Lauren Akins’ Emotional Journey To Motherhood | Southern Living

Published by Darron Toy on


– I love that nothing else matters. If I want to spend some more time at home, or just have some downtime, I can just say, “I just
want to be with my girls,” and that’s totally acceptable. (gentle music) My mom is adopted, that was
always part of her story, which became part of my story. Since it’s been so natural to our family, I’ve always just thought,
“Well, that’d be kind-of cool if I could do the same thing
that my mimi did with mom,” and not really for Thomas
Rhett, because he’s just never been close to it, and
so, when we got married, I brought it up and he never said no, but he was just like,
“Yeah, that’s interesting.” He was like, “Yeah, maybe.” So, when I started traveling
with the organization that I’m on the board
of, we went to Uganda for the first time and met Willa Gray, and I took a photo with her
and sent it to him that night. I said, “This baby, she’s
a true orphan,” you know, “she has no family, we know
so many people back home that are looking to adopt.” I said, “We can find somebody, I’ve got to find a home for this baby.” And without even hesitating on the phone, he said, “We’ll do it, we’ll take her.” And I was like, what? I was like, wait a second, but he was just so confident in it. I love that it started with him, because so much of me wanting to adopt, I always felt like it was more me, and he just jumped right on the train and we just never looked back. Ada is so quiet, I mean, she’s
just got such a very calm personality, and she’s such
a good baby, and she’s sweet, and she’s calm, but, you know,
five, almost six month-olds, they do need quite a bit of attention. So, juggling that has been kind-of hard because Willa Gray is
wild and running around. She, I remember the first day,
I thought I’d put a big bow on the baby and we were going somewhere, and Willa Gray kept saying,
“Uh-oh, eyes, uh-oh, eyes,” and I was like, “Oh my gosh,”
I was like, “what did you do?” “Did you like,” and I’m
like, trying to get my hand back behind to like, feel
the baby, and she goes, “Eyes, eyes, hair, uh-oh, oh no, oh no.” And I was like, “What is happening?” Freaking out, and so the
baby had a bow on her head and it had worked its way
down and was completely over her eyes and she was
like, kind-of, you know, trying to get it off of her eyes, but Willa Gray was trying to help her. And so, from then on, she
tells me if something’s ever wrong, she wants everything
to be perfect with the baby, she’s always wanting to help her. Even at two, she’s already
so protective and sweet, and she just takes care of her. And I’m just praying
that she keeps loving her the way that she does,
because she’s so sweet. But they work so well together, you know. If they baby is ever crying
and we can’t figure out how to fix it or make her, you
know, calm down a little bit, my first line of help is always
like, where is Willa Gray? I’ve done both now, I’ve
had one through adoption, one biological, and the process
of getting them both here was the most emotionally draining. I’ve never in my life been that exhausted with both, and thinking I can’t do this. But, it’s pain with a purpose,
you know, you’re bringing your child into the world,
and the same with Willa Gray, not necessarily physical
pain, but there was more pain bringing Willa Gray home
than probably Ada James. It’s a different kind of pain,
but also pain with a purpose. Both, though, not sure in how
it’s going to end, you know. So many things can go
wrong in both situations. I think it’s good, it’s good
to have to fight for your kids. It just makes you a better
mom and dad, and I know it brought Thomas Rhett and
I so much closer together than we ever have been, and
you just trust that whatever is supposed to happen will
happen, and I’m blessed to have family and friends
close by that want to come over and kind-of be my extra set of hands. It is more than worth it,
and I would do it over, and over, and over again to get them here. (gentle music)


100 Comments

Darlene Canterbury · May 4, 2018 at 3:11 pm

U r an amazing beautiful soul inside and out u radiate beauty and love ! I could watch u all day !!!! You are truly a real life angel on earth ! Thank you for sharing !!!! I wish you and your family all the love health and happiness!!!! Bless you and your beautiful heart and family forever and always !!!!!! xoxoxo

Deidra Wallace · May 7, 2018 at 6:32 pm

So cute!

