Thomas Rhett and his wife, Lauren Akins, recently made a virtual stop on The Kelly Clarkson Show, where the couple told the story of how they adopted their 4-year-old daughter, Willa Gray.
Lauren had long thought about perhaps adopting a child one day, the couple remembered, especially because her own mom was adopted. But the couple never discussed the process in concrete terms until Lauren took a 2016 trip to Uganda and met Willa, who was then an orphaned baby. She instantly felt a connection to the child.
“I mean, the second I touched her, it was, like, electric. I was like, ‘Oh, my word. This little girl has just taken my heart,” Lauren recalled, going on to say that she relayed the story to Thomas that night over Facetime.
“I was like, ‘Honey, we’ve gotta find her her forever home. I know that’s why I’m here, is to get this girl to her home,’” she added.
At that point, host Kelly Clarkson, who is herself part of a blended family, was moved to tears.
“Oh my God. Okay. You totally Oprah’ed me just now,” she said. “It’s so beautiful because I know that feeling. As a mama, you touch them and you hug them…You’re like, this is my purpose. It’s such a powerful thing.”
For his part, Thomas had a similarly magnetic reaction when his wife told him about the orphaned baby girl in Uganda. He instantly said that the family would do what they had to do to adopt her.
“I don’t fully remember even saying it. It was, like, such a spiritual thing for me that it came out of my body,” the singer added.
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