I'm going to make this relatively short, but I'd like input please.
I'm not actually a TCK. After research and an ongoing email conversation with Ruth van Reken, I found out I'm a CCK, or "cross-culture kid". It's similar but to a different degree. I was raised in my early years in America, by European immigrants. English at school but not in the home, for instance. And my biological family was, for the most part, very untrusting and even disdainful of America in general. I didn't think it affected me much except that life happens in unexpected ways and I wound up leaving that family at nine and being adopted at 14. My adoptive family was American but...please bear with me, I know it sounds odd...even though I was raised in America I wasn't raised *in America*. I've got close to zero understanding of pop culture from the years I was a child because we didn't watch much American TV and I didn't listen to American music, which makes people who don't know me well think I'm an idiot. (Silly things, like a Jolly Rancher...I didn't have one until I was an adult.) I have alot of manerisms that I took from my "birth culture", like a refusal to touch food with my hands unless that's culturally necessary. (For instance, I eat pizza and apples with utensils, but Ethiopian food with my hands. Make sense?)
When I was adopted, I shut away all aspects of my birth heritage. My name changed, I stopped speaking the languages I grew up with, I shunned Euro-culture as I embraced American culture and yet still I'm the outsider.
I finally told my parents how I feel a few years ago and was surprised that they were supportive. I went to Europe for a few weeks after that and it was incredibly cathartic even though I was unable to meet with family while there. I felt "home"...not in the countries I stayed in, but I saw behaviours and attitudes that were like mine that I just didn't see at home. It was validating.
I'm keeping this short because I've tried joining TCK groups before, even though I'm not technically a TCK; really, Ruth van Reken hasn't finished writing her book on CCKs yet and so the term isn't "out there"...but about 1/2 the time, I'm rejected for not fitting the guidelines. I know I don't fully understand the life of a TCK but I feel I don't fit in anywhere else. I'm not American enough or European enough, and it's like I'm stuck in a no-man's-land.
Any feedback is welcome: advice, support, questions, criticism (so long as it's constructive)...it all helps in the end. :)