In 2016, Thomas Rhett and wife Lauren Akins were just a couple of happily married 26-year-olds enjoying four years of marriage.
Fast forward four years to May 2020, Thomas Rhett, 30, and Lauren, 30, are the proud parents of three beautiful girls: Willa Gray, 4, Ada James, 2, and Lennon Love, 2 months. And they’re still happily married.
TR and Lauren were in the process of adopting Willa Gray from Uganda in February 2017 when Lauren revealed that she was pregnant with Ada James. After a yearlong adoption process, TR and Lauren welcomed Willa Gray home in May 2017, three months before Ada James was born in August 2017. Lennon Love joined the family in February 2020.
In her upcoming memoir, Live in Love: Growing Together Through Life’s Changes, Lauren chronicles many of the “challenges they faced as they adjusted to the reality of becoming first-time parents” and opens up about her “life-changing experiences doing mission work in Haiti and Uganda, where she met the precious baby who would become their first daughter.”
As Thomas Rhett told Paul Koffy and Jasmine Sadry of Westwood One’s nationally syndicated morning show, Morning Koffy, the adoption process was “one of the toughest times in our marriage,” but TR believes he and his wife “grew so much stronger as a couple.”
“I mean, to me, marriage is super fun and all the good things that come with marriage, but I think that the hardships during a marriage really create your rock, in your marriage, if that makes any sense,” says Thomas Rhett. “There’s no marriage in the universe that is just a breeze the whole way through. And I think one of the most beautiful bits about a marriage is sacrifice. And so, when we were going over to Uganda, back and forth and in the process to adopt Willa Gray, it was definitely one of the toughest times in our marriage, ever. For multiple reasons.
“[Lauren] was in Uganda, pregnant, while I was back in America playing shows, and I remember leaving a stage somewhere in Arizona, and flying from Arizona straight back to Uganda, then back to Nashville, then back to Uganda. And it’s just like we were just exhausted, mentally, physically, emotionally. And then finding out halfway through the process that we’re going to have to live in Uganda for an extra five or six months to make sure the adoption went through. There was just so many lessons.
“And I think through that, we grew so much stronger as a couple, because really we learned how to rely on each other, but also learned how to rely so much more on the Lord, just because in circumstances like that, you don’t have any control over any of it. I mean, you are literally at the mercy of the government, or a probation officer, or whatever it is. And Lauren’s book coming out in a few months goes really deep into this stuff.”
Live in Love: Growing Together Through Life’s Changes will be released on Aug. 18.
Tune in to Morning Koffy on May 8 to hear Paul and Jasmine’s full interview with Thomas Rhett.
photo by Curtis Hilbun, AFF-USA.com