A Love Story

Season 2 Episode 11 special edition during COVID-19 pandemic

Saya masih ingat betul. Ada saatnya dimana saya menangis dalam hati. Dan kadang, air mata memang tidak bisa ditahan untuk tidak menetes. Enam tahun menikah, saat itu, saya dan suami memang belum dikaruniai keturunan. Mendengar kabar teman hamil, saya ikut senang.  Namun jujur, seperti ada rasa iri di hati atau tidak suka. Kapan giliran saya? Kerinduan yang sangat besar untuk punya anak, bisa menimang, memeluk, menciumi ubun-ubun dan mencintai seorang anak manusia,  selalu hadir disetiap saat, terutama jika saya sedang sendiri. 

Setahun sejak hari pernikahan, demi buah hati yang dirindukan, saya dan suami menjalani semua urusan tes dan program kehamilan. Hal itu tidak mudah, mengingat sebagai pasangan muda, tabungan kami masih pas-pasan. Dan semua tes dan program hamil, tidak ada yang ditanggung asuransi yang kami miliki. Belum lagi episode naik turunnya emosi. Tes demi tes, suplemen, operasi laparoskopi, bahkan dua kali inseminasi tidak mewujudkan kerinduan diri kami untuk bisa memiliki anak. Sering kali, saya menangis setiap kali datang bulan karena berarti program hamil bulan ini, gagal lagi. Dan saya harus mengulang lagi program dari awal. 

Empat tahun berlalu, saya mulai memikirkan untuk mengadopsi seorang anak. Sebenarnya, secara medis, masih ada jalan lain yang bisa dicoba. Bayi tabung. Tapi mahalnya biaya membuat saya memilih untuk tidak memikirkan hal itu terlalu dalam. Khawatir jadi pingin banget, padahal tabungan kami masih jauh dari cukup. 

Sekitar setelah dua tahun memantapkan niat melakukan adopsi, akhirnya, tepat satu minggu setelah ulang tahun pernikahan ke enam, saya dan suami mendatangi salah satu panti asuhan di bilangan Jakarta Timur. Bayi pertama yang kami jumpai di panti asuhan tersebut ternyata adalah yang menjadi anak kami saat ini. Saat itu, kamar pertama yang kami jumpai adalah kamar isolasi. Oleh petugas, kami diminta melewati kamar tersebut. “Cuma ada 1 bayi di dalam kamar isolasi.  Baru keluar dari rumah sakit setelah 3 bulan dirawat karena sakit paru-parunya. Lihat bayi-bayi lainnya saja di ruangan bayi yang umum,” kurang lebih begitu katanya. Namun siapa sangka, bayi kurus, baru sembuh dari sakit yang cukup serius dan terbaring sendirian di kamar isolasi waktu itu, sekarang menjadi anakku.

Minggu demi minggu kami jalani dengan kunjungan ke Panti Asuhan. Karena saya dan suami bekerja, kami hanya mengunjungi panti di akhir pekan. Hari Sabtu dan Minggu,  menjadi saat yang selalu dinanti. Kesempatan dua kali bertemu calon buah hati di jam kunjung pagi dan sore benar benar kami nantikan. Ya, dia adalah buah hati kami, yang lahir dari rasa rindu dan penantian kami. Saya dan suami, seperti jatuh cinta lagi. Jatuh cinta pada makhluk mungil yang saat itu selalu tidur tanpa ada buaian ibu dan pelukan ayah. 

Setelah beberapa waktu kunjungan rutin, kami mendapat acc untuk menjalani tahap sosialisasi. Pada tahap ini, kami boleh berinteraksi dengan calon anak kami. Boleh gendong, kasih makan, memandikan, dan bermain di jam kunjung. Jangan ditanya rasanya… saya bahagia sekali. 

