Relocating to a foreign country due to a parent's overseas deployment is an extraordinary experience that not many families and children have the opportunity to share. It offers kids the chance to immerse themselves in a new culture, language, and customs, explore different culinary delights, embrace diverse music genres, support local sports teams, engage in novel activities, and so much more.
Yet, this adventure can also be daunting and overwhelming for children. It may take some time for them to forge new friendships and establish a sense of belonging in their unfamiliar surroundings. This is why it's crucial to maintain connections with old friends and family back in the United States.
Particularly during the holidays, military children may feel a sense of nostalgia for the large family gatherings, traditional dishes, holiday rituals, and the warmth of home and togetherness that they left behind.
As Helen Keller famously said, "True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart."
To express the love and care of friends and family back home, consider a heartwarming gesture – the "My Friends and I" book, filled out and signed by loved ones in the United States.
In this creative book, questions like "What is your favorite food? What do you like to do in your free time? What songs do you like to listen to? What books do you like to read? What do you want to be when you grow up?" are posed. These questions are complemented by dedicated spaces for inserting personal photographs.
The book is then passed along to friends and family, who share their responses and signatures. Once every meaningful person has contributed, the "My Friends and I" book is sent to military family and friends stationed overseas. It's worth noting that mailing to APO or FPO addresses abroad is treated as domestic shipping.
Imagine the joy on a young friend's face when they unwrap their special present and discover the heartfelt messages from Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors, and all the cherished individuals in their life, celebrating the holidays as if they were right there.
After the holiday season, the child can pass on the book to their new friends, classmates, teachers, coaches, and fellow members of their newly adopted community. These new friendships and the memories created during their journey will continue to accompany them, whether they return to the United States or embark on a new adventure in another country.
If you're stationed overseas with your family and wish to surprise your little one with this thoughtful book, simply order a copy and have it sent to a friend or family member in the United States. They can help gather signatures and messages from loved ones, ensuring that your child feels the warmth of home, even from a distance.