I was born on July 8, 1969 in NYC. Named Rachel Rutter at birth, I was given up for adoption immediately and placed with the Kressierer family when I was a few months old. At that time I was renamed Dana Katherine Kressierer, the name I hold to this day.
The name I'll have after May of 2002 is still to be determined, though, as I haven't yet decided if I'll take my husband-to-be's name of Wakefield after the wedding or keep Kressierer going strong. Dana Katherine Wakefield sounds nice, and a really great guy goes with the name. And although it might be nice to not have a name that is constantly misspelled, there is something to be said for not having too many name changes in one's life...
But, enough of that tangent - let's go back to the beginning.
I joined the Kressierer family when it was already being formed. Matthew, my older brother, had been born and adopted by our parents, Sheila and Fred, a few years prior to my arrival. Karen, who is the biological daughter of my parents was born 15 months after me. Amy, the second biological child that the doctors told my mom and dad they would never have, followed a few years later. And thanks to the science of reproductive medicine, one tubal ligation was all it took to ensure that the Kressierer family would be complete with four children.
Dad was a salesman for American Express, and in addition to traveling all the time he also uprooted our clan often and moved us all over the country. New York, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Iowa were all stops along the way until we finally settled in Aurora, Ohio when I was in the fourth grade. Aurora's a nice town, but I wouldn't want to live there, so I left for Clemson University after high school and never looked back. I started with a BS in Sociology from Clemson and moved on for a Master's in the same from Virginia Tech.
While at Virginia Tech I worked as a computer consultant, and spent a lot of time on Usenet newsgroups (there wasn't an "Internet" as we know it today back then). One of the newsgroups I found was called alt.adoption, and it was through this group that I found my birth parents, Veronika and George. I've had a very successful reunion with Veronika, with whom I maintain an ongoing relationship. My reunion with George was initially good, but we didn't keep in touch well and my past few Christmas cards have been returned as "addressee unknown." One of these days I'll search for him again...
After my reunion, as I learned more about the Internet, I co-founded an adoption search forum called AIML (Adoptees Internet Mailing List). I have long since retired from that forum, but I still highly recommend it to others who are searching.
Still thinking I wanted to be a college professor I moved on to Ohio State for a PhD. It was at Ohio State that I was finally allowed to teach, and it was then that I learned that teaching undergraduate Sociology was not the intellectual pursuit that I had hoped it would be.
With a year or so of coursework to complete I left Ohio State to make the big career jump into waitressing. It was good money, and it kept me going while I learned enough about the Internet to get some freelance work doing web design and mailing list maintenance. The latter I parlayed into a move to Washington, DC, and a job at a computer software company in the area. I'm still in DC, and still working, although not at the same company.
Upon my move to DC I co-founded a group called Single Volunteers of DC, based on a similar group in Vermont which I read about through either Time or Newsweek magazine. It was basically a way for my friend and co-founder Catharine and I to meet new people in the area, and hopefully find ourselves a date or two. The group was a huge success, both personally and professionally, and it is still going strong. I still help to run the DC group, and also head up the national Single Volunteers organization. And Catharine and I both met our husbands (or, in my case, husband-to-be) through our involvement with the organization.
So that's my life, in a nutshell. If I think of anything more interesting to tell you about I'll update this site. If not, I won't.