Season 3, Episode 14: Nicole R. - Our Story Isn’t Told

Nicole Rademacher is a multicultural adoptee and a professional contemporary artist. She tells us about her reunion with her biological parents and her two brothers, and how it has informed her creative practice. Nicole and I chat about some of her projects, including one that is still in the works, and I am still in awe of the brilliance of it. Nicole is passionate about connecting with other adopted and fostered people, and helping us to record and process our histories.

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Show Notes


Topics We Discussed

  • Nicole is a “multicultural adoptee”, her biological Father is Mexican and her biological Mother is white; she grew up in a white family with an adopted brother, and always knew she was adopted.
  • Nicole always wanted to know who her biological family was
  • Applied to begin her search at age 26 and it took three months. It was an easy find for the social worker as Nicole’s maternal grandparents still lived at the same address and her biological parents got married to each other two years after Nicole’s birth.
  • The first in-person meeting was one month after contact
  • Nicole walks us through her first conflict in reunion
  • What building a relationship has looked like for her with her brothers
  • Interaction with the adoptee community in Los Angeles and online has helped build empathy and understanding of her reunion situation and the reasons she was relinquished.
  • Nicole is a professional contemporary artist and she outlines a few of the projects she has created and what’s coming up next.
  • Nicole is fascinated by non-verbal communication, identity construction, intimacy, psychology, and ethnography
  • Her current project (working title) is “invisible images”. Using a popular 19th century optical toy, a thaumatrope, Nicole explains how she can combine an image of her biological family and another of herself at that same time period. My jaw dropped big time here! What an incredible idea!
  • Nicole describes the beginnings, and walks us through her community-based project “Origin Stories”.
  • Adopt Salons is mentioned: a triad support group with Jeanette Yoffe, MFT in Los Angeles
  • The importance of connecting with other marginalized groups.
  • Bonus question: I asked Nicole why so many adoptees gravitate towards art and creativity.


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