Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC Television Group ©2010 Disney Photo: Emily Maynard as The Bachelorette?

Now we just need an official blessing from the pope and a notarized letter from the bank and we’ll be REALLY sure that Emily Maynard is The Bachelorette for Season 8.

After a year of rumors and denials and two weeks of “sources” confirming the news, ABC finally issued a press release confirming Brad Womack’s Bachelor 15 ex-fiancee as the rosemistress for the spring 2012 season of The Bachelorette.

Here’s more from ABC:

“Fan favorite Emily Maynard becomes the first single mom to star on ABC’s The Bachelorette when it returns this spring.

Emily Maynard, the beautiful, sweet, young mom who captured America’s and Brad Womack’s heart on the 15th season of The Bachelor, finally thought she had her happy ending. She accepted Brad’s proposal and was looking forward to walking down the aisle. Unfortunately her relationship with Brad ended, along with her dream of moving to Austin with her daughter, Ricki, and starting a family. But Emily is ready for her luck to change and to bring her the love she so richly deserves. It’s hard to meet men as a single mom, but Emily will have her pick of 25 bachelors when she gets a second opportunity to find love starring in the eighth edition of The Bachelorette when it premieres this spring on the ABC Television Network.  

Emily, 25, led a tragic but fulfilling life before meeting Brad. In 2004 she became engaged to famed NASCAR driver and team owner Ricky Hendrick. Sadly Hendrick died in a plane crash in October, 2004, leaving his fiancée pregnant with their child. The apple of Emily’s eye and legacy of their love, Josephine Riddick ‘Ricki’ Hendrick was born June 29, 2005.  

Instantly popular with Bachelor fans, Emily’s strength, passion and southern charm – as a mother and as a woman – would make anyone happy to make her his wife. She found love again with Brad and, even though it didn’t work out, she knows that the series can work. Among those 25 men, she is looking for someone who makes her laugh, doesn’t take himself too seriously and can be her best friend. Emily is hoping that the third time is the charm.

The Morgantown, West Virginia native who now resides in Charlotte, NC is a full-time mommy, which is something she has always wanted. Ricki, who is six years old, is a perfect blend of both her mother and father in looks and personality. Emily cherishes the unconditional love they share, which makes her smile all the time, and knows that the time they share together will serve as memories that Ricki will have forever. As busy as she is as a full time mom, Emily finds the time to do volunteer work. Her particular interest is in helping children. She has given her time to the Hendrick Marrow program, Levine Children's Hospital, the lunch buddy program at Hidden Valley Middle School, and most recently to a jewelry class she is teaching at an underfunded middle school. Next on her list is a mission trip to Africa.

Emily feels incredibly grateful to have found her first love when she was very young, and despite not having dated a lot, knows what it’s like to be truly in love. In the past seven years, she has been looking for someone with the same spark she has for life, and she believes that she will find her soul mate on The Bachelorette.”

No word in there on why she changed her mind after insisting she did not want to be The Bachelorette. It sounds like she’s managed to meet plenty of single men in the past few years. And if she is “looking for someone who makes her laugh, doesn’t take himself too seriously and can be her best friend” we have a few suggestions for her, although most of them are nothing like Brad since he was pretty much the king of taking things seriously.

Source: ABC