Choose Joy.

I'm Emmy, I'm 35, and I'm infertile.

Wait, let me back up.  I'm Emmy.  Kimmie 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, and now I just sell printables}, I occasionally blog {Confesstions of a Paper Freak}, 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 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 months 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.

Choose Joy is a one-day conference in Southern California for women and couples that are experiencing infertility and/or desire to grow their families through adoption.  I have somehow convinced several other women from all over the country to come and be a part of this event.  We have speakers on topics such as "God's Heart for the Hurting; Waiting Hurts, Waiting Perfects", "Having a Heart of Hope: Overcoming the Hurt of Infertility", "The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly of International Adoption", and much, much more.  My desire is for this to be a day of connection and community, and for women to open their minds to the plan that God has for their family.     

The event will include a luncheon and a dessert, and at the end we will be raffling off a cash prize to help someone grow their family.

Tickets are on sale for $30 through the 25th of January.  {After that the price goes up to $40, so don't delay!}  Please visit the website for all the details on the location and schedule, bios on each speaker, and to register for the event. 

If you aren't experiencing infertility, statistics say that someone you know is.  Please pass this website on to your friends or family that could use some support. 

Thanks for reading my story.

Kimmie here:
Many of you have connected with me over my story (which you can find HERE and HERE).
Thank you for always encouraging me and for entrusting me with your stories and dreams.
I love reading your emails and praying for your hearts.
Thank you for sharing here today, sweet Emmy.
Your words, kindness, and event planning are making this world a better place.
Your family is so incredibly beautiful.
And so is your story.

Happy Monday, friends.


  1. This is a wonderful story! Your daughter is absolutely beautiful too! ;-)
    Found you through the giveaway and am your newest follower,

  2. heart wrenching and then heart warming. So happy for their family. Thank you both for sharing your stories!

  3. Forst of all Yours Truly sent me.

    But not to take away from the respect this post deserves and needs. Experiencing a loss recently I know all to well how you feel. I am thrilled adoption was for you! And who knows maybe it will be for me one day :-)

  4. Thank you Emmy for sharing and thank you Kimmie for having her on here. I too know the hurt of infertility and my heart goes out to all who suffer from it. It is encouraging to see light at the end. Thank you! We are adopting and while we know there is a baby that WILL be ours...questions of when and who will they be continue. Wish I could make it to this event!

    ♥ Ashley

  5. Wow! What a great blog post. I'm not trying to get pregnant, but I am waiting for something in my life and feel like God keeps saying "no" - so thanks for sharing your story! You both seem like such positive God-centered women. I love that. Wish I lived on the west coast so I could come to the event :)

  6. What a story!! Thank you for sharing. My husband and I are struggling with infertility. I also have endo, and only 1 tube. I've borderline given up hope of ever having babies of my own.

  7. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing :)

  8. Emmy,
    I have two adopted children, natural brother and sister, born on the same day two years apart. We brought each child home from the hospital. I always knew that I would adopt...even at age 6. My "kids" are 28 and 26. They have a relationship with their birth dad, his wife, and their baby. I do as well. "He's like an uncle to us mom", is how my kids describe their relationship with their birth dad.
    In my opinion, my children and I were meant to be. It is one of the most "pure" forms of love. They are not of your blood, but they are YOURS.
    This will go on my tombstone. My children know it well.
    "Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, still, miraculously, my own. Never forget, for a single minute, you weren't born under my heart, but in it"

    Bless you, your fam, and kimmie

  9. Land kimmie, I applaud you for making everyone feel safe and urging everyone to share!