Hi all! I’m Emmy Blakely, the (co)founder of Choose Joy Event. I want to tell you why my husband (Nathan) and I started Choose Joy.

Our family adopted two girls after years of secondary infertility. 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.

Our story is one of high highs and low lows, of loss, despair, hope, joy, and ultimately of two miracles. When we thought we couldn’t afford to spend one more penny, God provided, and we were able to complete a $35k adoption. And another $45k one two years later.

One of the things that has always really frustrated me is the fact that the cost of alternative family building can make those options unattainable for some families. It is the salt in the wounds of infertility, and it is the reason so many children are without a home. Since experiencing this painful reality myself, I have felt that at some point in my life I would become an advocate for these families. In 2012 God made it clear that the time had come for me to step up to the plate. Nathan totally agreed. And the Choose Joy Event was born.

We have held six events in as many years. We began in California and held our first five events at our church. In 2018 we finally had the “yes!” from God to host Choose Joy in a new location: right outside of Atlanta, Georgia in beautiful Newnan. This year, as we work behind the scenes to build a non-profit that can continue to support Choose Joy and similar events, we are returning to Georgia for Choose Joy and planning a second event for California later in the year!

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. 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!