Sekian lama menjalani masa sosialisasi, setelah melewati wawancara dan kunjungan oleh pihak dinas sosial dan panti ke rumah, kami mendapat kabar bahwa permohonan hak asuh sementara kami diterima! Sungguh tak terkira rasanya saat kami benar-benar boleh membawa pulang anak kami tersebut ke rumah. Kami menjalani proses pengasuhan sementara ini dengan bahagia. Anak kami tumbuh pesat dan setelah kunjungan ke-2 dari dinas sosial dan panti sekitar 6 bulan kemudian, niatan mengadopsi anak kami disetujui. Segera, kami menjalani sidang adopsi. Tanggal 3 Juni 2010, ia,  resmi menjadi anak angkat kami. 

Sudah menjadi tekad saya dan suami, bahwa kami akan terbuka dengan adopsi ini. Tidak saja pada keluarga besar, teman, rekan kerja, namun juga terutama bagi anak kami. Bagi saya pribadi, saya tidak bisa membayangkan hidup dengan menyimpan ini sebagai suatu rahasia, terutama bagi anak saya. 

Maka, saya dan suami memutuskan untuk menceritakan pada anak kami tentang status adopsinya sedini mungkin dan dalam situasi sebiasa mungkin. Sejak berusia 2.5 tahun ketika anak saya sudah memiliki cukup banyak kosa kata dan mulai belajar merangkai kalimat pendek, saya mulai memperkenalkan kata adopsi padanya. Kami tidak pernah menciptakan momen khusus. Pembicaraan bisa terjadi kapan saja, namun paling sering saat santai dan menjelang tidur. Saya dan suami memang ingin menyampaikan bahwa adopsi adalah sebuah kisah cinta yang membahagiakan. Tidak aneh, tidak perlu ditutupi dan tidak ada yang memalukan. 

Lambat laun, pemahamannya tentang status adopsinya bertambah seiring kami sering mengajaknya ke panti asuhan tempat dulu ia tinggal, membacakan buku cerita tentang adopsi, menonton film-film Disney tentang Tarzan yang diadopsi gorilla Nala, Kungfu Panda yang diadopsi pak Bangau. Sudah 11 tahun lebih kami bersama dengannya sekarang. Kami terbuka dan membiarkan anak kami bertanya apa saja tentang hal ini. Saya tahu, perjalanan pencarian jati diri ini akan masih terus ada hingga ia benar-benar paham dan bisa menerima kisah hidupnya. Kami terus berupaya agar ia merasa dicintai, diterima, dan tumbuh rasa percaya dirinya dengan baik. Semoga Allah menyatukan hati kami dan meyakinkan anak kami bahwa ia begitu dicintai. Bahwa cinta melampaui batas-batas warna kulit, latar belakang, dan bahkan ikatan darah. Bahwa cinta kami padanya utuh  dan nyata selamanya. 

The next one will be the English version of the story.

Anast can still remember clearly. There were times when she cried inside. And sometimes, her tears were unstoppable. Six years being married, at that time, both her husband and her had not been blessed with a child. Hearing news that friends were pregnant, she was happy for them. But honestly, there was this envy inside or dislike. When was her turn? The biggest desire to have a child, to hold, hug, kiss the top of his or her head and to love a child, was always there, especially when she was alone.

One year from their wedding day, for the child that they have always wanted, Anast and her husband went through all the pregnancy tests and fertility programs.  Those were not easy, considering that as a young couple, they did not have much savings. And all the tests and programs were not covered by the insurance that they had. Not to mention the roller coaster journey of emotions. Test by test, supplements, laparoscopies, even the two inseminations still did not make their dream to have a child come true. Many times, Anast would cry when she got her period as that meant that the fertility program, for that month was unsuccessful. And she had to repeat the program again.

Four years passed and Anast was considering adoption. Technically, in the medical sense, there were still other ways that they could try. In vitro fertilization, for example. But the high cost of it made her decide not to consider that option too much. She was afraid that she would end up wanting it so much while their savings were still far from enough.

