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Challenge: What Makes a Family?

Growing up as a Third Culture Kid

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Growing up I felt alone; like there wasn't anyone like me. As a military brat born to an African-American father and Mexican-American mother on the U.S territory of Puerto Rico, my sister and I were called "Third Culture Kids" since we were being raised in a culture other than my parents. Military kids typically fall into this classification as they are transferred in and out of different places. My family and I were then transferred to the Hawaiian Island of O'ahu where my brother was born.

Outside of my siblings, it was difficult finding commonalities with other kids especially when we moved, yet again. This time to California. Specifically, Los Angeles. The Valley, just outside of LA. The home of the "Valley Girl." As mixed kids, with curly brown hair and brown eyes, we weren't the typical feathered blonde hair, blue-eyed kids inherit to this area.

As I got older and came into my own multiracial identity, I began to embrace who I was. I called myself a wonderful mash-up of my parents and the beautiful geographic locales I was able to live and learn from.

Today, I am married to a Korean-American and together we have 4 children we call our mini-global citizens. They not only have each other to lean on, but now they are part of one of the fastest-growing multiracial communities.

For us, family means an amalgamation of cultures. We get to learn about one another's rich heritage and embrace our diversity.


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