For years I’ve been searching for my sister’s birth mother. We were both adopted, but from different parents. However, the name of her mother, a famous artist from Norway, has eluded me. I scanned websites of Norwegian artists, I even went there with a photo and asked around.She can’t search herself, because she died in her teens, in a car crash. But I recall seeing a photo of her birth mom decades ago, and being stunned at the resemblance.
So I thought I’d sign onto a Norwegian genealogical site because family history buffs are sleuths already, and maybe they could help. No sooner had I done this, than a gigantic debate ensued about her brown hair and eye color.
Some claimed true Norwegians have blue eyes and blond hair. Others slammed them for leaning on this old stereotype. “Have you even visited the country?” asked one stunned member.
One guy posted a close-up photo of his brown eye, with the caption, “Born and raised in Norway.”Then another launched into a discussion of genetics and dominant vs. recessive genes. Still another posted one of Mendel’s charts about DNA and inherited features.
Meanwhile, I am all but waving my arms and saying, “Hey! Over here! We were talking about an artist!”
And then people began inquiring about musical artists and posting old news clippings of famous singers who toured the U.S. at that time. Then I had to explain, multiple times, that we’re talking about a painter, not a recording artist.
I wanted to post, “Good Gravy!” but then I could only imagine the dozens of recipes they would post, quarreling about which ones were authentically Norwegian.
Still, I do love the country and its people. I just don’t think this mystery will get solved anytime soon. But while you wait, you can curl up with my books!