TCKs You Should Know – TJ

TJ TJ, How old are you? I am 12 years old.

Do you have any siblings? One sister—she is 10 years old.

Where do you live? Kandern, Germany—southwest Germany, near Basel, Switzerland.

Have you lived anywhere else?

Yes, Ukraine and Russia.

Why did you move from those places?

We moved from Russia because visas were hard to get and education was hard to get, too.

What schooling options have you used?

I went to Ukrainian and Russian preschool.  I was home schooled in 1st grade. In 2nd grade we moved to the States for a while and I did 2nd grade there.  I skipped 3rd grade.  I went to a small MK school in Russia for 4th grade. It shut down pretty soon after I started going there. Then I home schooled again for the last half of the school year.  For 5th grade I’m in Kandern, Germany at BFA.

What do your parents do that make you live in Ukraine, Russia, and Germany?

Well, my Mom is a teacher and my Dad is still involved in his ministry in Russia.  His ministry in Russia was working with churches.

When did you move to Germany? About 7 months ago. (August 2009)

How did you feel when your parents told you they were moving your family out of Russia to Germany?

I felt pretty sad because I was going to lose all my friends.  I was also happy because we had visited here.  So, I was excited but I was also sad.

What do you think about living here now?

I like it a lot, but I still miss my friends back in Russia.  In some ways I wish that I could be here. In some ways I wish that I could be back there.

What do you miss about Russia besides your friends? It’s a pretty fun place. It’s kind of different from the States and Ukraine.  It was fun to learn the language.  It was the place wherre I grew up most of my life so far.  So, yeah . . . I miss it.

What do you like about Kandern so far? Well, I’ve made some friends.  It’s a pretty small town that’s surprisingly really safe compared to where I was living before.  It seems really different in some ways and really kine of the same, too.

What feels different?  As I said before it’s pretty safe compared to where I lived before, and it’s a completely different language.  The town itself is completely different.  It felt strange when I first came.  It feels out of place and different to be away from Russia.

What feels the same? I have lots of good friends.  The house feels pretty much the same. Just, I don’t know . . . so much of it feels the same and different at the same time.

The hardest part of moving and saying good-bye to my friends . . . was the last night in Russia.  For the last two weeks we’d been living with friends in their house.  The last night I was with my two friends up in their room and I was so sad.  When we went to the airport I was so sad and crying so hard.  I kept thinking in my mind that I’d never see them again.  I’m still not sure if I’ll see them again.

Do you think you have any advantages in life because you’re a TCK?

Well, some.  Like I’m used to be teased and used to living in a different spot where everything is different.  I’m used to pretty much everything that any other normal person wouldn’t be used to.  So, I don’t lose my temper when I’m being picked on.  I’m used to learning a new language. It probably wouldn’t be that hard for me to learn a new one.  I’m used to change.

Do you think you miss out on anything because you’re a TCK?

I dont’ really think so because almost everybody I know is a TCK.  I’ve started fitting in, so I don’t think I’ll miss out on anything.

What advice do you have for those becoming TCKs?

It’s perfectly normal to feel sad and confused.  When you feel like you’re not going to be able to learn the language, or when you get overwhelmed because you think you won’t have any friends, it’s perfectly normal.  I, myself, thought I wouldn’t have any friends and I hated going to Ukrainian preschool, but then I got used to it, made friends, and wasn’t confused.  The language was easier to learn and I got on fine.  If you miss your friends, that’s normal.  Talk to your parents if you feel confused or overwhelmed because they can help you.

What advice do you have for parents who are thinking about moving their family overseas?

If you really feel that God wants to have your family wherever you feel you’re supposed to move to, you have to trust God that He will help you, provide for you, and get you there.  Do it wholeheartedly.  Trust that He has the best plan for you.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a scientist.

photo courtesy of Sheryl and TJ

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