To Be Deracinated

root, plant, orchidChildren mistakenly think: “I wish I were already a grown-up so I could be done with school and learning!” Once they grow up, especially if they are wise, they learn that learning never ends. Today, thanks to a Freshly Pressed post on WordPress, I learned a new vocabulary word–deracinate. See: Wordbowl–Deracinate. 


Just seeing the word in the title of the post caused me to Google the definition. Much to my delight, it is a word in which I quickly related to the meaning. According to it means: to pull out by the roots; uproot. To displace from one’s native or accustomed environment.

Military Brats

I know a little about being deracinated. My dad was in the Air Force and we traveled and moved around a great deal. I remember being in three different states for my second grade school year. That was the most difficult year. I spent my childhood in three different states and two different countries.

Third Culture Kids

My three sons, third-culture kids (TCKs) from ages 4, 6, and 8, were deracinated by my husband and me when we left the U.S. in 1998 to travel and work abroad in four different countries. They were further deracinated when they left our home to return to the U.S. for college and figure out their own lives in a foreign land–their passport country.


Our daughter, whom we adopted six years ago as a six-year-old, also knows what it feels like to be deracinated. After multiple uprootings from birth home to hospitals to orphanages to foster care, we further deracinated her by adopting her into our family, a new culture, a new nationality.

Love is Like a Garden

But I also learned something else new today. Some things are less like mathematics and more like gardening. In the post How Does Your Garden Grow  blogger Melissa Scott talks about how love is like plants that are divided and then multiplied to fill a garden.


Even when we are deracinated, pulled up by the roots, we can not only survive…we can thrive! My mom loves gardening and working with plants. From my childhood days until now, she always has some leaf or cutting from a plant sticking out of a vase of water in her kitchen window. Little roots begin to sprout on the cutting, and once a good root system has begun, she can plant it in a pot of soil or in her garden. A new plant grows from a little leaf and stem.

Developing New Roots

My prayer today is that each of my four children give themselves grace while they are developing new roots. And that they realize that before they know it they will be a large plant, thriving and blooming in a new garden.


See also:

Cultural Flip-Flop (TCKs and adoptees)

4 Tips to Prepare Emotionally to Parent an Adopted Child

Third Culture Kids  (and another new vocabulary word I learned — saudade)

People All Over the World

Family, Mommy, Faith, Education, Inspiration

7 thoughts on “To Be Deracinated

  1. Love the post and thank you for the new word! It’s great your kids are also TCKs like you. I wonder how they’re getting along in their passport country now. From experience, I can say, repatriation is very difficult for a TCK.

    • They have each handled it (are handling it) differently…but seem to be adjusting. I’m sure they will always feel like nomads…but it is encouraging to know that no matter where in the world we are (even when we are in our passport countries) we are not home yet. One day we will be home…and we are thankful for the One who has gone before us to prepare a place for us!

  2. Pingback: Putting Down Roots | Delana's World

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