“How would you define emotion?”

I love questions like this! Thought-provoking topics being discussed in a room full of people from diverse backgrounds of experience and knowledge is my idea of a good time.

So I guess that’s why I’m still in school 🙂 Not that classrooms are the only places where this can happen – definitely not – as I’m sure we have all overheard some intriguing group conversations in a local coffee shop.

This semester, I am already enjoying a thought-provoking course called ‘The development of emotion and emotion regulation” led by Dr. Lia Daniels.

She provided several definitions of emotion for consideration:

1. “any short term evaluative, affective, intentional, psychological state, including happiness, sadness, disgust, and other inner feelings” (Oxford dictionary of psychology)

2. “Feeling or affect that occurs when a person is in a state or an interaction that is important to the individual, especially to his or her well-being” (Santrock)

3. “A state of feeling that has physiological, situational, and cognitive components” (Rathus & Rinaldi)

4. “the person’s attempt or readiness to establish, maintain, or change the relation between the person and her or his changing circumstances, on matters of significance to that person” (Campos and colleagues, 2004)

Which, if any, would you choose…?

Today is an emotionally defining moment for a close friend of mine:

Ashleigh has chronicled her long emotional-rollercoaster on her blog – a journey that began way back in March 2008.

And TODAY – she is finally travelling to Ethiopia…and will return to Canada later this week with her new baby girl!

This is an emotionally exhilarating day – as she experiences the last turn of this rollercoaster. Soon she can step off that ride and enjoy the carnival of life as a family of 5!

Her faith, intelligence, and heart through this journey have been a true inspiration to me. Although cliché in a hallmark-card-sort-of-way: I really am blessed to call her friend.

And, although I wish I could highlight my ‘favourite’ posts from her past 3+ years – I can’t…because they truly all are thought-provoking and heart-filled. So on the topic of emotion, I will share this one with you:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

As we prepare for the arrival of our daughter, we have learned that while decorating the nursery and stocking up on baby essentials is important, even more important is the emotional health of our baby. In her short life, Makeda will have gone through more changes and life altering experiences than most adults could handle. Imagine how much harder the changes will be for her. While she may not consciously remember the events, she will still experience immense loss, including feelings of grief and trauma. She’s already experienced the loss of a birthmother and will soon experience the loss of familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and language of her birth country. Her world will turn upside down. She will struggle with feeling safe and secure and she may lack the ability to trust that we will meet her needs.

We have prepared to meet her emotional needs so that she does learn that we will always take care of her and we will always keep her safe. We need your support. In order to form a strong and healthy attachment we will allow Makeda to regress so that she has the opportunity to go through all of the emotional stages with us despite her chronological age. Although it may appear that we are spoiling her, we have been advised that it is best that we meet every need quickly and consistently. Until she has learned that we are her parents, we will need to be her primary caretakers at all times. It is essential that we always hold her, feed her, and do all of the nurturing. You may wonder how long this will take, but the timeline is different for every child. We will follow Makeda’s lead and trust our instincts as her parents rather than worry about what society expects.

We have all been waiting anxiously for our daughter to arrive but she has not been waiting for us. She may show her grief and confusion in many ways and we are prepared to help her through it and prove that we are a forever family and this truly is her last stop. We trust that as our family and friends you will help us to do what is best for Makeda, and we thank you in advance for your support and understanding.


Ashleigh and Ben

-adapted from www.a4everfamily.org

Okay, I can’t resist… if you want to read another post – one of my MANY favourite posts by Ashleigh – here it is 🙂 This one made the ‘emotion’ just pour out of my eyes… http://thekeizerfamily.blogspot.com/2011/05/she-smiles-with-her-eyes-our-referral.html

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