Jordin Sparks and her husband, Dana Isaiah, photographed at their home in Los Angeles, CA, on November 8, 2017.
Photographer: Ari Michelson

To call 2017 a life-changing year for Jordin Sparks would be an understatement.

The American Idol alum, 27, secretly wed her boyfriend Dana Isaiah, 25, in mid-July — and the newlyweds are expecting their first child together late next spring, they confirm to PEOPLE exclusively.

“We’re both really excited,” says Sparks about finally opening up about their happy news. “He’s been like, ‘I want to shout it from the mountain tops!’ We’re really proud to be married to each other and to be celebrating this.”

Sparks had met her new husband’s family when she traveled to Houston during Super Bowl weekend this past February with her charity campaign I’m M.A.D., Are You?

When Isaiah — who is pursuing a modeling career — told his mom weeks later he was eyeing a move out West, Sparks’ mom and Isaiah’s mom put their children on a group text chat. “My mom was trying to get [Jordin] to talk me out of moving to L.A. because she’s experienced the industry out here,” he says. “It wasn’t like, ‘We want you guys to date.’”

Jordin Sparks and her husband, Dana Isaiah, photographed at their home in Los Angeles, CA, on November 8, 2017.
Photographer: Ari Michelson

But the pair bonded quickly over their tight-knit families and shared Christian faith. After talking nearly every day for a month, Isaiah flew out to Los Angeles for an agency meeting and met his future wife for the first time over Easter weekend.

“A couple days after we had actually met, I was like in my head ‘That’s going to be my husband! That’s my husband right there,’” says Sparks, who discussed early on with Isaiah about not moving in together until they were husband and wife. “When I’m with him, I feel comfort and safety and calm and peace, and those aren’t things that I normally felt. So it was a little wake-up call for me.”

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Melody Chu