Thoams Rhett talks a lot about the oldest of his three young daughters, 6-year-old Willa Gray, who he and his wife Lauren adopted from Uganda. He opened up about adoption on Today Show host Hoda Kotb’s podcast.
Thomas tells Hoda, “She asks questions all the time she talks to Lauren, like, ‘When can we go see my friends in Uganda?'” Even Willa’s younger sister Ada gets in on the questions asked. Rhett recalls, “And then Ada James will be like, ‘Well, when can I go see our friends in Uganda?’ And Willa Gray will be like, ‘Well, they’re not your friends, they’re my friends.'”
Like many adoptive parents, Thomas isn’t always sure how to respond to Willia’s questions. He admits, “I think when you become a parent, you’re like, ‘Well, I’m a dad, I have all the answers.’ Or, ‘I’m a mom; I have all the answers.’ And adoption is one of the most beautiful things in the world, but I don’t think at the beginning of it you go, ‘Oh, in six years, I’m gonna have to start answering some really intense questions. You go, ‘Well, what age is the right age?'”
He added, “The world is moving so fast that it’s like, to have a conversation with a 6-year-old like that — maybe I’m old-school that way — but I’m like, ‘Maybe we need to wait ’til she’s 10.'”
Rhett says that he and Lauren try to shield their girls a bit with all that is going on in the world these days. He offered, “They haven’t been tainted by the world yet. They haven’t been jaded by the world yet. They don’t see things like adults see things. And so in your parent brain, you’re like, ‘How can I keep this innocence alive as long as possible?’ We try to be as honest as we can without the confusion. But it’s freaking hard.”