Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren Akins appeared on Thursday's at-home edition of The Kelly Clarkson Show and told the story of 4-year-old daughter Willa Gray Akins' adoption.
Akins told Kelly Clarkson she had "always talked about adopting" her "whole life" and that her mom is adopted.
"I just thought it was really cool," she said. "We'd talked about it off and on, but it wasn't something that we had sat down and had, like, a full-on adoption conversation."
That conversation happened after Akins traveled to Uganda with the organization 147 Million Orphans in 2016 and met a baby girl. After posting a photo of the little one on social media and talking to her husband via FaceTime, Akins knew she had to find the child her "forever home."
"I was, like, so moved. I mean, the second I touched her, it was, like, electric," she recalled. "I was like, 'Oh my word. This little girl has just taken my heart.' I was like, 'Honey, we've gotta find her her forever home. Like, I know that's why I'm here is to get this girl to her home.'"
As Clarkson listened to the story, she started to cry.
"Oh my God. OK. You totally Oprah'ed me just now. I did my own makeup and this is not waterproof," the singer and host said while wiping away a tear. "It's so beautiful because I know that feeling. As a mama, you touch them and you hug them. It doesn't matter if it's yours or not. We're a blended family. You're like, this is my purpose. It's such a powerful thing."
Rhett also recalled talking to his wife after a concert and just knowing they had to bring the child home.
"I don't fully remember even saying it," the country crooner said. "It was, like, such a spiritual thing for me that it came out of my body. Then, literally two weeks after, we were having home assessments and talking to adoption agencies."
However, the process wasn't easy. Rhett and Akins spent months filing documents, traveling to Africa and taking all of the required steps. Then, in 2017, Akins announced she was pregnant. In an interview with People, Akins recalled traveling to Uganda near her third trimester and hoping to bring Willa home. However, she told the magazine the adoption wasn't finalized before she had to head back to the U.S. for a pregnancy check-up.
"I probably could have pushed it, but I just didn't want to think something could go wrong with my pregnancy," she told the publication. "It felt weird leaving one daughter and making sure the other one is okay. But I couldn't do it another way."
Akins' mother and father ended up bringing Willa to Nashville. The "Unforgettable" artist told People it felt like "Christmas Day" as they arrived at the airport.
Just a few months later, Akins gave birth to a baby girl named Ada James Akins, now 2. The couple also welcomed another bundle of joy, Lennon Love Akins, in February.
To see a few sweet photos of the family, check out the gallery.
Also, watch the videos to see Rhett talk about the adoption and his life as a father of three.