We are a family of five – Mom, Dad, and three girls. Our family moved from sunny Florida in the U.S to snowy Ontario in Canada in 2012. And on February 21, 2019, we became citizens. Since moving here, we’ve been asked about our identity a lot since we are also of Korean background. Which led Lauren to write the note below to our friends and family:
“I am an AKorDian!” exclaimed Zoe as we were discussing what we wanted to call ourselves if someone asked us, which happens pretty often. We tossed around Korean-American-Canadian and the consensus was that it’s too long. Our 10 year old (at the time) suggested KorAmeriDian, but it was too hard to pronounce, especially for us non-native English speakers. The 8 year old shouted out, “What about AKorDian?!?!” we liked it instantly. So, we agreed that AKorDian it would be. The more I think about it, the more I like that label. It’s such a mesh of all three words that it’s not readily recognizable as a combination of them. In the same way, our family is blending the three cultures together, learning to be flexible (like an accordion) as we navigate everyday situations where one or two of those cultures dominate.
I was in my late 30s when I realized that I am a third culture “kid”. In the immigrant circles, we talk about being first generation, second generation, or 1.5 generation. As I first read about TCKs in the context of missionary kids, tears streamed down my cheeks because I realized that the challenges, feelings, and experiences I had (as a child and as an adult) weren’t unique to me or just to Korean-Americans. I had more in common with the kids of missionaries than I had ever imagined and we were raising up the next generation of Global Nomads in our own home.
You too may be a TCK! If you immigrated to Canada or the US from Korea or elsewhere in your developmental years, you are a Third Culture Kid. If you grew up as a child of military parents, diplomats, missionaries, or businesspeople who moved from one country to another, you are a TCK or Global Nomad. “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.” (American sociologist, David Pollock)
We recently met with a Canadian family who returned from Mongolia for a visit. When I explained to our kids that I wanted them to meet the TCK’s, Zoe commented, “They may feel more comfortable seeing Asian children,” as she hopped into the car.
It has always been a struggle for me, being a minority and wanting to fit in. Only recently, I’ve started to see the beauty of God’s plans for my life and the privilege of being a TCK. Would you continue to pray for our family as we seek to seize the opportunities God presents to bless those around us? Would you pray for the many Third Culture Kids that will be “home” for the summer as they try to fit in and spend countless days travelling, meeting strangers, and answering questions about who they are?
Recently, we began a trip across the U.S. and Canada to get to know our adopted homeland better. Many friends and family encouraged us to blog about our experience. So, we created this site. We hope you enjoy it!
4 thoughts on “About”
Ontario isn’t THAT snowy… then again, anything compared to Florida would be
Just so you know, T & H, we’ve never lived in a place where we couldn’t see the grass from December to April. 🙂 Miss you guys!