loader from loading.io

Art as a Tool for Empowerment for Adoptees and Former Foster Youth with Nicole Rademacher - Ep 116

Unraveling Adoption

Release Date: 10/23/2023

A Disappeared Adoptee Reunites with Revolutionary Roots - with Nelson de Witt - Ep 133 show art A Disappeared Adoptee Reunites with Revolutionary Roots - with Nelson de Witt - Ep 133

Unraveling Adoption

My adoptive father talked about it as my birthright to go back to Central America. I really like that framing. So I think that was part of the reason why they let me go on so many trips and that was such a wonderful experience. - Nelson de Witt Discover the shocking truth about Nelson de Witt's journey to uncover his past after being adopted from Central America. His story is a heart-wrenching tale of forced disappearances, political strife, and the courage to face the truth. Nelson's experiences will leave you in awe and disbelief as he navigates the complexities of adoption and the impact...

Perspectives from a Former Foster Youth and Adoptive Parent with Alicia Murray - Ep 132 show art Perspectives from a Former Foster Youth and Adoptive Parent with Alicia Murray - Ep 132

Unraveling Adoption

Love is an action. It's not always pink and it's not always red. Sometimes it gets black, sometimes it gets blue. But love is an action. - Alicia Murray In this episode, you will be able to: Explore the challenges of foster care and adoption journeys. Discover the profound importance of sibling connections in adoption. Embrace the value of openness in adoption and birth family connections. Find out how to provide essential post-adoption services and support. Uncover the challenges and realities of adopting older children. My special guest is Alicia Murray Our guest, Alicia Murray,...

A Twice-Adopted Person’s Path Toward Wholeness with Julian Washio-Collette - Ep 131 show art A Twice-Adopted Person’s Path Toward Wholeness with Julian Washio-Collette - Ep 131

Unraveling Adoption

"I started meditating a lot, and eventually doing retreats, eventually going to monasteries, spending some time in a Zen Buddhist meditation center. So, yeah, I think that's kind of where I took my pain, my anguish, my existential questions, and I think there's some ambiguity there. I think there's also a kind of escapism, because I didn't know how to connect with the world or address questions that other people my age were addressing. Like livelihood, relationships, family. I just sat on a cushion." - Julian Washio Collette Can you imagine the weight of not belonging and carrying the trauma...

Breaking Free: Reclaiming Identity as an Intercountry Adoptee with Sariah Baker - Ep 130 show art Breaking Free: Reclaiming Identity as an Intercountry Adoptee with Sariah Baker - Ep 130

Unraveling Adoption

“I think for adoptees, my biggest advice for them is to ask if you need something. Whether it be therapy, whether it's understanding your story, whether it's being able to know your identity, ask. And if they don't want to tell you, keep asking.” -- Sariah Baker In this episode, you will be able to: Understand the profound influence of adoption trauma on self-identity and self-worth. Discover the unique struggles and triumphs faced by intercountry adoptees in the LGBTQ+ community. Recognize the pivotal role adoptive parents play in supporting the unique needs and experiences of...

Helping Adoptees Heal from Addiction's Grasp With David Bohl - Ep 129 show art Helping Adoptees Heal from Addiction's Grasp With David Bohl - Ep 129

Unraveling Adoption

"Change can happen incrementally, and oftentimes it's better that it does. We've heard the cliche 'trust the process.' Oftentimes the process is the most important thing." - David Bohl Join relinquishee/adoptee recovery coach David Bohl as he confronts the paradox of finding trust and healing in the intersection of adoption and addiction. He guides individuals towards healthy coping mechanisms and support in the face of deep-rooted trauma. In this episode, you will be able to: Understand the possible impacts of adoption trauma on mental health and addiction. Embrace TRUST as a key...

Podcasting to Elevate Adoptee Voices with Sarah Reinhardt and Louise Browne - Ep 128 show art Podcasting to Elevate Adoptee Voices with Sarah Reinhardt and Louise Browne - Ep 128

Unraveling Adoption

"Adoptive parents, go do your own work. It's kind of a natural birthright to know who you are." - Louise Browne Adoptive parents and allies: Do you want to better understand and support your adoptive child's experiences? Our guests, adoptees Sarah Reinhardt and Louise Browne, will be sharing valuable insights and guidance on how to gain a deeper understanding and provide the support that adoptees need to thrive. By listening to their stories - and other adoptees' stories they share on their Adoption: The Making of Me podcast episodes - you can gain a deeper understanding and provide the...

