Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
My dad, one of the greatest people I know, is also one of the most stubborn and hard headed. After reading the post about the struggles of a family and a dad, i was inspired to share my story too and what/how i dealt to have a new outlook on life, generally different from the ones my friends had.
I was born in India, but even before my birth my dad lived outside of the country. Using the traditional model- my mom and dad got married,in an arranged marriage setting and I came into the world. But as soon i was born i was transported out of the country to see the sights and sounds of another one.
Many years we stayed together as a family, and in the process my brother was born too. but times change, and the only thing that is constant is change itself. We, as a family, moved back to India and continued to stay there for a few years, but this was about to change to.
My dad was never happy with what he did in India. Almost all his working life he had lived outside of India, and getting adjusted back to the conditions was something not everyone can easily do.
In a very few years, he decided to go back, but this time he was in a fix, we( his children) now were school worthy, and he always believed that education in India was way better( and cheaper) than outside of it. Plus we were all school worthy now, so shifting countries and places weren’t that easy anymore.
So my parents took the biggest step any parent can take. My father decided, he would live outside of India, where as we 3 would be in India.
When i was a kid, i was always proud of my dads work, and i was extremely proud to showoff to all my classmates that my dad works in a foreign land, i get to visit him 2 times a year. This carried on for many many years, almost as long as i finished high school.
Back then i was a kid, i dint know the difficulty and severity of the decision that my parents made for us. The sacrifices they made for us. I am now old enough to understand the pain a dad has to go through when he has to say goodbye to his wife and 2 children to live in a foreign land to earn some extra $$.
As a kid, I never understood why my mom used to cry at the airport, when we had to say bye to our dad. I was small i was just happy to go the airport, my brother even younger than me. but now i realize that for my dad, his family meant everything, as you grow older, we understand the feelings that our parents went through, the pain and the distance, and all the credit goes to my dad and my mom( I cant leave my mom out of this conversation)
My parents made sure that we never feel the lack of either of them, even though we lived separate lives in separate countries. My dad worked really hard to keep us financially and emotionally stable, and no amount of thanks would suffice the sacrifices he has made.
My mom always told me to be creative and always had my eyes on music. yes I have a engineering degree and 2 masters degrees and 4 certifications but i am still a child at heart, and music still revolves around me and is deep in me.I release my energy and my frustrations on a dance floor , and this is all thanks to my upbringing. Thank you mom and Dad. you people truly are the greatest gifts a son could have.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.