Nicole Raines · May 13, 2018 at 5:49 am

โค๏ธโค๏ธ

Ellen ms · May 27, 2018 at 4:19 pm

๐Ÿ’๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒบ. Touching story ๐Ÿ‘

Shavonne Ritchie · May 28, 2018 at 5:20 pm

So beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚

kerryanne28 · June 4, 2018 at 9:06 pm

This is so amazing and touching โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Gel · June 5, 2018 at 1:05 pm

What a lovely family โค๏ธ

Queen Nunley · June 7, 2018 at 7:34 pm

This is so precious.

Jojo Snickers · June 14, 2018 at 3:02 pm

I love this so much

Christine King · June 20, 2018 at 10:28 am

Wait a minute! You mean the other woman in this video is Lauren's mom? She is gorgeous, and she does not look like a grandma in the least. It's not hard to see where Lauren got her beauty.

Maelynn Wiggins · June 27, 2018 at 3:22 pm

The Rhett family is my FAVORITE FAMILY EVERโค๏ธ

Avery Bravery · July 5, 2018 at 8:36 am

Ada James is sooooo cute !

Sammy Smith · July 6, 2018 at 12:38 am

Thomas Rhett and is wife kids are cute I think Thomas Rhett and is wife are good parnets

KingAnthonyPhireck Rom · July 6, 2018 at 8:36 pm

I can't wait to see them grow up together. Beautiful family.

Mary Grigorian · July 9, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Love their beautiful family โ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธ

carly hice · July 13, 2018 at 9:48 pm

I love her so much. Sheโ€™s seriously my favoriteeeeee

gillian owens · July 20, 2018 at 2:17 pm

A great persons

Kathy Ford · July 23, 2018 at 7:59 am

So happy for them!

razan ! · July 28, 2018 at 7:09 pm

Lovely family ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ’•

Lauren Gregg · August 3, 2018 at 2:18 pm

Wonderful Story

Lauren Gregg · August 3, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Your Beautiful

Christy Ann Cormier · August 11, 2018 at 2:05 pm

beautiful ladie'z

Lulu Herrera · August 14, 2018 at 2:58 pm

What a beautiful family

Hit ta · August 17, 2018 at 9:58 pm

Thomas: weโ€™re adopting from Uganda and sheโ€™s the cutest little girl that youโ€™ve ever seen.
Me: OMG THIS IS WHAT ITS ABOUT LIFE CHANGES

FOR THE BY&BY · September 4, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Nice story, but why does she keep referring to her husband by his full name? Kinda strange.

Ser Dee · September 6, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Whites should not be able to get black kids

This Guy Is Crazy · September 8, 2018 at 4:10 am

what's wrong with ada james…….not "wrong" but you know

Robert Bowers · September 18, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Celebrities and their black trophy babies. They adopt African babies to get attention.

leah Renee · September 19, 2018 at 11:09 pm

๐Ÿ’—

Marcy Whitesell · September 21, 2018 at 12:58 am

Will u be adopting more and do u want more a big family

Lily Fultz · September 23, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Such beautiful & loving stories…I love the names yโ€™all chose for the girls, they are both so very precious & will you & Thomas be trying to have more children, adopt or both in the future?

Wesley The Auggie · October 2, 2018 at 11:49 pm

Their family is so cute I cant๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’“

Emma Teti · October 8, 2018 at 2:53 pm

So beautiful

lkzforlife · October 9, 2018 at 8:48 pm

"Pain with a purpose!" All worth it in the end!

Teresa Mack · October 18, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Lauren you have a BEAUTIFUL heart! Love just radiates right through you for all the world to see. In a society that places so much value on physical beauty you are a breath of fresh air; though you AND you Mom have also been blessed with physical beauty as well!! Throw in that wonderful husband of yours and your beautiful family; itโ€™s easy to see that you have been truly blessed by God…. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ

Alyce Gurl · October 28, 2018 at 2:04 am

Such a loving mother!!!

Neander Doe · October 28, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Poor girl. Sheโ€™ll live life completely different and they could care less.