Joe's Healing Journey, Continued - Ep 127 show art Joe's Healing Journey, Continued - Ep 127

Unraveling Adoption

"Today really is the solidified decision is that I'm going to quit marijuana for...not forever, but for one day at a time. That's how people should look at it. You don't have to, but that's how I'm looking at it, to keep myself afloat." -- Joe Nakao Unraveling Adoption's co-creator Joe Nakao catches us up on his journey to achieve personal growth and to heal his cannabis addiction, seeking support and understanding along the way. In this episode, you will be able to: Understand the derailing effect of cannabis addiction Unravel the impact of genetic factors on adoptive individuals'...

Is It Even Possible to Do Transracial Adoption Well? with Katie Wynen - Ep 126 show art Is It Even Possible to Do Transracial Adoption Well? with Katie Wynen - Ep 126

Unraveling Adoption

“If you, as the white adoptive parent, are comfortable, you're not doing it right. Because your kid is uncomfortable.” - Katie Wynen Are you touched by transracial adoption? Or do you know any adoptees who were adopted transracially? How do you personally frame transracial adoption? Some common rationalizations include the belief that love is enough, that colorblindness is the solution, and that children will assimilate easily into their new culture. But this episode will challenge those cultural norms which are based on white privilege. Stay tuned as our guest, transracial adoptee and...

A Natural Father Fighting the Adoption Machine with Paul Fiscus - Ep 125 show art A Natural Father Fighting the Adoption Machine with Paul Fiscus - Ep 125

Unraveling Adoption

"Adoption is about finding homes for babies, not about finding babies for families." -- Paul Fiscus Do you want to see an increase in awareness and advocacy for natural fathers? Join me in listening to Paul Fiscus' plea for greater support and recognition for natural fathers. He hasn't seen his 5-year-old daughter Eliza since she was an infant. Through our discussion, you will learn actionable steps to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of natural fathers. Together, we can make a difference and bring about positive change for fathers fighting for their right to parent. In this...

Supporting Adopted Youth with Meggin (Nam) Holtz - Ep 124 show art Supporting Adopted Youth with Meggin (Nam) Holtz - Ep 124

Unraveling Adoption

Take the initiative to learn from all the resources that are out there. Recognize the importance of doing so for the benefit of adopted youth. - Meggin (Nam) Holtz If you're interested in supporting adopted youth in your family or community, then we have inspiration for you in today's episode! You may be trying to provide a loving and understanding environment, but still seeing your child struggle with feelings of not belonging. If you're feeling like your efforts to connect with an adopted youth in your life are falling short, then you are not alone! It's common to feel frustrated and...

More Episodes

"I spend a lot of my life, and even through my art, just looking for belonging." - Nicole Rademacher

Join us as we delve into the world of art therapy and adoption with guest Nicole Rademacher. Discover how Nicole uses art to heal on her own journey as an adoptee, and explore her upcoming project, "We Are Not Our Cruxes," that aims to empower adoptees and former foster youth.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Discover the healing power of art therapy and how it can help adoptees do deeper work on their adoption trauma.

  • Explore the complexities of transracial adoption and how it shapes an adoptee's identity through the lens of art

  • Find out about "We Are Not Our Cruxes," Nicole's interactive, hybrid art project for the adoption constellation, starting on November 18, 2023 in Los Angeles and online.

My special guest is Nicole Rademacher:

Nicole Rademacher is an accomplished transcultural adoptee artist and art therapist based in Los Angeles. With a deep understanding of adoption trauma and personal experience as an adoptee, Nicole has dedicated her work to using art as a means of healing and self-exploration. Through her adventurous artistic creations and art therapy, she helps individuals tackle their nonverbal and often suppressed pain, offering them a safe space to express and process their emotions. Nicole's upcoming project, "We Are Not Our Cruxes," is a series of free, interactive, art-based healing events which is launching in November 2023 in the Los Angeles area and online. These events will provide participants with a unique opportunity to deepen their understanding of adoption while engaging in a transformative art therapy process. With her extensive expertise and compassionate approach, Nicole joins host Beth Syverson on Unraveling Adoption to share her insights and shed light on the power of art therapy in the journey towards healing.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

Explore the complexities and challenges of transracial adoption -
Transracial adoption brings with it multifaceted challenges, as Nicole Rademacher, a biracial adoptee, elucidates. Adoptees often grapple with their racial identity and struggle to conform to expected societal norms and categorizations. Support from adoptive families in celebrating the adoptee's birth culture and maintaining a sense of identity is crucial, assuring adoptees that they're not confined by their racial backgrounds but can embrace all facets of their identity.

