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Thomas Rhett Opened Up About The ‘Intense’ Questions His Daughters Ask Regarding Adoption

Thomas Rhett is opening up about some of the tricky conversations he’s still navigating as a parent. The country singer and his wife, author Lauren Akins, adopted their daughter Willa Gray from Uganda in 2017 and they’re just beginning the process of explaining what adoption means to her. During a candid conversation with Hoda Kotb on her podcast Making Space with Hoda Kotb, Rhett explained that his daughters, 6-year-old Willa and 4-year-old Ada, are already inquisitive about their young lives.

“What questions is Willa Gray asking or are your other daughters asking?” Kotb asked Rhett. “And how have you guys navigated that? Because I’ve got two kids from different countries and you know, for sure, there are questions.”

“Yeah, it’s hard, you know,” Rhett responded. “Because you think when you become a parent you’re like, ‘Well, I’m a dad. I have all the answers.'” The toddlers have “really intense questions” about adoption and Rhett is grappling with the timeline of when he’ll explain everything to them.

“I don’t know if you’ve felt this at all, but it’s kind of like, ‘Well, what age? What age is the right age?'” he said. “Maybe we need to wait until she’s 10, you know what I mean? But she has questions all the time. She talks to Lauren, she’s like, ‘When can we get to see my friends in Uganda?’ And then Ada James will be like, ‘When can I go see our friends in Uganda?’ And Willa Gray will be like, ‘Well, they’re not your friends, they’re my friends.'”

Rhett asked Kotb about her own experience discussing adoption with her daughters, Haley and Hope. The Today Show host reinforced the big importance of “preserv[ing]” where her kids came from. “So they remember, because I feel like [if] you don’t know your identity, how are you going to live your life?” she asked.

Complex conversations aside, Rhett and Akins have had nothing but wonderful, positive things to say about the joys of adoption. Akins met Willa during a trip to Uganda in 2016 and knew in that very moment that she found her daughter.

“The second I touched her, it was electric,” Akins said in a 2020 interview with Kelly Clarkson. “I was like, ‘Oh, this little girl has just taken my heart.’ And I was like, ‘Honey, we’ve got to find her her forever home. I know that’s why I’m here — to get this girl to her home.’”

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