Adoptive parents hope for another ‘miracle’
Posted on December 28, 2010, Tuesday
SIBU: Tomb maker Tiong Ming Kiong crosses his fingers, hoping 2011 will bring the next miracle to his family; he hopes his adopted daughter, now 8, can legally become his child and be a part of his family.
Although the 58-year-old and his wife Yek Lei Moi, 55, are blessed with five sons, who are now all grown up, the aging couple found themselves blessed in 2003 when they found an infant abandoned by the roadside.
They took the sickly baby home, nursed her, and the eight-year-old in the pinkest of health now is inseparable from the Tiong family.
The girl, whom they named Jenny Ting, affectionately calls Tiong and his wife dad and mum.
Tiong said in these eight years they had come to love Jenny dearly like any parents would of their daughter.
The affection was from the heart.
“But, on paper (Jenny’s birth certificate), our girl does not belong to us. The columns for the names of her parents remain empty.”
He said legally they could not be regarded as her parents because of the absence of the proper adoption process.
“Jenny’s biological parents have not given us the consent for the adoption.”
Tiong said he could not do much because they picked up Jenny as an infant at the side of Mile 32, Sibu – Kanowit Road.
Tiong said, “My wife and I are now old. We hope Jenny can become our daughter under the law and we can proudly have the paper to show it.”
The bond between Jenny and Tiong’s family began in 2003 when the couple was returning from Kanowit where they had just completed a tomb.
Because it was nightfall, Tiong drove very slowly.
“Something at the roadside caught our attention. There was an object wrapped in batik cloth and it moved a little.”
The tomb maker said his wife was curious and at the same time perturbed by the movement, and she insisted he got down to check.
When he unwrapped the batik cloth he might have had a shock but it changed the lives of his entire family.
He said the object turned out to be an infant girl who was breathing weakly.
“Tears welled up in the eyes of my wife, and we quickly took her home.”
They thought the girl would die from hunger and fed her first before taking her to the hospital.
“Surprisingly, the infant drank and finished the whole bottle of milk and went to sleep.”
He said although sickly Jenny gradually recovered, they took her to the doctor often to ensure she stayed healthy.
Tiong said they immediately started the adoption process but all attempts were met with a dead end.
“We sought help from people who seemed to know the procedure. We spent so much money the next few years to seek help. In the end, I spent all my savings and got nothing done.”
Tiong said he nearly lost hope when friends introduced him to Pelawan assemblyman Vincent Goh.
He said that was when things took a miraculous turn.
Within a year, he got Jenny’s birth certificate and the custody paper of Jenny, “but, we cannot be her adopted parents. We lack her biological parents’ consent.
“But, where can we find them?”
Vincent Goh, when contacted, confirmed Tiong and his wife were in despair then.
Because the couple received no proper help, the assemblyman said they did not even lodge a police report on the finding of the infant.
“I, therefore, started helping them from scratch by first asking the couple to lodge a police report before going to the Welfare Department for the custody of Jenny.”
He confirmed that by July 2007, Tiong had both the legal custody of Jenny and her birth certificate, but that was as far as the government could go in terms of abiding with the law.
Goh said he was still helping Tiong and his wife.
He hoped the empty columns under ‘parents’ in Jenny’s birth certificate would be filled to complete the blessing.
Commenting on Tiong’s case, Goh said he had seen the miracle of life manifesting itself because of the aged couple’s love for the little girl.
Tiong’s wife said Jenny knew she was being adopted and she had assured Jenny of their undivided love.
“Jenny takes it well. Our bond grows stronger each day. We hope, with the help of Goh, we shall receive the full blessing for Jenny in 2011.”