Experience the healing and empowering effects of art therapy -
Using art as therapy provides adoptees with an empowering platform to express their emotions and experiences. Nicole Rademacher's upcoming project "We Are Not Our Cruxes" incorporates art-based healing events for adoptees and former foster youth to aid in their healing process. By acknowledging their resilience and emphasizing that their identity and experiences aren't solely shaped by trauma, art helps participants foster a positive perception of self, resulting in a sense of empowerment.

Timestamped summary of this episode:

00:01:29 - Early Childhood and Adoption
Nicole shares her adoption story, explaining that she was born in 1978 and immediately placed in foster care. She was adopted into the Rademacher family in Milwaukee and grew up in North Carolina. Nicole reflects on her mixed-race identity and the challenges of fitting in visually with her white adoptive family.

00:05:04 - Transcultural Identity
Beth asks Nicole about her identity as a transcultural adoptee. Nicole explains that she presents as white and often passes as such, but she also recognizes her biracial heritage. She discusses the complexities of racial identity and the challenges of fitting in with her adoptive family.

00:07:09 - Supportive Parenting
Beth emphasizes the importance of adoptive parents supporting their child's cultural identity and interests. She encourages parents to listen to their adoptee's desires regarding exploring their birth culture and to be flexible and understanding. Nicole agrees and emphasizes the need for adoptive parents to be open-minded and supportive.

00:09:38 - Reunion and Family Dynamics
Nicole shares that she reunited with her birth parents in 2004 and discovered that they had married each other, and she had two younger brothers. She reflects on the complex emotions that arose during reunion.

00:13:12 - The Complexity of Family Relationships
The guest emphasizes that having a familial connection does not automatically guarantee a strong bond. She shares her personal experience of searching for belonging and finding it through her art and living abroad.

00:13:40 - Embracing Foreignness
The guest talks about her experiences living in different countries as a foreigner and how it allowed her to explore her sense of belonging. She highlights the freedom that comes with not fitting into societal norms.

00:14:42 - Serendipitous Love Story
The guest shares how she met her husband in Chile while doing research for her MFA. They were brought together by chance and their connection grew into a romantic relationship.

00:15:54 - From Architecture to Art
The guest reveals her early aspirations of becoming an architect and her transition to art school. She explains how her interest in photography eventually led her to pursue a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.

00:18:24 - Exploring Identity through Art
The guest discusses her artistic process, which involves creating experimental videos and installations. She shares her journey of delving into the emotions surrounding her adoption and reunion through her art.

00:26:43 - The Embodiment of Singing
Nicole and Beth discuss how singing is a unique form of artistic expression because the instrument is within the singer's body. Nic also mentions her collaboration with her birth father, a symphony percussionist.

00:27:53 - Growing Up in a Pragmatic Household
Nicole reflects on her upbringing in a non-creative household and how she wishes she had grown up in a more artistic environment. She shares that her parents have always been supportive of her artistic pursuits.

00:28:57 - Overlapping Experiences of Belonging
Nicole talks about the overlap between the experiences of adoptees and non-binary individuals in terms of not feeling a sense of belonging. She explains how she became involved in LGBTQ+ spaces through her connections in the art world.

00:29:42 - "We Are Not Our Cruxes" Project
Nicole introduces her project, "We Are Not Our Cruxes," which aims to provide a space for adult adoptees and former foster care youth to share their struggles and create art as a form of healing. She explains the research component and invites people to participate.

00:35:27 - The Creative Corps Grant
Nicole announces that the project will be offered for free thanks to her receipt of the Creative Corps Grant from the California Arts Council. She encourages people to attend the events, either in person or online, and shares the bit.ly link for more information.