Katelyn Leach · November 6, 2018 at 6:34 am

So cute omg โค๏ธโค๏ธ love this fam

Laura Majetich · November 12, 2018 at 11:27 pm

Adopting is such a ๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿ’• beautiful thing love love and more love ๐Ÿ’• .

Wanna D · November 18, 2018 at 1:53 am

Truly inspired ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฟโœจ May God continue to bless your family.

GODS CHILD · November 20, 2018 at 4:27 am

I love your testimony u guys are awesome parents and the way u interact with both daughters is amazing ๐Ÿ’—

Tam Lee · November 21, 2018 at 3:27 pm

LOVE her and LOVE her husband. Their relationship is #Goals!!!

Dorothy Lewis · November 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Beautiful Family

Kathy Ford · December 3, 2018 at 1:14 pm

I love how she calls all her loved ones by first and middle names โค๏ธ

Vera Nchezor · December 13, 2018 at 2:36 am

Where did they get the name Ada? That is a Nigerian igbo name for a first day. It means first Daughter of the family. Beautiful name๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’– love your beautiful family

Karen Good · December 14, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Am from Uganda I live in Germany and am in love with your family so beautiful ๐Ÿ˜

Desirae Ivy · December 15, 2018 at 7:08 pm

I think its so neat she uses first and middle name for her family.

Ashley Leach · December 15, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Beautiful testimony!๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’–

sabrinas harris · December 16, 2018 at 6:32 am

Sabrina

elmzy etis · December 18, 2018 at 9:47 am

Such a lovely baby

farah · December 31, 2018 at 4:17 am

That was beautiful! Im hoping to go down the same journey too.

Rhonda Paul · December 31, 2018 at 6:12 am

I love their names!!!

janet najjemba · January 2, 2019 at 9:05 am

Bambi from ug love u guys beautiful people may the Lord bless you

Guliana Tanner · January 6, 2019 at 9:17 am

That story about Willa telling her mom that Adaโ€™s hair bow was covering her eyes is heartwarming! ๐Ÿ˜ญโ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธ

Rain Coleman · January 6, 2019 at 11:24 pm

Love this family

ALAWHI BUYONDO · January 8, 2019 at 4:05 am

Be blessed guys, you're so nice!

Jenna S · January 8, 2019 at 5:26 am

She's beautiful inside and out โค

Ken Elledge · January 12, 2019 at 9:36 pm

As soon as I saw this video I cried and lagged at how great of parent y'all are all I want to say is thank you๐Ÿ˜…

If you do not know me I was the one who you talked to at your last concert during VIP section.

gamma*baby*lanipooh* love · January 20, 2019 at 9:25 pm

This is true definition of, heart, love, and life God bless yous all๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’‘๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™Œ

Janet Jones · January 23, 2019 at 2:19 am

She has a family people that loves her beautiful family

Rukevwe Onomake · January 29, 2019 at 8:00 am

โค๏ธโค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Lola Lola · February 1, 2019 at 8:24 am

Beautiful family

Travine Nembhard · February 3, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Beautiful

slim63881 · February 3, 2019 at 5:10 pm

What a wonderful story. My husband Craig and I adopted a little girl from Uganda six years ago. She is truly a miracle child. We had been married 13 years trying and I was never able to have a baby. Savannah is such a good-natured child. All her teachers say each year can we take her home. She has won the best class listener award 3 years in a row. She is so loving and giving. Uganda is a wonderful country to adopt from.

Sia Abie Bunduka · March 3, 2019 at 10:37 pm

You have earn yourself another subscriber your heart is made of GOLD keep it up.

