In a few weeks’ time, we will be heading to the US for our much-anticipated annual home leave. Once a year, our organization covers the cost of flights to our “home on record.” Though our last physical address was in Oregon, our permanent address is my mom’s house, in a suburb near Seattle.
It’s the place where I grew up and where I usually say I’m from, even though I haven’t lived there in nearly two decades.
For our kids, home is here, in Dili. This is where their stuff is, where their beds are, and where their friends live. Although they don’t really remember our life before we moved to East Timor, they do know that they aren’t from here and will occasionally ask “Mommy, where am I from?”
I usually tell them that they are lucky enough to be from two places: England and America, just like one of their friends is from Sweden and Vietnam, and another friend is from Italy and Germany. Still, it’s a pretty abstract concept to a three-year old mind. (more…)