 'LUCKY' to be born alive. Know that some had that terminology but it is incredible odds 4,000 to 21 = 490 "Terminated human fetus" to one Born Alive.
The KWB does not have all the answers. He is willing to listen to all and seek answers. But some will argue extreme positions that make NO SENSE. Extreme and irrational views must be balanced with realities. Let us reason and work together to find a Balanced Multi-level plan of action. We must work with all to come to a better solution.
We are the Korean Adoptee Diaspora (Scattered). Many of us may long to discover our roots and Self-Identity, some don't care to perhaps worried about their Adoptive Family. Many cannot or DO NOT desire to go "beyond Culture Camps". As young children many might have wished they were "White" like their parents. As they mature though most seem to settle into their Adoption Identity.
How many of us can become KADLinK (Korean ADoptees Living in Korea)? They are just the few (roughly 150-200) who CHOOSE to do that and are ABLE for a short or long time. It is those of us, like the KWB, who are meeting with "Real Koreans" everyday and sharing our stories. Many CANNOT OR DON'T desire to come and live in the motherland. We all must do our own thing. In the year 2009 it is estimated that 5,000 KAD's visited the country. Less than 400 live here for more than 3 months. Not all are disgruntled or angry, many of us are darn glad we WERE adopted.
To educate the Korean People! That is why the KWB has stayed, though everyday he faces a bit of rejection because of his "unKorean face". "Hey, I just smile, tell them my story, and educate them on adoption."
In the 16 years he has lived here he has told his story to thousands of students, parents, teachers, church members, etc.
Crib for children in process for a home SOMEWHERE, inside Korea or 'exported', pure chance on where one goes.
All Korean Adoptees, even our secretly adopted Domestic brethren, all need to find out "Who am I". Adoption Identity has different meanings to each individual.
Most have found loving families, though some have faced further loss from life's many situations. A few have suffered abuse, wrongful separation from birth family. There are stories of sexual or mental abuse, of Adoptive parents who have difficulty understanding the issues Transracially adopted children have had.
The movie "Adopted" delves into many of the issues that Transracial Adoptees face with some parents. "We Can Do Better" is a DVD that comes with the movie that is a MUST for all involved in This Thing of Ours-Adoption.
We must all be open to each other, hear all sides, find better ways to prevent possible abuses, most of all to find our own personal Self-Identity...and peace.
The journey of Self-Identity is difficult, emotional, stressful, and some may never find all the "answers". We who were Adopted must walk our own paths and sharing our stories can help all members of "This Thing of Ours-Adoption".
The "first" generation of KAD's from the 40's (yes like Sen. Paull Shin of Washington State Senate) and the 50's are now in our late fifties and sixties, grandparents now. Young KADs are coming in their 18 to their twenties, seeking their own Adoption Identity. Three generations and it continues...
The reasons for our adoptions changed over the years but still everyday babies are born and given up, children are abandoned for physical, mental, and just the crap reasons of life-divorce, separation of parents, death, etc.
It took some countries years to no longer have a "supply" of children for adoption, such as Australia. Yet throughout the world there are millions of children who have been "single or Double" orphaned, needing homes. The supply and the demand will always be with us.
Preventing abuses and malpractices are the main goals, but the Korean War Baby supports a multi-tiered approach to Adoption. This seems logical and practical, acceptable to all. Can't we all work out a compromise, without hatred or ignoring each other?
Can't we all get along? Hopefully, most of us ARE willing and able. Let's work together.