We are the Hetrick Family. I (Malea) am a single mom to Suma Joy, who was adopted from India in August 2018. We also have one small dog who is full of personality!
Prior to Suma Joy's adoption, I had long desired to build my family through adoption. Growing up, I had many friends who were adopting, including internationally. The idea that my family would be built through adoption always seemed natural and expected to me. For most of my twenties, parenthood wasn't a feasible option, as God directed me to missions work in Guatemala and then to grad school. I was also single and had always assumed parenthood would come after marriage.
However, during grad school (2012-2015), God worked in my heart largely through my local church. I came to see that while He had indeed given me the desire to adopt and be a mother, I had put additional "fences" on His plans for my life, specifically that I needed to be married and have a partner to do this with. I began praying that He reveal to me when the time was right to proceed, instead of assuming that I would dictate the timing.
Around Christmas 2016, I felt God leading me to take the steps of contacting agencies and beginning more significant research. As a single woman under 30, not many countries were open to me. Nevertheless, I had that quiet sense that this was what God was leading me towards rather than me leading myself. Although I felt great peace about moving forward, in February 2017, I was diagnosed with malignant skin cancer. I was afraid for myself, confused about what God was doing with my life. Even as I chose an aggressive, and ultimately successful, treatment plan, I prayed about how God would answer my prayers for a family. Many of the countries that would have considered me as a single parent under 30 would no longer take me in light of my medical situation. India, however, would accept me. In February 2018, 364 days after I was diagnosed with cancer, I matched with Suma Joy, who herself has quite the medical history. We both have complicated medical histories, which has allowed me a unique understanding of her fears and a bonding over our scars, our physical healing, and our reliance in every way on God as Provider and ultimate Shepherd.
Our first 12 months home were filled with medical appointments, procedures and two major surgeries. We spent the following 12 months enjoying family life without all of the extra days in the hospital. Both Suma Joy and I have always wanted to have more children in our family, and after two years of growing together, we are ready to grow again! We are hoping to adopt another child who has major surgical needs and feel well equipped to meet those needs and bring them into our family as a brother or sister, son or daughter.
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Hetrick 09278”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.