Natural Born Alien

One day at the supper table, we were talking about identities. Specifically, when you were born and raised in one country but are a citizen of another — how do you answer the question “Where are you from?”

Eleven-year-old Hannah, especially, struggles to think of herself as “from” or “belonging to” anywhere but this Asian country she has lived in all her life. Yet however much we may try to adapt to our host culture, she has been raised much more as an “alien” than a native.

I can’t remember now who said it first, but someone pointed out that she is, in fact, a natural born alien.

And so am I. Born and raised in one country, yet a citizen of Another. Like Hannah, I struggle to live fully here while always remembering that I am on my way Home.

How about you? When do you most feel like a natural born alien?

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4 thoughts on “Natural Born Alien

  1. I’ve never lived outside of my home country, but I’ve lived in three different states. And whenever someone asks me where I’m “from” – I passively correct their question with my reply – “I live in… (wherever I’m currently living).” Where are you ‘from’ is such a loaded and personal question- not everyone can answer it straight forwardly.

    • What a great idea, Elyse! I should prompt my kids with that reply before we head back to the States next time. The “where are you from” question has always been especially hard for TCKs — but as you say, it’s getting harder for many people these days.

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