hey sat on plush furniture in the second-floor lounge of Mary Lindsay Welch Honors Hall. Just feet separated
the three Lycoming College students as they talked to one another. The moment wasn’t lost on any of them.
All three were born in Colombia, but through FANA (the Spanish acronym for the Foundation for the
Assistance of Abandoned Children), all three students were adopted by families in the Susquehanna Valley.
Brett Bergerstock ’18 hails from nearby Danville. Marcus Winn ’17 is from Selinsgrove, and Quincy Amabile
’20 is from Mifflinburg.
Some 2,500 miles from where they were all born, and some 2,500 miles from where they were all adopted out of the
same orphanage in Bogotá, the three have been reunited as students at Lycoming College. The incredible odds of such an
occurrence leaves them overwhelmed.
“It’s almost too much to grasp in your head,” said Winn, captain of the men’s lacrosse team and a Spanish major. “I feel like
it hasn’t hit me yet that we’re sitting here in the same room, the same school, and maybe even the same classes.”
On this particular day, a sun-splashed summer day, Bergerstock walks around campus in a yellow Colombia soccer jersey.
He’s very proud of his heritage, and it’s something he celebrates at home with his family. It’s something he doesn’t want to
forget as he continues to grow in the United States.
And it’s on a day like this where Bergerstock understands how truly fortunate he has been to grow up in the United
States. He’s free to walk from the cafeteria on campus to meet with his friends at Honors Hall. These simple luxuries don’t go
Each year he attends the FANA golf tournament fundraiser near Buffalo, N.Y., to connect with other families who have
benefitted from the program, which places orphaned children in the South American country up for adoption. There, he’s met
other people who have been adopted by American families, and it’s there he talks about his experiences.
“My parents have always said ‘Be thankful for what you have and appreciate what you have day by day,’” Bergerstock
said. “I’ll be honest, some days I don’t always remember how fortunate I am. But to be here at Lycoming, it makes it a more
substantial impact, because I’m here at an institution with an opportunity that I realize not everybody has.”
Amabile's parents, like the parents of Bergerstock and Winn, were always very open about his adoption. They answered
questions when he had them, and even took him back to Colombia when he was 8 years old and his cousins were adopting
a child through, FANA. Amabile even presented his cousins with their new sibling at the orphanage. He doesn’t remember
much about Bogotá and the living conditions, but he remembers the moment he presented his cousins with their sibling
because it was the first time he saw his cousins cry.
“I remember most the culture shock and how easy we have it here in America,” Amabile said. “It made me realize how easy
my life is and it makes me thankful for what we have.”
LYCOMING COLLEGE 2017 SPRING MAGAZINE