Country Music Star Thomas Rhett Has Revealed How He Truly Feels About Raising His Adopted Daughter

Country music performer Thomas Rhett, the son of musician Rhett Akins, is the adopted dad of a little girl. Adoption can sometimes be a process fraught with difficulty, especially when adopting from another country. However, the end results can be extremely rewarding. Now, Rhett has spoken out about the adoption, his young daughter, and how his family is getting along.

As the son of a singer, Rhett grew up in a musical environment. Sometimes, he would actually make appearances onstage with his famous father. By high school he’d started his own band, and by the age of 20 he’d left college to embark on a music career. It paid off: before he even hit 30, Rhett become a popular country music singer.

It was during Rhett’s early life that he met the woman who would become his future bride, Lauren Gregory. They knew each other all the way back to when they were little. “I don’t think she really noticed me ‘til we were 16,” Thomas told Y108, a Pittsburgh radio station, in 2012. They dated a little in their teens, but finally ended up taking the plunge together as adults.

ADVERTISEMENT

The pair had their wedding ceremony in October 2012. Rhett told country music website The Boot that he himself was hesitant about the couple being so young, but that all dissipated at the wedding. “It’s like these two people are meant to be together. They are beyond in love,” he said. “Everybody there that had doubted or wondered if they were too young, all the doubts are gone now.”

Rhett also spoke to The Boot about how his marriage works, especially considering his career was in full swing. “Being backstage at a lot of different places, there’s a lot going on, and you gotta be 100-percent honest with the other person,” he said. “That’s what we’ve tried to master. It’s definitely helped us… We try to talk at least three or four times a day.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Soon the conversation between the couple turned to children. But there were problems. Lauren didn’t seem able to conceive. “It was a good chunk of time and our family is extremely fertile, so I was expecting it to happen easily,” she told People magazine in 2017. “I was like, ‘Maybe this is the Lord’s way of telling me adoption is what he wants me to do.’”

ADVERTISEMENT

The couple decided that they would definitely adopt. Lauren works for the 147 Million Orphans organization, which provides aid to children trapped in poverty. And it was on her travels with them that she went to Uganda. While there, she met a two-year-old girl named Willa Gray. “When I saw her, I don’t know, but I was very drawn to her,” she told Us Weekly magazine in January 2018.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lauren was determined that Willa Gray would become the child her family was missing. “I called [Rhett] one of the first nights I met her in Uganda and told him about her,” she told Us Weekly. “Without hesitation he said, ‘Bring her home. She is ours. We are going to make this happen.’”

ADVERTISEMENT

And make it happen is exactly what the couple did. In 2016 they began the process of adoption – but there was a sudden surprise. While in Africa, Lauren began experiencing sickness, and took a pregnancy test. She was sure she couldn’t possibly be pregnant, but she was. When Willa Gray arrived, she would shortly afterwards gain the gift of a baby sibling.

ADVERTISEMENT

Willa came home in May 2017, and her delighted new parents posted a picture to Instagram. “We have been in this adoption process for what seems like forever and are just so filled with joy that we are all finally home together!” Thomas wrote in the caption. “The Lord blessed us with the most amazing little girl we could have ever dreamed of, and we can’t wait to watch her grow up!”

ADVERTISEMENT

And just a few months later, in August, the couple’s biological daughter came into the world. And they named her Ada James. “It was truly the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. I can’t believe that we have two daughters!” Rhett wrote on Instagram. “We are so excited that Willa Gray has a baby sister! Thank you, Lord and everyone, for the prayers.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The following year, in August 2018, Rhett gave an in-depth interview to People magazine about his new family. He said a thing which many adoptive parents have no doubt thought. “The word ‘adopted’ doesn’t even make sense in my head anymore really,” he explained. “I know that it happened, and I remember it very vividly, but it kind of feels like she has just always been here.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Even though Willa Gray comes from [a] whole different part of the world, she’s ours and it feels like she never wasn’t,” the country star went on. And Willa was also settling in with her new baby sister just fine. She and Ada, Rhett said, were, “two peas in a pod, getting into all kinds of trouble together.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Rhett revealed that both his daughters had made appearances on stage with him, just like he himself had with his father. “Probably as early as high school, I thought if I had kids and I got to tour one day, that I’d want my kids to be a full part of that life,” he said. However, the musician also wanted them to lead normal, non-celebrity lives.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rhett told People magazine that his parents had brought him up in as ordinary a way as possible. “We had what we needed, but it was never excessive or over the top, and I think we’re trying to really instill that in our children too,” he said. “When I’m home, I want them to experience a normal life, disregarding what [their parents] do for a living.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The star also commented on how he and Lauren planned to raise Willa with as much knowledge of her background as possible. “I hope God has given me all the right tools to raise Willa Gray to know that no matter where she comes from she is our child. And we want her to express her diversity,” Rhett said. “She’s from Tennessee and she’s from Uganda, and I want her to be proud of that.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The singer then drew parallels between both those places. Willa was born in Masindi, and Rhett said, “It doesn’t get any countrier than being in Masindi. Everywhere you look is corn or beans, or chicken farms, or cows.” He also mentioned music. “In Uganda, family and religion are super important and music is gigantic. If I just pick up a guitar, Willa starts dancing. It’s in her blood.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Both Rhett and Lauren share stories about their children on social media all the time. “Ohhh, these little cuties,” Lauren wrote on her Instagram in August 2018. “Just this morning an entire milk bottle spilled on our white fabric couch, Ada James got her head stuck in the metal bars under our side table behind the couch, then Willa Gray proceeded [to] conveniently get her hand stuck in the OTHER side table right after.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Life in the Rhett household is clearly hectic, but also fun. Indeed, the star’s Instagram is packed with sweet pictures of the children celebrating birthdays, taking first steps, or just chilling out with their parents. And, of course, all pictures of the girls garner comments from the musician’s fans telling him how adorable his daughters are.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I hope that we can raise both of our children to be super proud of who they are and where they come from. And that they know me and Lauren love them beyond anything else that exists in this world,” Rhett told People magazine in the August 2018 interview. “I hope we can just raise good, kind kids.” They certainly seem to be doing just that.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT