Choose Joy 2018

In Infertility by admin0 Comments

Choose Joy 2018, an infertility conference is coming to Atlanta, GA in a little over a month, so I thought I’d bring on Emmy Blakely to share her story and how she began Choose Joy!

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Motherhood doesn’t look like I had expected. Our family’s story is far more glorious than I ever imagined. But the road to building our family was a twisty and painful one, and one that changed a lot more than just our family structure.

My husband and I are high school sweethearts. When we got married we knew that we wanted a big family. We also knew that I had endometriosis, a disease of the reproductive system that makes pregnancy difficult. We started trying for a baby relatively early in our marriage, and we got pregnant the first month we tried! Unfortunately almost as quickly as we found out that we were pregnant, we lost that baby. Miscarriage was the first of many bumps that we would face in building our family, but not two months later we were pregnant again with our son Beau. I will never forget how relieved I was to think that we would not have to face infertility after all. Little did I know…

A year after Beau was born we decided to start trying for our second baby. We wanted four, so it seemed to us like we better whip ’em out!

God had different plans.

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. Our story is one of high highs and low lows, of loss, despair, hope, joy, and ultimately of two miracle adoptions.

We walked a very long and painful journey, but I would re-live every single second we spent on that road seven times over to bring our daughters into our family. God used those years to refine me as an individual and us as a family, and taught us that we need to love Him despite our circumstances and trust His plan even when it is different than our own.

I am a person that will share my life story with the grocery clerk, so I wasn’t surprised when in 2012 I felt God calling me to do something with my story to serve others and bring Him glory. My own infertility journey had been so lonely and so difficult on our marriage and on my relationship with the Lord. I wanted to create a space where other people walking this tough road could see God and feel seen by Him. I wanted to create a community where people could find their “me too” moments. I wanted to encourage other families to consider that adoption is part of our story as Christians, and that it may be a part of their families’ stories as well.

Our first event in February of 2013 was amazing.

It was truly one of the most incredible days of my life. I didn’t think we could top it, but then our second event in May of 2014 was even more incredible! So much goodness jam packed into one day… so much that we decided to make Choose Joy 2015 a two day event. And what a phenomenal two days it was. At the 2015 Conference there was a subtle {but awesome and important} shift that took place as the men really stepped in as participants and not just attendees. Choose Joy 2016 did not disappoint. I find it hard to put into words what it is like to be in a room full of like-minded people who just get that thing that has caused you so much pain… to not have to explain or defend your grief, but to just feel understood… it is a unique experience.

Choose Joy 2017, our fifth conference, marked another shift – in the way we operated “behind the scenes.” I had a leadership team that worked seamlessly. In the weeks leading up to 2017 I remarked to Robyn (my right hand woman) more than once how peaceful and smooth the whole thing felt. We decided that we finally had the experience and expertise to respond to the request we’d been getting since day ONE of the very first Choose Joy – make the conference more accessible (and affordable) to people outside Southern California. So this year we are holding the conference in beautiful Atlanta, Georgia on June 22nd + 23rd!

This conference truly just keeps getting better and more powerful as the Lord leads us in developing the ministry of Choose Joy! Please join us and find your community! To find out more about the event, make a donation to our ministry, or purchase tickets to Choose Joy 2018, visit choosejoyevent.com.

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