I titled a blog that I wrote about 2 years ago ” Norway + England= Dreams Coming True” so this new blog post is an ode to the excitement I felt when writing that one. There are less than three months until I jet off to Europe with my mom and I have high hopes.
Many years ago, I had imagined that I had a long lost sister somewhere. This was no attempt to fill any voids, of course, because I have a sister. I just think I had watched “The Parent Trap” too many times and was caught up in the excitement of discovering a person very much like myself, but who lived very far away. Only one year ago, this dream was realized–well, sort of. My mother received a letter in the mail in May of 2014 from a teenage girl, Elin, living in Sweden (my mom’s ancestry on both sides of her family is Swedish) who had done research to find us. It turns out, she connected all of the dots that I never did and she introduced herself as our cousin! She worked very hard–contacting cemeteries and everything. How exciting it was to learn of distant relatives in our ancestors’ homeland! They are family by my mother’s father (my grandfather). He was born in the United States, but his parents were the ones who emigrated here from the West side of Sweden. Our family is connected by my grandfather’s mother, Hilma. Hilma had several sisters, but one of them is the sister whose great grandchild wrote us the letter, thus, I am her third cousin, and we have a common great-great grandmother. I am using this graphic to show what I mean.
As you can see, we share less than 1% of the same DNA but it is still so fantastic to know that they are there, we correspond with them, and will soon get to meet them! I think this was the push that made my mother really want to travel internationally and be willing to go through the hassle of it. She has always wanted to go specifically to Sweden due to her heritage, both her brothers had been, and she and her cousin had plans to go there together before he suddenly passed away.
This is obviously nothing like “The Parent Trap” but it still excites me just the same. I feel like meeting this new part of my family will be one of my favorite experiences in my entire life. They seem so nice.
We will be flying into Stockholm on September 17th. We are travelling by train to Göteborg September 20th. Then, we are flying into Paris on September 24th and coming back home on September 28th. Really, we will only have a couple of days to visit our relatives so we hope we can make the best of it!
Thank you, mom, for making all of this possible. How fortunate we have been. We have lost several family members the last few years, and it feels good knowing that we have more relatives–even if they are several time zones away.