Thomas Rhett was upstaged by his 18-month-old daughter Willa Gray on Friday, who smiled for the cameras moments before her dad's Today show performance
The Grammy nominee, 27, was upstaged by his 18-month-old daughter Willa Gray, who smiled for the cameras moments before her dad’s performance.
Thomas Rhett’s wife Lauren, who is expecting a baby this August, was also in the crowd, cheering her husband on as he made his way through his hits like “Die a Happy Man” and “Star of the Show.”
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RELATED VIDEO: Thomas Rhett and Wife Lauren on Their Adoption Journey
The couple adopted Willa from Uganda, welcoming her to their family on May 11.
“It’s crazy. It’s been me and Lauren for four years, so when you add a daughter to the mix, it makes life even crazier,” Thomas Rhett told Matt Lauer and Hoda Kotb, the latter of whom recently adopted a baby girl of her own. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s crazy how little Willa has adapted. It’s pretty amazing.”
The singer and his wife recently detailed their journey to adoption exclusively to PEOPLE. Lauren first met Willa, aptly nicknamed “Blessing” in her home country, in 2016 when she visited Uganda — a country with 147 million orphans. At the time, the couple had been trying to conceive without success and had just begun to discuss adoption.
When Thomas Rhett saw a photo of Lauren holding Willa, he was struck by his wife’s obvious bond with the baby, who had been orphaned when she was still a newborn.
“Lauren had this amazing glow about her and it just felt like she was already our daughter in a weird way,” Thomas Rhett said. ” ‘I just blurted out, ‘We should bring her home.’ “
“When I met Willa, her story was pretty intense,” Lauren said of the toddler, who’d been brought to the children’s home soon after her birth in November 2015.
“All orphans have heart-wrenching stories, but it felt like this specific baby was ours. I think that the Lord knew what he was doing when he did not let us get pregnant.”
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It was far from a simple process, though. Many months of documents and red tape followed and, in between, the couple made a dozen trips to the African nation over the past year.
In the meantime, they discovered Lauren was finally pregnant (another girl!), which meant that her window for bringing Willa home was closing fast.
Nearing her third trimester, Lauren traveled to Uganda in April, hoping to bring Willa home. But the adoption wasn’t finalized before she needed to return to the States for a pregnancy checkup.
Eventually, Lauren’s dad — an airline pilot himself — and her mom took their daughter’s place in Uganda, and the two made the 7,000-mile journey to Nashville, Tennessee, with their new granddaughter.
Though the couple has had to adjust to full-time parenting pretty quickly, they’re relishing in their new roles.
“It is very weird to be called ‘Dad’ by a little human being,” Thomas Rhett said. “But it is one of the coolest feelings in the world. Nothing beats that.”