In my practice, I meditate. Is this choice going to make me happy? Is this choice going to make others happy? How does this choice allow me to grow and be a better person? I've been forced to think about whether or not it's worthwhile to surround myself with negative energy, and I'm of the mindset it's NOT. While there's respect for others, it doesn't make any sense to waste time being forced to feel uncomfortable or defensive. Unfortunately given cultural expectations, some people feel a tremendous sense of obligation and the need to keep up appearances . . . and I just can't do that. It's indeed a shift in consciousness and challenge to not be sucked in by others' expectations or perceptions. As we begin to share more with others about our adoption journey, I find myself sometimes feeling a bit defensive having to justify why we choose adoption especially when others assume there's something 'wrong' or question our choice to be a forever family. What I am most aware of is that, A. & I are happy to be forever parents to a child who has already been born into the world and needs people to love him/her . . . because every child needs a loving home. It's not important to us to have biological children in a world where there have been so many orphaned. And yes, it is a conscious choice. A happy & heartful one at that.