After about two years considering and determining that adoption was what they wanted to do, at last, exactly one week after their sixth wedding anniversary, Anast and her husband went to an orphanage in the East Jakarta area. The first baby they saw in that orphanage was the one who is their child now. At that time, the first room they passed by was the isolation room. They were asked by the employee there to pass the room as there was only one baby in that room. The baby had just gotten released from the hospital after being treated for 3 months for lung disease. The employee suggested that they visit the other babies in the common room.  Who would have thought, the tiny baby who just recovered from a serious illness, laying by himself in that isolation room at that time, is now her child. 

Week by week, Anast and her husband visited the orphanage. Because they both worked, they only visited the orphanage on weekends. Saturdays and Sundays became days to look forward to. They both were excited to be able to see their baby-to-be two times both during morning and afternoon visiting times. Yes, he was their baby, who was born out of their love and patient waiting. Anast and her husband felt like they fell in love again. They had fallen in love with the tiny being who was at that time sleeping without being lovingly cradled by a mother and held by a father.

After the routine visits happened for some time, Anast and her husband got the approval to continue to the socialization stage. In this stage, they were allowed to interact with their baby-to-be. They can hold him, feed him, bathe him and play with him during the visiting hours. Anast was over the moon with happiness.

After the socialization stage, and after going through the interview and visitation by the social department and orphanage to their home, Anast and her husband were notified that their temporary custody request was accepted. The feeling was unimaginable when they took their baby home with them. They went through the temporary custody period with much joy and happiness. Their baby grew up healthily and after the second visit by the social department and orphanage about six months later, their adoption request was approved. Almost immediately they went through the adoption proceedings. And on June 3, 2010, the baby was officially their child. 

Both Anast and her husband were determined that they would be open about the adoption. Not only to their respective families, but also to their friends, co-workers but especially to their child. For her personally, she could not imagine living with that as a secret, especially from her child. 

So Anast and her husband decided to tell their child about his adoption status as early as possible in the most natural way. Since their child was 2.5 years old, when he already had enough vocabulary and was learning to form short sentences, she introduced the word adoption to him. They never created a special moment for it. The conversation could happen anytime, but most of the time it was during their downtime together and before going to bed. They wanted to convey the message that adoption is a very happy love story. It was not a strange, embarrassing thing that needed to be kept as a secret.

Slowly, as their child’s understanding about his adoption grew, Anast and her husband took him to the orphanage where he used to live, read him story books about adoptions, watched the Disney movie Tarzan, who was adopted by the gorilla Nala, and KungFu Panda who was adopted by Mr. Stork. Eleven years have passed with him. They remain open to all the questions their child might have about his adoption. Anast realizes that this self discovery journey will continue until her child really understands and accepts his life story. Both Anast and her husband made an effort to ensure that their child always feels loved, accepted and grows up with a good self confidence. She prays that God will always unite their hearts and that their child will always feel loved by his parents. Love that transcends the limits of race, backgrounds and even blood. That their love for him will always remain full and real.

This is a story from Nouf Zahrah Anastasia who is from Jakarta. She now lives in Sawangan, Depok, West Java with her husband, Sukma Kurniawan, and works as an educator for the children with special needs. Their child is now 12 years old. She has published two books:

  1. Ketika Aku Diadopsi (When I Was Adopted), published by Erlangga For Kids in 2018
  2. Ketika Ben Berbeda (When Ben Was Different), published by Erlangga For Kids in 2018  

She has a book in the works about adoption from both the parents’ and child’s point of views, but has yet decided on the title.

VOCABULARIES

Pingin : want

Menimang : hold

Ubun-ubun : top of the head

Pas-pasan : just right

Calon : candidate

Buah hati : baby

Bilangan : area

Pekan : week

ACC : approval

Buaian: cradle

Sedini mungkin : as early as possible

Kosa kata : vocabulary

Lambat laun : gradually

Jati diri : self-identity

donesian language used here is in the daily-conversation format, that has influences from the local culture and custom. Should you have questions on the more formal version, please consult with your guru Bahasa Indonesia.

Level of Indonesian and English fluency: Intermediate to Advanced