Sunday, June 05, 2011

The TCK* and her Englishman

Last Tuesday was a special day. Our oldest daughter, Noelle, became engaged to a delightful young man from England, Andy B. We are very grateful to God for leading these two together.

They met a year ago in Newport Beach, California where Andy had just arrived to do an internship at a church. This was the same church where my sister was ordained, and it was at the ordination that they first saw one another. He was in California for six weeks, and then returned home to his final year of theological studies at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Noelle traveled to England from California, in September and December of 2010, then moved back to Japan this March (two days before the earthquake). Andy was supposed to come to Japan in March, but because of the earthquake and aftermath needed to reschedule to this past week.

Noelle has been teaching English at a couple of private schools, but is also registered with a couple of talent agencies here. A couple of months ago she auditioned for a Meiji period (1870's) made-for-TV-docu-drama, but then heard nothing so assumed the answer was "no." The week before Andy's arrival she found out that she had been cast for the role, and the shooting days were in the middle of his visit. Production was incredibly accommodating and arranged for Andy to accompany her to the shoot and to help out with background acting while he was there. Noelle's character was an American girl breaking out of the "Foreigners' Settlement" in 1870's Yokohama, making friends with a young Japanese man and being introduced to the Japanese culture.

Toward the end of the first day the formal photographer took a series of photos of the newly engaged couple, and gave the photos to Noelle on the second day.

Our favorite photo of this couple, so far!

Being protected by crew before the official photo shoot began...

These photos seem to be a metaphor for this couple.

Noelle is a TCK*, and has come to realize how much Japan is a part of her in the months she has been back. While she has been perceived as being "the American" by those who meet her, elsewhere, she is entirely a third culture kid inside. Getting married and moving to England next year will bring up some additional cross cultural challenges. Andy's visit to Japan was very encouraging and meaningful to them both. They would appreciate your prayers as they prepare for their life together.

*“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.”

David C. Pollock in Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, David C. Pollock, Ruth E. Van Reken, Revised Edition (Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2009)


Wendy said...

Just lovely! Congratulations.

Pat Smith said...

Thank you, Faith, for introducing us to Mr. Bowden and for allowing us the opportunity to glimpse some of the cultural background he and Noelle bring to each other and the world as they take these steps toward their marriage. What a delight to see them in period dress of another time when cultures were also intersecting in dynamic ways. Cherishing each moment for them from afar, Pat.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Noelle and to the parents of the bride-to-be.


Cliff Mathewson said...

Congratulations,I hope they'll be very happy!!