Third Culture Kids’ Challenges

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Third Culture Kids experience a variety of challenges, some more than others! Consider a young teenage boy impacted by several cultures. Born in his country of origin, he was placed in an orphanage with significant levels of neglect. After a few years, he was adopted by a family that turned out to be abusive. At the hands of his new parents he suffered through physical and emotional abuse and neglect. His Father God saw fit for a global worker family to adopt him, where he finally saw the Father’s love for His children enacted in real life. He was, and is, deeply loved by his second human family. However, as a child of global workers, he now lived in yet another country; a third culture of exposure. The sights, sounds and smells were all different and somewhat interesting until…. He witnessed sexual abuse and exploitation going on among his age-group peers, which caused the re-activation of his own abuse at the hands of his first family. This exposure threw him into a depression which spiraled toward thoughts of suicide.

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Because of his worsening depression, adjustment difficulties in yet another culture, an insecure identity as an adopted “third culture kid,” combined with memories of previous abuse and other family needs, the family knew a change had to occur. They relocated back to the US, and sought the help of GRC. After family and individual counseling, along with medication intervention, the young man went from being suicidally depressed toward stabilized behavior. He is now enjoying sports, receiving the love of his parents, finding his voice and a new identity as a beloved son of God. He has transitioned to a local therapist in his area and, at last report, GRC was relieved to hear he was in the process of navigating the normal issues of adolescence.

Jim