We hear a lot of people ask us about having 4 young kids living overseas. We also hear many people say they think it best to wait a little bit until their kids get older to move overseas. It doesn’t make sense to them to move when the kids are small. Aside from our own experience, we know a lot of families who live overseas. Without exception, we have found that logic (“Wait until the kids are older”) to be completely opposite. In fact, we again and again see the following pattern: the older the kids, the more difficult the transition.
All transitions are challenging, for sure. However, when kids are young, they are more flexible and adapt quickly, learning language and culture easily and naturally. The new country become home. That is what is “normal”. It’s older kids who have already planted a lot of roots in American culture, who have more challenges adjusting to new language and loss of friends. Of course, people do it all the time. If we’re honest, we parents tend to put onto our kids our own pains and fears. WE don’t want to miss what we’re used to. WE will miss coaching the baseball team or going to the same activities we did growing up. Our kids won’t miss them…they’ll have a whole new series of wonderful experiences which they will treasure. They won’t miss our experiences.
OUR point is this: Families, don’t hesitate to move overseas!
The truth is, according to standard thinking, there is never a logical time to move overseas. There’s always some reason to stay…money, career, job, friends, family… There is much joy waiting those who leave these precious things to experience the intentional, fruitful, diverse experience of overseas life. What a gift to kids and adult a like. If you are considering moving overseas as a family, begin the process today. Don’t wait! We love you and hope to see you soon.