Thomas Rhett and his wife, Lauren Akins, had a big 2017. The couple adopted daughter Willa Gray, now two years old, from Uganda, and then welcomed their biological daughter, Ada James, just three months later.
While they admit having two children so close together wasn't easy, they acknowledge they are grateful for every step of their journey to becoming a family of four.
“It is definitely the hardest thing we’ve ever been through,” Akins says (quote via People). “But I think it needs to be hard because you have to fight for that baby just like you do. I’ve done both now — I’ve had one biological and I’ve had one through adoption. It’s a battle to bring your child home. And it just strengthens you as parents and as a team. It is hard but it’s so worth it.”
After spending her life in an orphanage in Uganda, Willa only had a little time to acclimate to life with her new family before Akins gave birth to Ada, making both Rhett and Akins nervous about how their toddler would adjust to being a big sister. Thankfully, their concerns were largely unfounded.
“She was jealous at first I think, but it’s so fun to watch her,” Rhett says. “She loves our little Ada so much.”
"She was very fresh off just coming to America, so it was something that we really wanted her to feel comfortable," adds Akins.“I think I was more nervous that she just wouldn’t feel comfortable but the second I was like, ‘Do you wanna give her a kiss?’ and she leaned over and kissed [Ada], I was like, ‘Thank you God.'"