Grace on Pace

Birth of A Third Culture Kid

Birth of A Third Culture Kid – The Steps

Find Out

We made a human!? It works! Are we having a girl or a boy?  And I’m done…………………

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Tell The Family

Time to share the news that we were pregnant.  For me, the idea of keeping the pregnancy a secret was simply unrealistic.  In fact, keeping the idea that we were trying was even hard.  Luckily, I have a very dry sense of humor, so most people were not sure whether I was serious or not.  We decided to pick Easter, because Jennilou was around 12 weeks and we could use a family gathering to add to the celebration, without taking the sails out of another gathering.  We hid some “special” eggs along with the others and had our nieces and nephews find them.  Telling them we be having a third culture kid came later .

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Set Up Security

Time to start preparing for our baby’s arrival!  From prenatal appointments to tests and baby proofing, baby showers, baby names, and babymoons, we hit our nesting mode.  However, without knowing for sure whether we would be raising a child in our current house or in another country, we didn’t go to crazy with the renovations.

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Dream, Wait, & Wonder

Full term meant the waiting game had begun.  It was a cool time for us, because we really seemed to simplify our lives.  We spent a lot of time together and did not undertake any new projects or big plans.  We took a lot of walks and talked about the possibility of raising a child in a foreign country, what to name her, and what type of person we wanted her to become.  Knowing it could happen at any time was one of the best parts of the experience.

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Carry The Load

The final days.  Being a few days overdue was a bit stressful.  I could see it was getting to be a burden and extremely uncomfortable for Jennilou.  I tried carrying a pumpkin around for awhile, but I decided to carve it after a few hours.

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Smile

What an amazing experience .  One thing we forgot to pack in our hospital bag, was a paper bag.  The last thing I remember was cutting the cord…then I woke up and spent the next half hour smiling into a bag hyperventilating…

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Pick A Name

Should our baby’s race affect our name choice?  Which ethnicity should we choose for the name?  Will the name have a negative connotation in another culture? Picking a name took up a lot of our time.  For us, it came down to wanting a cross cultural name, that reflects our child’s mixed heritage.  We finally settled on Esmei.  In the end it fit because she is Filipino (Spanish), Chinese, Anglo Saxon and born on Halloween, similar to Esme Cullen, the vampire matriarch of the Olympic Coven in the Twilight Saga. However, we chose a different version of the spelling, to reflect her Chinese heritage and the National Flower of the country.  When it came to the middle name, we chose Rooke, a bird that can be found anywhere along the east-west axis from England to China.  Plus, a name from the raven/crow family seemed to fit with her birthday.

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Introduce Them To Their Brothers & Sisters

Our first born child (Dog), was a little jealous at first.  Well he still is, but I am sure they will be best friends soon enough.

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Plan Their Future

Whether she becomes a hunter or hockey player, its way to early to tell, but deciding to join the Foreign Service as a Construction Engineer will mean raising Esmei as a third culture kid.  A third culture kid (TCK, 3CK) is a child who has spent an important portion of their developmental years outside their parents’ nation. Esmei will most likely build relationships to all the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be integrated into her life experience, we hope her sense of belonging is in relationship to people in general, no matter where she may end up.

Birth of A Third Culture Kid
Birth of A Third Culture Kid

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Jeff Grace

I’d like to hope that when I leave this earth, my family and friends believe something about me giving as fully as I could. To the people I love and to the areas of culture that excited me to build things. Then a lot of dancing, loud music and talking about what an idiot I made of myself during that process.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Wow!! Loved reading this. Thanks so much for sharing your journey, decisions, and thoughts along the way. First of all, congratulations!!! Secondly, good luck 😀 All the best to your family (including the dog of course!).

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