Idol Alumni Congratulate New Dad Clay Aiken
08/14/2008 AT 03:50 PM EDT
"Congratulations! I am very happy for him," Rickey Smith, 29, told PEOPLE. "He has great morals and ethics, and I think his baby will be brought up in love."
Smith added that baby Parker Foster Aiken's birthdate of Aug. 8 has a personal significance.
"My grandmother's birthday, God rest her soul, was August 8," Smith said. "I lost her, but here, another life has been born, so that's pretty memorable to me. Eight is a lucky number in my family – so tell [Clay] welcome to the family!"
Fellow Idol alum Vanessa Olivarez, 27, predicts Aiken will be a fantastic father.
"Before Idol, he worked with children [as a teacher], so I definitely think that experience will help him," she said. "He'll be a great dad, and a great role model. And I hope [the baby] grows up with his voice, for sure!"
An ecstatic Carmen Rasmusen sent big news with her congratulations. The Salt Lake City, Utah-based singer is expecting her first child with husband Brad Herbert, 25, son of Utah Lt. Governor Gary Herbert.
"I'm actually expecting my first boy this Christmas," the five-months-along former Idol contestant, 23, told PEOPLE. The couple met at Brigham Young University and married in 2005.
"Isn't this crazy? We're going to both be parents! It's so exciting – we went from being nobodies to being on American Idol together, and now starting our families [at the same time]."