DANIA BEACH, FL — Fernando Kuehnel is now living his American dream in the sunshine state.
But all these did not come easy. From pushing a kariton cart as an orphan to driving a Porsche Carerra in Florida home, it took him three sets of parents and living in the orphanage, to weather the worst storms of his life.
At age 6, his biological parents left him and his two brothers on the streets of Project 8 Quezon City – for reasons unknown to Fernando until this day. The siblings moved from orphanage to various homes several times.
Then the Kuehnels came – who adopted them and treated them like their own, put the boys in public school.
Fernando even took an hour bus ride just to attend an ESL class in Greenbay, Wisconsin.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s in nursing, and a summa cum laude in business administration in healthcare.
Today, this clinical scientist for pharmaceutical giant Novartis has written about his journey from the orphanage to the American dream, in a book called “My Third Parents.”
“You have to determine what success is to your, it doesn’t have to be millions of dollars… I tell my kids, there’s no problems that can’t be solved, you just won’t like the solution, but the problem can be solved, the takeaway is, you do have to work hard,” he said.
Kuehnel says there are 1.8 million street kids in the Philippines, and only 300 of them get adopted each year.
100% of the proceeds of the book goes to orphanages in the Philippines, through the Kabataan K-charity he founded. Fernando also hopes more Filipino orphans get adopted to give them better lives the same way he did.