In our company, you learn to use acronymns and LOTS of them. One of the many acronyms we have been introduced to is TCK which stands for Third Culture Kid. If you’re like us, at first glance this phrase may sound a little weird, but to break it down here’s the basic idea: a “third culture kid” is a kid who doesn’t really fit in with the culture he lives in (because he is not from there) but he also doesn’t really fit in anymore with the culture he came from (because of his whole new lifestyle and experiences), thus they are “third culture kids” because their life is like being in a whole new culture of their own.
As you can imagine, bringing seven kids to the field has meant we have seen and used the phrase TCK more than we care to count. With seven TCKs to help transition, we have spent quite a lot of time thinking, praying, and planning for their new lives here. So here’s a bit of an update on how that is going (for the billions who have asked :):
Jake has struggled to fit in. As many of you know he’s just a different kid, even when in the states, so fitting in has never been easy. But he has been doing better and is doing awesome academically. He is literally setting the curve in his classes and his teacher is sending students to him to get the answers. He is growing like a weed, in about 6 inches he’ll be as tall as me. He was not picked for the first traveling rugby match, which was really hard for him because he worked so hard and did all the conditioning. After I (Kyndra) egged the coaches house and hacked his email (only joking), we encouraged Jake to stay on the team and continue working hard and earn his spot. He came home super excited today saying the coach told him to plan to play in the next game. We are proud of him for sticking it out. He’s been having fun riding his bike around seminary. Even though the tires pop about every 2 days from rocks and thorns. Nick should open a bike repair shop as he’s becoming quite the handy man.
Jimmy has his day/moments of struggle, but overall is doing great. He made the rugby team and is having fun learning the game. He’s earned the merit badge at school twice and the headmaster wanted to move him up to the accelerated classes, but we declined that move for this year. We don’t want to put too much on him too quickly knowing we are still in transition. We are really proud of how well he’s adjusting.
Libby is an answered prayer. Of all the kids, I was most worried about her and she is probably the one who is doing the best. She is miss congeniality. She has a new best friend every day (we might need to talk about loyalty) and can literally imitate her African friends as if she were one of them. She is just rolling with the punches and always ready and happy to go to school.,
Phia is doing great and has jumped right in. She is more sensitive than the others, so she has come home with “hurt feelings” a few times. Accordingly, I’ve taught her how to punch people in the throat and watch them gasp for air :). She’s an exceptional reader, reading far better than any of the others were at her age. It’s hilarious to listen to her read because she adds the teacher’s African accent to her words without even realizing she is doing it. She has really surprised us with her strength and resilience.
Kate has probably struggled the most. She has cried several nights wanting to “go back to Kentucky” and when we pray that’s usually one of her requests. We were talking about heaven the other night and she asked if it would be like Kentucky. Then she asked if Africans would be there because she didn’t want them to be (not sure how she missed that being the whole reason we are here???). We ended up taking her out of pre-school and she is now staying home with the little kids. She has been so much better since doing that. I think school was just just one too many changes for her all at once.
Juliet and Johnny are little rockstars. They are as happy as ever and making us smile no matter what the day looked like or what mood we are in. I’m coming home from language learning Shona words from them because our helper speaks Shona to them. It might be the sweetest thing in the world to hear Johnny say “tatenda” instead of “thank you”. The other day, Juliet asked for a kleenex bc she had “madziwa”. They are my favorites (did I say that out loud?).
Thank you so much for praying for our kids. I know we have made this a regular prayer request, but that’s only because its been one of the largest things to consider in our mission. TCKs are awesome. If you know one, you should get to know them better as they are amazing people. With your continued prayer, we are confident that God will mold and shape a small army of well-armed and ready TCKs, all with the last name Moore! Keep up the good work!