Tuesday, April 28, 2015


This space will be quiet for a while since we are moving from the Solomon Islands to America for an undetermined amount of time to have Sarah's heart checked out.  Last time we transitioned to our passport culture, we learned some good tips at our Wycliffe re-entry program.  We're being intentional about implementing some of them this time:
1) Go through transition with people who experiencing similar circumstances.  We are traveling with another SITAG family who has children about the same ages as ours.  This will give us people to engage in conversation who understand exactly what we are thinking and feeling.  Especially important for our Third Culture Kids!  And because several of you have asked...
What are the Characteristics of TCKs?

There are different characteristics that impact the typical Third Culture Kid:
  • TCKs are 4 times as likely as non-TCKs to earn a bachelor's degree (81% vs 21%)
  • 40% earn an advanced degree (as compared to 5% of the non-TCK population.)
  • 45% of TCKs attended 3 universities before earning a degree.
  • 44% earned undergraduate degree after the age of 22.
  • Educators, medicine, professional positions, and self employment are the most common professions for TCKs.
  • TCKs are unlikely to work for big business, government, or follow their parents' career choices. "One won't find many TCKs in large corporations. Nor are there many in government ... they have not followed in parental footsteps".
  • 90% feel "out of sync" with their peers.
  • 90% report feeling as if they understand other cultures/peoples better than the average American.
  • 80% believe they can get along with anybody.
  • Divorce rates among TCKs are lower than the general population, but they marry older (25+).
    • Military brats, however, tend to marry earlier.
  • Linguistically adept (not as true for military ATCKs.)
    • A study whose subjects were all "career military brats"—those who had a parent in the military from birth through high school—shows that brats are linguistically adept.
  • Teenage TCKs are more mature than non-TCKs, but ironically take longer to "grow up" in their 20s.
  • More welcoming of others into their community.
  • Lack a sense of "where home is" but often nationalistic.
  • Depression and suicide are more prominent among TCK's.
  • Some studies show a desire to "settle down" others a "restlessness to move".
2) Position yourself to maximize resources on your return to your passport country.  We are intentionally staying in Dallas for a few days so we can take advantage of Wycliffe's central hub for Bible translation there.  Our supervisors are there, financial advisors are there, fellow colleagues are there - we should be able to have all of our questions answered in one place.  We can also remind ourselves of what it's like to drive on the right hand side of the road and to shop for groceries in America in relative anonymity!
3) Don't forget to have fun as a family in the midst of the chaos of transition.  We will be playing a lot in the next week, making memories together while we still have each of our precious children at home, and easing the heart ache of saying goodbye to so many people and places that we know and love.
We really appreciate the grace that we know will be extended to us while we make the transition back to America for a while.  If we forget to look you in the eyes while chatting, just know that in the Melanesian context, one doesn't make eye contact.  Our clothes may not always match, either.  But when you've lived in a village and learned to recognize your friends by the few clothes they own, a full closet ceases to be important.  We're looking forward to hugging lots of necks and enjoying the good things that God places in our path!


Bartokhound said...

This from you: Don't forget to have fun as a family in the midst of the chaos of transition. We will be playing a lot in the next week.

This from me: Cellos and choirs are in your future. This makes my heart sing!

Praying for you in the transition. God will give the song!



Bartokhound said...

P.S. And your blog post title, "Quiet," reminds me of a book I read a few years ago, entitled: "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking."



Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you are doing transition right - being aware of things going into it is important - but I know switching countries is still hard, especially when they are so very different. I will pray for you and the whole family.
Looking forward to hearing from you again once you get settled, but take as much time off as you need.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving us ideas for how to support you and context for what you're experiencing! Anything we can do you love you better...

So excited--just eight more days until I can hug your neck!


Jolene said...

Most certainly praying for guidance on the care needed for your daughter. Praying, also, for a smooth transition!

Phil and Jan Webber said...

The post on TCKs has provided both of us some valuable food for thought, both as we prayerfully think about you and also about many others living in and between multiple worlds. One more reason to rejoice that God is everywhere, not bound by time, place or culture!
Colossians 3:1-4
Phil and Jan