Country star Thomas Rhett and his wife, Lauren Akins, expanded their family in one of the best ways back in 2016. Before having biological children, the two fell in love with a baby from Uganda. Lauren was there on a trip at the time.
“I was in Uganda in 2016, and I had a picture of one of the babies there, and I had shared it on social media,” Lauren explained to Kelly Clarkson. “And when I finally got to FaceTime that night, I was telling him her story, ‘Babe, we know so many people who are trying to adopt right now, and this little girl needs a forever home.’”
At that point, she didn’t realize she’d be the lucky person who’d end up welcoming the baby into her family.
“The second I touched her, it was electric,” she continued. “I was like, ‘Oh, this little girl has just taken my heart.’” During the call to Thomas Rhett, Lauren’s love continued to flow. “I was like, ‘Honey, we’ve got to find her forever home. Like, I know that’s why I’m here — to get this girl to her home.’”
As Lauren talked to Thomas on the phone, he said something that surprised even him. “I was like, ‘Well, bring her home.’ And I don’t fully remember even saying it,” he admitted.
The adoption was finalized a year later. The baby girl was named Willa Gray.