Pen Pals

Welcome to our Pen Pals series, featuring correspondence between two mothers, one from the U.S. and one from South Korea.

Links to each of their letters are provided below. Translations of these letters are featured on the Korean women's Website womenline.

Read the Pen Pal Letters


Meet Ellen and her family

Ellen, 32, a high school teacher, is the wife of Dave, a 32-year old editor in the medical education field. They have two children, Abbey (3) and Aidan (1), who were adopted from South Korea.

Ellen's Family

Meet Yunkyung and her family

Yunkyung is 30 years old. She and her husband, Jong Sub Shim (also 30), live in Seoul, South Korea. They have one son, Jae-Kyoung, who recently turned 1. Yunkyung teaches Korean literature in a Seoul high school. Her husband works for the South Korean government.

Yunkyung's Family


Read Ellen's Letters to Yunkyung
Letter 1 - An American Mom
Letter 2 - Summer Vacation
Letter 3 - Ellen's Teaching Job
Letter 4 - Childcare Challenges
Letter 5 - Adoption and Society

Read Yunkyung's Letters to Ellen
Letter 1 - A Modern Mom
Letter 2 - The Teacher's Role
Letter 3 - A Working Mother
Letter 4 - Disabilities and Society
Letter 5 - Family and Autumn

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