Kelly Clarkson got emotional when Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins virtually appeared on the April 30 of her talk show. Kelly asked the couple how they decided to adopt their first child, Willa Gray, 4, back in 2017, and the response moved her to tears. Lauren explained that she and Thomas had discussed adoption in the past, but never had a full-on conversation about it. However, when she took a trip to Uganda in 2016 and met Willa for the first time, it sparked the pair’s eventual decision to adopt her.
“When I finally got to FaceTime [Thomas] that night, I was telling him [Willa]’s story, and I was like…babe, we know so many people who are trying to adopt right now and this little girl needs a forever home,” Lauren explained. “I was so moved. The second I touched her, it was, like, electric. I was like, oh my word, this little girl has just taken my heart. I was like, honey, we gotta find her a forever home. I know that’s why I’m here — to get this girl to her home.” Without even realizing it, Thomas suggested that they bring Willa home themselves.
“I was going to bed and I was like, we’ll bring her home,” he revealed. “I don’t even remember saying it. It was such a spiritual thing for me that it just came out of my body. Just two weeks after, we were having home assessments and talking to adoption agencies.” Kelly wiped away tears after hearing the story, and jokingly scolded Thomas and Lauren for ruining her makeup. “It’s not waterproof!” she laughed.
Fans of the country music singer will recall that he and Lauren were in the middle of the adoption process when they found out that they were actually expecting a child themselves. They brought Willa home in May 2017, and their daughter, Ada James, was born two months later. Then, they welcomed a third daughter, Lennon Love, in Feb. 2020.