Country singer Thomas Rhett went the extra mile in “daddy duty” when he donned a satin pink bonnet with white polka dots to match his daughter Willa Gray.
“Just a little night cap,” Rhett wrote under the December 7 Instagram photo that showed the two of them right before bedtime.
Thomas and his wife Lauren Akins, are the parents to two little girls, Ada James, 16 months, and Willa Gray, 3, who they adopted from Uganda. The family resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
And while the moment has gone viral, because who doesn’t love a cute daddy-daughter photo, several commentators thanked Thomas and his wife for making Willa Gray’s hair care a priority.
“No disrespect to other families, but a lot of the time I See families with adopted kids not taking the time to incorporate the child’s culture or cultural practices into their lives and that’s sad,” wrote one commenter named @funkmasterbex. “I’m glad that you guys have taken the time to incorporate Black hair care into her life! I also hope you guys raise her with knowledge of her Ugandan heritage because our culture is beautiful,” he continued.
The Rhett-Akins began their adoption journey in 2016, when Lauren visited a Ugandan village during a volunteer effort with a Christian ministry. While visiting a local orphanage she met and fell in love with Willa, who went by the nickname “Blessing.” At the time, the couple was having trouble conceiving and began considering the adoption process.
“She was a total orphan and didn’t have any biological relatives, no one,” Lauren said in a 2017 interview with People. “Her life was going to be at the children’s home unless someone else tried to give her a home,” Lauren says. “So I thought, ‘We need to find her a home.’ I thought we’d be the helpers — and then Thomas Rhett said, ‘We’ll do it!’ “
After almost a year of ups and downs, the couple was not only able to adopt Willa, but they conceived on their own! In 2017 the Rhett’s welcomed Willa into their family and gave birth to Ada James.
It’s definitely refreshing to note when white parents educate themselves about Black hair care, which will hopefully instill a sense of pride and self-worth into Willa once she is older.
“I hope God has given me all the right tools to raise Willa Gray to know that no matter where she comes from, she is our child, and that we want her to express her diversity,” Thomas Rhett said in an August interview with People. “She’s from Tennessee and she’s from Uganda and I want her to be proud of that.”
“I hope that we can raise both of our children to be super proud of who they are and where they come from — and that they know me and Lauren love them beyond anything else that exists in this world,” he continued.