So much of my life is public, that I often find myself guarding and protecting precious parts of my personal life. This is one of those extremely precious, personal times.
I created my first family, really when I founded Operation HOPE in 1992. A family of and for our world. The 'children' of HOPE (our programs ans services) are all between 11 and 21 years old now, and beginning to walk and live on their own energy and direction, independent of me. And the actual young people I have spiritually 'adopted' over the years, through the HOPE family, have subsequently become my children by nurture, if not my nature.
But now, I start the process of creating my own family. Not just my first family, but the first family. Children not just by nurture, but nature too. And this process of creating my own family, begins with actually starting one (smile).
I am happy -- no, quietly overjoyed -- to announce to the world my marriage to Mrs. Natasha LaNett Foreman Bryant.
She is pure joy, love, intelligence, passion, service (to others, to society, to and for those less than), spirit and spirituality. And did I say she was funny? Try hilarious. More than anything, she makes me laugh, all the time. Our nickname for what we have is 'effortless.' It just flows.
Our relationship has been both an amazing journey, and an absolute blessing in the same breath. Mostly, she is my friend, and a great one I might add. She lets me be me.
God brought us together with a grand plan in mind, and we plan to spend each day as He intends. Natasha was one of our first volunteer leaders in Atlanta (all her idea), and one of our most active HOPE Corps members nationwide, all having nothing to do with me. All of this on top of running her own small business, and earning her Ph.D in real time. It is just how she is built.
We have a shared mission to help restore our communities to places of respect, peace, dignity, and HOPE for all of God's children.
Our work with Operation HOPE and in the community will keep us focused, determined and driven, constantly pushing ourselves and each other.
We tell ourselves that we may be exhausted but we're never tired. We intend to spend the rest of our lives working together to fulfill our individual and joint missions.
Natasha's aunt Debborah introduced us, Quincy Jones encouraged us (my mentor, and Natasha's God-Uncle), Rod McGrew supported us, and our family and friends embraced and prayed for us.
After coming from and living in the same birth city of Los Angeles for decades (and yet never being introduced), walking past each other at events (and never being introduced), and sharing mutual friends for years (yet still never being introduced), who would have ever thought that a casual introduction would turn into what we have today? As most have exclaimed, "God had His Hands all over this!"
The laughter, is effortless.
The joy, is effortless.
The conversation (including tough ones), are effectless.
The energy, is effortless.
I have been blessed with a global family through HOPE, and now I have been blessed with the beginnings of a personal one. I am one lucky dude.
We were married on September 14th, 2013, by Reverend (Ambassador) Andrew Young at First Congregational Church in Atlanta, Georgia, in a private ceremony assisted by Pastor Dwight Andrews of First Congregational Church, and Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Our home is now Atlanta, Georgia, but we consider ourselves global citizens.
And now the journey begins. Let's go.