The beginning of Adoptee Voices—photos and messages submitted for the Omma Poom Park dedication ceremony.
About the Project
In September 2018, the Omma Poom Park was dedicated outside the city of Paju, Korea. The park is the first of its kind in the country — a memorial and public space that acknowledges adoptees and their birth families, and a common meeting place for adoptees and their families to visit, reflect, and share their experiences.
As part of the dedication, adoptees from all over the world were invited to submit photos and letters with personal messages to be displayed at the dedication ceremony. Me & Korea received an overwhelming number of submissions, with 650 total photos and 60 letters contributed. More than ever, adoptees wanted to share, connect, and have their voices heard.
Following the dedication, many adoptees contacted Me & Korea to ask if their photo or letter could be permanently displayed and shared, whether at Omma Poom or online. With this, our Adoptee Voices project was born.
Explore Adoptee Voices
Adoptee Voices includes two ways to read and learn about adoptee experiences—our photo gallery, and our letter gallery. With each submission, many adoptees hope to share their story, or write a message to a birth parent they may never meet. Others wish to share details about their adoption in the hope of connecting with birth family members. We encourage you to explore the letters and forthcoming photos to learn more about our community’s unique experiences.
Submit your photo or letter
We invite all adoptees to submit a photo and/or letter to the Adoptee Voices page. Use the button to the right to navigate to our submission forms. Please note: all submissions are uploaded by our volunteer team, so you may not see your submission on our site immediately.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: The views expressed in the letters are the authors’ own, arising from each author’s unique voice, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Me & Korea or its directors, officers, agents, or volunteers. Similarly, the information contained in the letters is provided on an “as is” basis, reflecting (as is the project’s namesake) the Adoptee Voices expressed therein.
More About Omma Poom
The city of Paju, Korea, is located just south of Panmunjeom at the 38th parallel and Demilitarized Zone. Beginning in 2017, Paju began developing a memorial park named Omma Poom, dedicated to the approximately 200,000 children who were sent from Korea to be adopted and raised around the world. In September of 2018, the park was formally dedicated at a ceremony attended by local government officials, adoptees from all over the world, birth families, and supporters of the adoptee community.
In Korean, omma means mother and poom symbolizes the love and comfort of being in a mother's arms. The park provides a place for adoptees to return when visiting Korea, and Paju hopes that the park can connect adoptees to each other and to the country of their birth.
The memorial comprises a 2300 square meter park located within the boundaries of a former U.S. military base, Camp Howze, and the grounds include sculpture artwork, a gathering place, and a seating area to relax and reflect.