In February of this year, country singer Thomas Rhett and his wife of four years, Lauren, announced that they were pregnant and also in the final stages of adopting a child from Africa.
“OH BABY! Actually…BABIES!” Lauren wrote on Instagram. “Our hearts are exploding with happiness for y’all to meet our new baby who we are bringing home from Africa soon who is also going to have a little brother or sister because, SURPRISE! there’s a sweet baby in my belly too.”
As a nurse, Lauren has often volunteered with the organization 147 Million Orphans to make sure the kids receive the medical attention they need. On one of her trips to Uganda, she fell in love with a baby there and snapped a sweet photo of the child in her arms.
When Thomas saw the photo, he knew their lives were going to change.
“Lauren had this amazing glow about her and it just felt like she was already our daughter in a weird way,” he told PEOPLE. “‘I just blurted out, ‘We should bring her home.’ ”
Between the two of them, they traveled back and forth to Uganda half a dozen times while learning Lauren was also pregnant with a baby. Knowing she wouldn’t be able to fly at the end of her pregnancy, they needed to speed the process up a bit.
Lauren’s parents traveled to Uganda the other day to bring home their granddaughter to Thomas and Lauren, who have named her Willa Gray Akins.
They drove to the airport to pick up Lauren’s parents and their baby girl to bring her home for the very first time.
“It felt like a dream,” Lauren told PEOPLE. “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.”
See the family’s first photos together below.
Everyone meet Willa Gray Akins! I can't believe our daughter is finally home?? We have been in this adoption process for…
Posted by Thomas Rhett on Friday, May 12, 2017
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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 ??????????????????????
Congratulations to the entire Akins family on their new addition!