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Choose Joy Event


Mark your calendars for April 24 – 25th, 2015

Choose Joy: Surviving Infertility & Adoption Conference
 Laguna Hills, California

You may be wondering what is Choose Joy? Well, Choose Joy, IMO, is one of the best Christ-centered infertility and adoption conferences in the United States. My friend with the biggest heart, Emmy Blakely is the creative creator, master-mind behind the conference, as well as {at times} a tired mom and tireless advocate for adoption and infertility.

If you’ve been struggling with infertility, loss or on the path to adopt you won’t want to miss this conference. Truly, once you attend you’ll walk away feeling loved, not alone, encouraged and well informed about your next step to parenthood.

Registration is open now. It is a paid event. But it is worth every penny. If you live in or near Southern California, please come! Even if you live far away you’re welcome too. Don’t let the expense stop you from coming. It is worth every penny. Pray. I believe God will make a way for you. 

I am attending again this year (my 3rd year in a row). I am presenting one of the many breakout sessions – Healing from the Hurt of Infertility along with many other women leading different sessions with topics of  infertility, secondary infertility, adoption, foster-to-adopt, you name it!

For more information and to register for Choose Joy click here.

Hope to see you in April! I’ve included Emmy’s story below. 

Love y’all!

Emmy’s Story 

I’m Emmy, I’m 37, and I’m infertile.

Wait, let me back up. I’m Emmy. Lesli has been so sweet to allow me to invade her space for the day. I own Much Ado About You {where I used to sell printed day planners}, I occasionally blog, and I incessantly Instagram {@itsjustemmy}. I am married to my high school sweetheart and as of this year we have been together for more than half our lives.

Almost 11 years ago I got pregnant for the first time. Nathan and I were so excited, and immediately started planning that child’s future. We were thinking of names… wondering if it would be a boy or a girl… hoping its due date of December 26th would not mean we were going to have a Christmas baby.

But just a few days later I started bleeding heavily, and knew in an instant that that baby was gone.

We had only just begun trying to get pregnant, but I had so many friends experiencing infertility and I begged God to spare us from that roller coaster.

Our doctor told us that since we were so early in the pregnancy I would not need a D & C, and that technically I could get pregnant as soon as my next cycle.

Which I did.

That pregnancy was such a relief, and I vividly remember thanking God that I was never going to have to walk that long and painful road of infertility.A year after Beau was born we decided to start trying for a second baby. We wanted four, so we thought we’d better get going!

God had different plans for our family.

The next six years were spent going from one doctor’s appointment to the next… from one surgery to the next… all in an effort to figure out why my young and seemingly healthy body was not working.

I have Endometriosis, a condition that basically destroys your body from the inside out. During my final surgery my doctor made the painful decision to remove both of my non-functioning fallopian tubes, hoping it would increase the chance of my third and final IVF {invitro-fertilization} treatment being successful.

The next month we had our final IVF procedure. It failed. We were done.
We were physically {well mostly me on that one}, emotionally, and financially spent. The chance of a natural pregnancy was eliminated with the removal of my tubes. I was officially STERILE. It is still strange to say those words. I am a woman that cannot do what I was created to do… bear children. That is a very strange reality to be faced with.
I spent seven dark years in the thick of my infertility {I say “my” infertility because the issues were mine… with another woman my husband could have had more children… more salt in the wounds}.

For some of those years Nathan and I were not on the same page. He didn’t understand my desperation for a child when I already was a mom. Those years I struggled with a deep loneliness that I had never known. It is so hard to explain what infertility feels like to someone that has never experienced it, but the bottom line is… IT SUCKS.

However, God also used those seven years to challenge my character and bring me to a place of total trust and reliance on His plan for my life. I came to a point where I had to say, “God, I love you and I trust you, and I know that {while very different from mine} Your plan is the best plan for my life. So even if I never have another baby I will praise you and be thankful for whatever it is that you call me to do.”

And I really was at peace. Without tubes I no longer had to live in two week cycles, wondering if each late period was the one. I had an incredible eight year old that was the joy of my life, a loving, supportive husband, a thriving business… life was good.

Now since I have already babbled on for quite some time {and probably lost most of you} I will leave this next part of the story short and sweet {if you would like to read the whole story, you can find it here}. Through miraculous circumstances, in March of 2011 we brought home the most beautiful baby girl that looks nothing like us. And…another baby girl in November 2013!

And in the instant that I met her I understood every no that God had placed in my path.
If you are in a season of not understanding the circumstances of your life, please be encouraged that someday you may understand and even appreciate the painful path that you are walking.

Since experiencing infertility and adoption I have a heart for encouraging hurting women. Several years ago I felt a calling on my life to do something to help other women that are experiencing similar trials, and the Choose Joy event was born.

Thanks for reading my story.


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