These days Jordin Sparks has a lot to smile about. The newlywed is still on cloud 9 following her summer 2017 nuptials and is reveling in the excitement of expecting her first child — a boy — with husband Dana Isaiah later this year.
“All of it is actually quite nerve-racking because obviously, we’ve never done this before, so it’s new and the unknown is terri-citing. It’s terrifying and exciting at the same time, “Jordan told ESSENCE during a recent sit-down.
She also admitted that after years of playing aunt to her brother’s two daughters, she’s looking forward to having a son. Cheerfully sharing, “I’m excited to see the wonder. I’m excited to see what he looks like — see how his personality is, and how he grows. I’m also excited to see Dana as a father. I’m excited to see how I am. The sleepless nights, I’m a little nervous about. I’ve had a lot of those over my career, but at the same time I know that’ll be worth it.”
Outside of the smile-inducing moments going on in her personal life, Sparks has also found the time to make others beam thanks to her association with non-profit medical organization, Operation Smile. Most recently the American Idol alum collaborated with popular potato chip brand, Lay’s, to raise money and awareness for the international charity.
“I ended up teaming up with Lay’s and their Smile With Lay’s campaign because I’ve supported Operation Smile for a while and anytime I can do something to help kids and children like that, it’s something I want to be apart of,” Sparks said of the partnership.
Operation Smile was founded in 1982 with the objective of providing the surgical care necessary to fix cleft conditions and improve the health and lives of kids in need worldwide. The CDC estimates that in the United States alone, more than 7,000 babies are born with orofacial clefts each year.
The thought of being able to provide more smiles is what makes the 28-year-old mom-to-be enthusiastic about helping to propel the mission. “When you see a kid smile it’s really hard not to smile back at them, you know? Or to feel good,” says Sparks.
Though the philanthropic organization often teams up with doctors and celebrity ambassadors to help drive the undertaking, Lay’s is making it easy for any snack lover to pitch in with a contribution that is sure to satisfy taste buds and warm hearts in the process. For each person who purchases a specially designed bag smilewithlays.com, Lay’s will make a donation to Operation Smile, for up to a million dollars.
For Sparks, the opportunity to raise that kind of money for a worthy cause takes some of the sting away from not being able to go on a trip and deliver smiles in person.
“There was an opportunity that came up to join one of the trips, but I had found out that I was pregnant, so I couldn’t go. But I definitely want to go. I’m sure it’ll be a minute before I can get out there. But, I will.”
This article originally appeared in Essence.