Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins brought Kelly Clarkson to tears on the latest episode of her show with their emotional adoption story.
The moment came as the pair recounted during a video chat how they adopted their first daughter Willa Gray, now four, from Uganda.
Akins, 30, told Kelly, “I’d always talked about adopting my whole life. My mom is actually adopted. I just thought it was really cool. And we had talked about it off and on, but it wasn’t something where we’d sat down and had a full-on adoption conversation.”
Lauren was in Uganda when the stars aligned
Lauren said that everything came to a head when she was in Uganda in 2016, and she shared a photo of herself with a baby there on social media.
She said, “When I finally got to FaceTime [Thomas] that night, I was telling him her story, ‘Babe, we know so many people who are trying to adopt right now, and this little girl needs a forever home, and I was so moved from the second I touched her it was, like, electric. I was like, ‘Oh, this little girl has just taken my heart’.”
From that moment her mind was made up, and she told Rhett as much. “I was like, ‘Honey, we’ve got to find her a forever home. Like, I know that’s why I’m here — to get this girl to her home.”
Kelly couldn’t hold back her emotions as she listened to the couple’s story, and had to stop Akins mid-sentence to wipe away her tears.
She said, “Oh my God, I’m sorry. You totally Oprah-ed me just now… like, ok!” Continuing to wipe the tears from her eyes, she joked, “I did my own make-up and this is not water-proof!”
She went on, “It’s so beautiful because I know that feeling as a mama. You touch them, and you hold somebody, and it doesn’t matter if it’s yours or not — we’re a blended family — and you’re, like, this is my purpose. Such a powerful thing.”
Thomas Rhett’s ‘spiritual moment’
Rhett then joined in the story to explain how that single moment led to them adopting. He said, “When I talked to (Lauren) on the phone that night and she said that we need to find her a home… it was after a concert, and I was going to bed, and I was like, ‘Well, bring her home.'”
He said that the moment was so poignant and natural that he doesn’t even fully remember saying it. “It was such a spiritual thing for me that it just came out of my body,” he added, “And literally two weeks after, we were having home assessments and talking to adoption agencies.”
Rhett and Akins now have three children — Willa, four, her younger sister Ada James, two, and two-month-old Lennon, who was born in February this year.
Kelly, who is still currently featuring as a judge on The Voice, is hosting her show from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.