AceShowbiz - Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren finally became parents following the arrival of their adopted 18-month old daughter, Willa Gray Akins, on Thursday, May 11. Lauren first met Willa in 2016 during her trip to Uganda with 147 Million Orphans.
When asked how he felt about Willa's arrival, Thomas said it felt like Christmas in May. "On the way to the airport, it was like Christmas Day," he said in an interview with PEOPLE. "It felt like a dream. I've dreamed of us all being on the same continent for so long. It finally feels like everyone is where they're supposed to be," Lauren added.
Thomas decided to bring Willa home after he saw a photo of Lauren holding her. He was amazed at his wife's bond with the baby, who was previously named Blessing. "Lauren had this amazing glow about her and it just felt like she was already our daughter in a weird way," Thomas shared. "I just blurted out, 'We should bring her home.' "
The couple had been trying to conceive to no avail at that time, so they immediately took care of the adoption. The process wasn't easy, both Thomas and Lauren had to make a dozen trips to Uganda in order to make the adoption work.
During the adoption process, they discovered that Lauren was pregnant, meaning they had to finalize the adoption before it became too risky for Lauren to travel. However, she had to return to the States for a pregnancy check-up, so her parents were the ones who brought Willa home. "I probably could have pushed it, but I just didn't want to think something could go wrong with my pregnancy," she said. "It felt weird leaving one daughter and making sure the other one is okay. But I couldn't do it another way."
The pair also shared how it felt to be full-time parents. "It is very weird to be called 'Dad' by a little human being," Thomas admitted, before adding, "But it is one of the coolest feelings in the world. Nothing beats that."
Meet Willa Gray Akins! I can't believe our daughter is finally home🙌🏼 Thank you to everyone who prayed every single day for this sweet girl pic.twitter.com/ykKFjI83wh— Thomas Rhett (@ThomasRhett) May 12, 2017
YALL 😩🙌🏼😭💗 Our baby girl is hommmmeeeeee 🎈🇺🇸💙🇺🇸🎈 Thank you Jesus for bringing our family together on the same continent finally :) little cutie Willa Gray Akins came home yesterday after completely stealing our hearts in Uganda over a year ago & we're sooooo happy we just can't stand it 💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛 • • • **PARENTS OF THE YEAR: thank you mom & dad for bringing her home since this pregnant mama is officially grounded due to baby Akins #2 coming in August 😩💚💚 • • • **FRIEND OF THE YEAR: thank you sweet @kaileydickerson for capturing some of the most special moments for us & for traveling with me to Uganda and back😘💗💗 • • • ** our FRIENDS & our FAMILY OF THE CENTURY: y'all have walked through and prayed through every single moment of this adoption with us, were our ROCKS through it all, kept it a secret, and truly had faith & hope for us when we felt like we had none left. I could cry thinking about each one of you-y'all know who you are & we are beyond blessed with our community God has given us🙏🏼 we love y'all more than any words could come close to describing. I might just throw you all a giant party celebrating y'all 😭😭💪🏼🙌🏼😘😘😘😘 • • • BRB STILL FREAKING OUT OUR DAUGHTER IS HOME 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸😩🌈👼🏾💪🏼🎉🙏🏼😭🙌🏼💚🎈💗💗