Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dear Isaiah: A Letter to My Three Year Old

Dear Isaiah,

We've travelled a lot over the last year. More than 14,000 miles until we arrived at our new home here in Papua. I've felt the travel, but didn't understand it's affect until one day when I told you we were going grocery shopping and you asked, "Will it take a big air plane or a little air plane to get there?"

It's happening so quickly. The way you see the world and understand 'normal' is changing.

'Best Buds'
Three years from now, when we return to the US and UK for our furlough your normal will include rice and noodles eaten with your hand or a spoon, rather than spaghetti and meatloaf with a fork and knife. Instead of apples and grapes, your favourite snack time fruits will be papaya, pineapple, and any of the other tropical fruits growing abundantly on our island. You'll be used to only speaking English at home and having best friends that all look very different from you. You won't know that mail can be delivered directly to your home or that Walmart stocks 50 different types of cereals.

I don't know how you'll feel about all of this when you are older, but I think about it all the time. Will you consider your life richer for having grown up overseas or will you resent it? Like every other parent since time began, I wonder - Am I doing the right thing?

You are growing up with the title of "Third Culture Kid". You are one of thousands of children living in that "third place" in between cultures. As your Dad and I try to balance teaching you about the US and the UK while embracing the culture we are now living in, one thing is so clear - You are a remarkable boy and we are with you all the way. We so blessed to be your parents.

All my love,


More thoughts and love for and from Third Culture Kids over at Velvet Ashes this week.


  1. What a treasure this letter will be to your son! I've often echo the same age old question from my corner of the globe. Am I doing the right thing? I love how you ended it with "We are with you all the way." To truly be WITH our kids, I think (and hope!) makes all the difference in their little third-culture worlds. So glad you linked up at Velvet Ashes!

    1. Thank you Danielle! It was great to find Velvet Ashes. I'm looking forward to joining in the discussions. Have shared on Facebook with a few other missionary friends. It's a great site!

  2. That was amazing. It will be a treasure to hear his response to this letter many years from now when he is better able to tell you how he views this life he will have lived. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  3. Thanks for your kind words!