About Us

We believe we must honestly embrace loss and darkness in life in order to embrace growth and joy. This blog is titled Joy Embraced as we highlight the ups and downs in our personal journey. On this (public) blog, we mostly choose to celebrate. But we are not strangers to difficulty. And we certainly do our best to limit sharing our kids’ stories.

This blog is the perspective of foster and adoptive parents — and, in that, it’s view is limited. We learn from each other. As our own children mature, they may begin telling their stories. That’s their choice. Until then, we encourage you to seek out adult adoptees who are currently writing and speaking. Their voices are so important — most important, we believe.


Joey and Elaine with our children, 2016


Our Story and Journey

We met in college. Joey was a first-year nursing student when he met Elaine, who was in her second year as an education major at the time. However, we didn’t begin dating until after graduation.



A few years into marriage, we wanted to start a family. Due to medical issues, we faced infertility. We had some choices to make and we ultimately chose to fill our empty home with foster children.  (Read more about why we made that decision here.) We began the process of training and applying with the local Children Services agency in 2011, and received both foster and adoptive licenses six months later. We welcomed our first two children into our home right away.

As foster parents, we provide a caring home for babies and toddlers but we also find joy in loving on their birth families. The little ones will probably never remember being in our home, but their parents will. We believe our positive interaction with the family is what makes the most impact. We find ways to encourage them and to let them know their children are safe while they work through things. We support reunification. Elaine enjoys photography and loves taking photos of the kids for their parents.

We are also parents to three children, “M,” “Ai,” and “Am”, who joined our family through adoption as toddlers. We respect and pray often for their first families.

(Read What we believe about adoption.)


We strive to be parents who provide both physical and spiritual nutrition for our children. We are Christians; our faith and hope rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  We also believe children also need fun, educational play which helps them develop into the adults they’re meant to be!


Our Family

Joey’s personality is laid-back and very friendly. He grew up playing baseball and hanging out with his older brother and younger sister. He works as a Registered Nurse at a local hospital where patients often comment on his compassionate, gentle spirit. His hobbies include playing guitar at church and working on home projects.

Elaine is a proof-reader and organizer. She grew up in small town with her parents and two younger siblings. She has a degree in English and linguistics but currently stays home with the kids. She cooks a lot and loves to try new recipes. She enjoys photography, memory keeping, and journaling. She also sneaks in time to read after the kids have gone to bed.

“M” is petite and full of life!  She likes dancing, coloring, and being a helper. She is also our book worm. Each of the kids picks out two books to read at night before bed time.  “Ai” is active and curious. He is a problem solver and notices details that others overlook. He loves being outside and climbing on the playset that Dad made in our yard.  “Am” is sensitive and sweet. She tends to be quiet as she explores her world.


“Love takes us all a lifetime to tell.”

                                                         – Michael Card


Our Thoughts

We support relationships between adoptive and birth families, when possible. We believe both families should have the choice to slow down contact or to request more updates. Like all relationships, there are times when the adults will have conflicting feelings. We will need to talk and adjust to do what’s best for the kids. We believe it’s a delicate balance, and one that is very difficult but very important. Adoption is complex. It can be healthy with honest dialogue and assessment.

Please read What we believe about adoption.

– Contact us via email: joyembraced (at) gmail.com



“There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold”

                                                                                                              –Steven Curtis Chapman




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