The gift of giving 

Oh what a birthday it was. 17, on the 17th, in India spent with those I love :) 

I was teaching the counting lesson and part of it was practicing counting with fruit loops. Ramilla, Aarti, Parveen, Daberaam and Karan randomly burst out into a happy birthday song during the lesson haha! "Happy birthday to you HAI LEY" while clapping. It was quite possibly the cutest thing so if you want to see the video I will gladly show you hahaha.  Afterwords, they proceeded to shove fruit loops into my mouth while screaming happy birthday hahaha. Ranjeet kept coming up to me and saying "Happy birthday to you Madam" 

Those memories are precious and will stay with me forever, but what really made the day special was seeing my kids get their new shoes, socks, and sweaters. When the shoe maker arrived at school, the older boys raced down to the car. We thought they were going to bring everything to the school, but by the time we reached them they were trying on their brand new shoes with the biggest, brightest smiles and eyes. 

When we took the rest of their items (desks, chairs, socks, etc.) all the kids were squealing with joy when they tried on what we brought them. Their gratitude was shown through hugs, kisses on the cheek and high fives. Even thinking about it makes me smile! It made me appreciate every pound of potatoes, minute spent, and gray hair caused by fundraising. It was amazing to give on my birthday instead of get this year. :) 

I love these sweet children more than I can fully express. Saying goodbye was harder than I imagined, but I know I will see them again someday. I am so lucky I had the opportunity to meet the people I have and feel such a deep, immediate love for them,  Even if we can't fully understand each other, we could understand our love for one another. 

See you soon! 

Hailey Haslam

P.S. Jenny if you are reading this, I just have to say you are the best stalker mom ever and we have all loved to read your comments on everyone's blogs. Thank you for all the support! I love you!