Thomas Rhett and His Wife Teach Their Adopted Daughter, Willa, to Be Proud of Her Culture
Thomas Rhett and his wife, Lauren Akins, are raising their adopted daughter, 4-year-old Willa Gray, to take pride in the culture from which she hails. The couple adopted the little girl from Uganda in 2017.
They're also teaching their entire brood — which includes Ada James, 3, and 7-month-old Lennon Love — to be kind and understanding while instilling Willa with an extra appreciation for her origins. The pair went through an arduous adoption process to bring their daughter home three years ago.
In a recent interview with ET, Rhett revealed that his family's diversity is "something that we talk about really openly" after Willa, who is Black, first noticed her family "looks a lot different" than others.
Indeed, the country superstar and his spouse use such opportunities as teaching moments for the youngster.
"I think mine and Lauren's main thing we want to get across is how proud we are and that we want her to grow up proud of herself and her family," Rhett explains. "To embrace who you are and to embrace your uniqueness and embrace your culture as well. That's something we want to educate her on as long as she's still in our household and even beyond that."
After all, Willa is "one of the smartest [kids] that I've ever met," the veteran country singer admits. It's that budding intelligence that's driving the family man to raise his offspring on a foundation of genuine concern and generosity in a society that can often seem to display quite the opposite.
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"We just try to preach to our kids to shine your light everywhere you go and realize that the world is cruel, but that doesn't mean that you have to be," Rhett says. "We're still dealing with it just like everybody else and we're still trying to ask the right questions and educate ourselves as well."
He knows a thing or two about being grateful — not to mention how to share. Earlier this month, Rhett split the honor of receiving the 2020 ACM Awards' Entertainer of the Year trophy with fellow country singer Carrie Underwood. It was an extremely rare tie among the annual awards show.
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