Written by Stephanie Lowery
Friday, 21 March 2014 00:00
...and what it’s really like to be one.
In 1983, my parents and I moved to East Africa. I was not yet 2 years old, so all my early memories are of Kenya or airplanes. My passport country is the U.S., and at first glance, I look like I ‘belong’ when in the U.S. among other light-skinned people – but I always thought of Kenya as home.
This is part of what it means to be a missionary kid (MK)/third culture kid (TCK). You don’t quite belong in the culture that your parents are from (your passport country), nor do you fully belong in the culture in which you spent your formative years. You create another culture, a third, in-between culture. This can apply to missionary kids, military kids, and others whose families live cross-culturally in their formative years.
Some TCKs are ambivalent about or frustrated by their experiences. I’m not one of those. There has not been one single time that I wished my parents had not gone to Kenya. I wouldn’t trade those years of my life for anything; they were wonderful and rich and beautiful.