Thomas Rhett Wants His Adopted Daughter to Be Confident in Her Roots
Thomas Rhett is eternally grateful that his path crossed with that of his adopted daughter, Willa Gray. But he wants her to know where she came from.
"We show her pictures all the time of when we first met her, and she'll go, 'That was me as a baby?' Those are pretty heart-wrenching moments right there because I met her sleeping on a concrete floor," Rhett explains.
But those harrowing moments led to many beautiful ones. Willa Gray was born in Uganda, and Rhett and wife Lauren finally brought her home in May of 2017, after a long adoption process. Since then they’ve added a second daughter, Ada James, and experienced endless precious moments.
The family has been on a magical trip to Disney World, celebrated birthdays with blowout parties — Rhett has even brought his young daughters onstage with him. Though Nashville is where Willa Gray will be raised, they want there to be a connection between her life in the U.S. and roots in Uganda.
"I hope that we can always, as she grows, incorporate things of her heritage. Music and dancing are so big in her culture," he says, smiling. "Thank goodness she came into my household because those are big things for us too."
Growing up as the son of accomplished songwriter Rhett Atkins, the "Life Changes" singer knows his upbringing was vastly different from Willa's first year of life, but that adds a special dynamic to their relationship.
"Everybody has their own path and everybody has their own story. My path her path were just super different growing up-wise, but I'm so glad that she's with us now," he says earnestly. "I hope that she can grow up and be super confident in the fact that she's from there and not think of it as a bad thing. We always want to let her know where she came from, but also know that this is home."
The Akins family recently celebrated Willa’s third birthday with a carnival-themed party. The country superstar has shared that he and his wife will expand their family and are planning to adopt another child when the time is right.
These Pictures Prove That Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins Are Meant to Be: