Sunday, July 25, 2010

What more can I say?


Today was a wonderful day with friends and family. Our mothers decided to throw us a BBQ/Baby shower for everyone to get to see us again and meet the baby before we head off again for two years. It was great to see so many people and feel so loved, even by so many we'd never even met.

However, in less than one week we head off from Oregon and it also suddenly hit me that for many of these people it is the last time we will see them for a long time. This didn't used to bother me much, but suddenly, two years, or even six months, is so much longer when I look at all the changes that will happen in my daughter's life during that time. It breaks my heart to realize everything our parents will miss. Just thinking about it makes me cry, and let's not even talk about saying good-bye to my sister last week in Texas.

I read in a book one time that everything that we experience on earth is to help us understand the Father more clearly. For instance, anger isn't sin when aimed at the right target, and we can better understand how God feels when people go against his will. Tonight I thought about the great depth of sadness he must feel to be separated from his children. He has asked us to take a path far away from our families and it hurts. At times it hurts more than I think I can bear. But how much more he must feel this sadness when separated for eternity from the ones He loves so dearly.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Where is home? This is something that every TCK (Third Culture Kid) family has trouble figuring this out, and now that we have a child of our own I'm struggling with this more. Granted, I realize our little one has awhile before she realizes the oddity of our lives but I know that it will start earlier than I think.

We're currently in Molalla, Oregon. Nathan and I both grew up in this small town and much of our family still lives in or around our childhood homes. It is wonderful to see our parents, many of our sibblings (all but my little brother currently stationed in Hawaii), the pastor who married us, and many good friends from our past.

Next week we head to Texas, where my sister lives and the house we own is located. We are looking forward to seeing our main support from before we moved to China. We will also make a quick stop in Dallas and hopefully Houston to see college friends. It will be weird to be back in the place we had settled, see our house, our cat, maybe even our dog.

And yet currently I am missing my home in China too. I miss our dear friends the Carmans and many others, the restaurants I'm used to eating at, the apartment we've recently made our home, even the school and all of our students. I miss the Qingdao beach and buying things on the street.

So where is our home? What does "home" mean? How do I teach my daughter and give her a place she can call home? How do I support her and give her security when our lives are so transient?

I remember talking with some of our Chinese friends. They both moved to the United States before their children were born (maybe even before they met), had children, raised them in the American schools, and then felt called to move back to China. They told their daughters they were moving "home". One of the daughters looked their parents in the eye and said, "Mom, China is not our (the daughters) home. We grew up here. We support your decision, but just remember we are not moving BACK to China, we are just moving TO." I realized listening to their story that it will be important to listen to my children and occasionally try and look through their eyes. Just as I can't define what my "home" is at this point of time, it will be important that I understand their struggle as well.