Thankful for a Life of Paradoxes

Posted on July 17, 2020 by VMMissions Staff

Heidi Schoenhals lives in Thailand with her parents Mark and Sarah Schoenhals and her younger sister Hannah. They are jointly appointed by VMMissions and EMM.

Heidi Schoenhals with her friend Sai

Heidi Schoenhals with her friend Sai. Courtesy of Mark and Sarah Schoenhals

My family moved to Thailand when I was seven months old, and I am now 11. I like being a TCK because I get to see and do things a lot of people don’t get to. For example, I have learned to do Thai dancing and to cook Thai food. I have made friends who live in many countries.

But sometimes I don’t like being a TCK because I don’t really fit in anywhere. When I went to local school the teachers thought I was a genius because I was white, and the students bullied and ignored me because I was foreign. The only time I really feel like I fit in is when I’m with other TCKs who understand me, no matter what country we’re in.

When my family and I visit the United States, people often ask questions like, “Do you like living in Thailand?” or “Which do you like living in more, Thailand or the USA?” For TCKs, questions like these are very hard to answer. I like living in both Thailand and the USA. There is good and bad about both.

In my imaginary, ideal life, I would live in Thailand, speak Thai, have local Thai friends, and be part of my Thai church. At the same time, I would go to American school (with Thai as the extra language), have American add-ons like doing gymnastics and going to the library, and I would see my extended family regularly. And, of course, have peace in the world, racial equality, no sickness, and no pollution.

The life of a Third Culture Kid (TCK) is full of paradoxes. Being a TCK can be challenging at times. But sometimes it can also be very fun. I am thankful God gave me the life that I have.

Filed in: All posts, Transforming

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