We Are Family

Here at BJM, we’re all about deep, long-lasting relationships. We recognize that people are multifaceted, that there are so many intricacies to each of our lives. We want to be there for one another in all of it—nothing too small or too big! Some of our Lily Club girls wanted to bless Miss Emily, our dance director, in a big way as she approached a big change in her life. They threw Emily and her husband Eddie a gender reveal party in preparation for the arrival of their firstborn.

It was overwhelming to see how the girls wanted to do this for our family,” says Emily. “It really showed that they see themselves as a part of our family—the way we see them!”

Emily spends a lot of sweet time with our girls inside and outside the studio. These party-planners were alongside Miss Emily for her entire pregnancy. In fact, Emily kept teaching right up to the week that Baby Wu was born!

We love Miss Emily,” says Marlene, one of the girls who led the party planning team. “We thought it would be a fun way to celebrate her!”

Marlene and her friends spent three weeks piecing everything together, from baking gluten free treats to putting together an invite list to purchasing decorations. They asked guests to wear either pink or blue, publicly committing to their guess as to whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. “But Miss Laina wore a pink shirt and had a blue hair tie,” teases Marlene.

The party showcased their ability to initiate, lead, and execute,” says Emily, “which would bring tears to any teacher’s eyes because those are the very skills that are going to set them apart in the ‘real world.’”

Pink and blue balloons were strewn about the space, and at the center was one single black balloon, filled with colored confetti that would reveal Baby Wu’s gender. At the climax of the party, Eddie took a swift needle to the balloon, and pink confetti exploded all over the floor, announcing that Baby Wu would be Evelyn Pandella Wu—Evie for short.

When we were about to pop the balloon,” says Emily, “Marlene made us wait because she’d prepared a special playlist with my favorite songs for that moment. It was so humbling to see that the girls truly know me and my likes, and that they wanted to honor that.”

Miss Emily had blessed these girls so much through her dedication to their growth. They wanted to bless Miss Emily too, and they did.

They loved our family so well that day,” says Emily. “That type of love and the desire to know and honor people will be the way they bring change to the world and usher the Kingdom in.”

A big congratulations Emily and Eddie, and a big welcome to their daughter Evie, born on July 19. We’re so blessed to have another member of the BJM fam!

When you support BJM, you’re enabling us to foster these genuine relationships with families in our community. We’d be honored if you’d consider supporting us through a donation to our Summer Splash campaign. Every dollar is a droplet that sparks a ripple effect, expanding into larger and larger circles that can encompass all members of our Tenderloin neighborhood. Click here to learn more!

Because Justice Matters