GDAE BB · March 3, 2019 at 11:21 pm

This is really adorable but is it normal to say "Thomas Rhett" as a wife or as a spouse in genera;?.. just weird

Catherine Lighton · March 4, 2019 at 6:35 pm

They both look adorable

Sylivia Nats · March 6, 2019 at 8:40 am

May God bless you abundantly and may your family luck nothing in Jesus name

Racheal Mukungu · March 6, 2019 at 12:20 pm

New suby here. Am originally from Uganda raised in UK but uganda is the most beautiful country. God bless you both

Brittney Bryant · March 7, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Something in my eye……… ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Chrisey Brown · March 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Awwww ๐Ÿ˜ โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’“ ๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿค— may God bless you and your family โค๏ธ

immaculate heart · March 13, 2019 at 6:29 pm

wow,thanks dear for that great love and kind heart.may God bless you.i am from uganda too

Lena Binkley · March 14, 2019 at 10:55 am

God Bless you! Thank you! I'm so proud of y'all!! Y'all are very special people!! I'm a very big "FAN OF"ThomasRhett and I have been since day one! You are my favorite Male country singer and every since you became a father, YOUR Music has gotten a lot better!! You Rock Man!! Thanks for your awesome Music โ˜†โ™ก Have a great day to the Rhett family!โ˜†โ™ก God Bless! Peace ~n~Loveโ˜†โ™ก OX Lena Binkley

NCFITNESSPLUS Adrienne Hicks · March 21, 2019 at 3:53 pm

The Daughter and Mother are soooo Gorgeous! Inside and outside!

KimiZuss · March 26, 2019 at 9:59 am

Who is she?

GelรญcaA · March 28, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Them southern women are sweet

Carrol Whyte · March 28, 2019 at 5:50 pm

I love this story. Such a sweet couple. Blended family is so cute

Jennifer Watson · March 29, 2019 at 12:03 am

I myself was adopted at 13 days old … such a wonderful loving ๐Ÿฅฐ family… lucky girls ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

Sweet & Salty · March 29, 2019 at 1:23 am

The reason she calls him Thomas Rhett is because that's his first and middle name.
They are from the south and alot of southerners( including myself) call their kids by first and middle name.
His parents most likely called him by both names.

Cmc Sms · March 31, 2019 at 2:53 pm

Awesome woman of God

Karlee · April 8, 2019 at 11:43 am

Love the Akins family! Such a beautiful family. โค๏ธ

Honey C · April 14, 2019 at 8:21 pm

๐Ÿ™„

Shari Gill · April 16, 2019 at 1:41 am

Those two close already so young are going to be getting in trouble together when they become teens! ๐Ÿ˜‚โ™ฅ๏ธ

Jessica Wright · April 16, 2019 at 12:53 pm

I love their names so much

Nita Daniels · April 16, 2019 at 9:41 pm

Heart of gold to adopt an orphaned child

Megan Slone · April 17, 2019 at 6:55 am

This is LOVE.๐Ÿ’Ÿ

Mallory Mitchell · April 23, 2019 at 2:17 am

Lauren: "Pain with a purpose!!"

Lluisa Jhenefer Lennon · May 6, 2019 at 6:12 am

I was adopted from Brazil!!๐Ÿ’š

Victoria Sims · May 9, 2019 at 12:43 pm

She is so sweet!! I've always liked her!!

Savannah Kurtz · May 27, 2019 at 3:18 am

Thomas Rhett needs a documentary!

Avery Van Beck · May 27, 2019 at 7:46 pm

When Willa gray kisses Ada James I almost start crying

Rena Love · July 19, 2019 at 2:34 am

The cutest family

Chelsey Lynn · July 21, 2019 at 4:13 am

I love love love her! And the whole family!!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Christina Mcdonald · July 29, 2019 at 4:47 pm

And now they are having baby girl #3 congratulations y'all

anna mcfadden · July 30, 2019 at 3:05 pm

Beautiful girls

juligirl219 · August 10, 2019 at 5:53 pm

Real women right there! So refreshing

Ty Samuel · September 29, 2019 at 7:34 am

Sheโ€™s calling him Thomas Rhett cause that is his first name not middle or last lmbo. Look up his interview he says it himself itโ€™s his first name.

mary kay · September 30, 2019 at 9:36 pm

I so want to adopt a girl with my future hubby. So many babies who deserve a forever home

sunflower98765 · October 20, 2019 at 9:15 am

No black kids. Hell no, hell no.

Lindy Sue Routt · October 23, 2019 at 9:58 pm

Lauren
Your Daughters are Beautiful. Love the story "Eyes"…teehee! Willa and Ada are Adorable. Love themโคโค๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

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