Perseverance makes a difference
“We were at wits end with little Daniel. He was like a wild animal, a loner who didn’t do anything you told him and broke things around the house. He had a blank stare, didn’t connect with us and would rock back and forth” says Luqman Hakim and wife Salmiah at their home outside Kuala Lumpur.
Looking at six-year-old Daniel playing and fighting imaginary villains in his Ultraman mask and sabre we wouldn’t have guessed. He behaved like a regular six-year-old playing at home. His parents are relieved those days are over. “We stuck it out. Had we given up we’d have been no better than the twelve other couples who declined adopting him”.
Two years earlier Luqman, Salmiah and Adam their older adopted child met Daniel for the first time at a home in Kedah. They saw a skinny four-year-old still in nappies with scabs all over his body from eczema, a skin condition. “He was obviously neglected. We learnt later that he was isolated most of time because of his skin condition. There weren’t enough staff to manage the 150 children at the home”. Daniel was underweight and smelt badly. “The smell lingered for six months after we brought him home. More shockingly he could not talk!”.
Today, Daniel and Adam enjoy going to the local school but their real school is home where they help ‘abah’ and ‘mak’ manage their bed and breakfast facility that draws naturalists and nature photographers from around the world.
“Adam is very intelligent and is Malaysia’s future David Attenborough” says dad. Ten year old Adam is learning the finer points of video photography from his naturalist, photographer father. He can identity most species of birds, animals and butterflies and takes guests on walking tours. Daniel on the other hand says Luqman, is very creative with his hands and is also showing great interest in photography. “He carries his small camera around all day”.
It is quite evident that Luqman and Salmiah are really proud of their (adopted) children. Their love and perseverance changed the lives of these two young boys.