Transnational Adoption and Third Culture Kids

American sociologist David C. Pollock has described Third Culture Kids (or TCK's) as "a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents' culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK's life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background."

It's a term bandied about repeatedly in expat circles, and our family certainly fits the definition. Even when we were most recently living in America, the country we were all born in, Nathan's best friend was an expat from Burma and Ben's closest buddy was on a two year assignment from Australia. Despite having never lived in either of those two places, my boys felt most comfortable with other kids who shared a common experience with them, rather than the kids who were born and raised in the school's neighborhood. 

I've shared many, many posts from my friend Rory's blog, Chocolate Hair / Vanilla Care, which talks about transracial adoption among other things. But today I want to point you to a different blog, that of Stephanie Rosic, who authors the blog Blended, which talks about the same topic. No, no, before you get ahead of yourself, we are not currently in the process of adopting a child here in China, or anywhere else for that matter! However, our dear friends the Bradens, have adopted two children in the past. Glen recently contributed a post about his experience with not just transnational adoption, but also in raising those kids as Third Culture Kids, outside not only their country of birth, but their passport country as well. 

The Bradens and Chases conquer Disneyland Paris!

My kids have grown up parallel to the Braden kids over the past decade and we most recently saw them in London on our October holiday (more posts still to come!). They are the closest thing to family who are actually not really related (in fact, I have to continually remind myself that Glen is not actually my real life brother, and Kristine is not actually the sister I never had!). I love and respect them immensely and I'm so grateful Glen took the time to share a part of their story! Please click here to go directly to his column on Stephanie's Blended blog. 

Comments

MsCaroline said…
I don't remember ever living in the US until I was 10 and we returned from Taipei - and it took me ages to begin to acclimate - just in time to move to Germany. I can't imagine the challenges that must come for expat kids with the 'extra layer' of transnational adoption, but it sounds like your friends are doing a great job of supporting their daughter through some complex questions.

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