Hoda Kotb and her boyfriend Joel Schiffman are celebrating four years together today. On Monday morning, Kathie Lee Gifford’s co-host posted a sweet photo of her beau and her new daughter, Hailey, whom she adopted earlier this year, on Instagram.
The couple has been exclusive for the past few years, taking a big step in their relationship in 2016: They moved in together! It’s something that Kotb thought was a little odd, given her age, but it is something that she wanted to do — and things seem to be going extremely well for her and Schiffman, a financier.
“It’s a little weird to be in your 50s and we’re like ‘Hey, we’re moving in!’ It’s like we’re kids. It’s so weird. It’s been so long since I’ve lived with someone, I’m a little concerned with me – not him. Like how I am, as a human? You know, it’s not going to be easy for poor Joel,” Kotb said on her SiriusXM radio show at the time, according to Us Weekly.
“She is the love of my life. I didn’t know my heart could feel like this. This is a moment in my life that I never thought would happen, and here it is, happening to me,” Kotb said on The Today Show after announcing that she had adopted her sweet little girl.
The outlet also reported that Schiffman and Kotb are a “family of three,” suggesting that his name may also have been on the adoption papers. Interestingly enough, People Magazine refers to Hailey as Kotb’s daughter, not the couple’s — but there’s an explanation. Kotb talked to Schiffman about adopting a baby and it was something he was completely on board with — which made Kotb over-the-moon happy. The two sat down for a conversation about adopting and Kotb was overjoyed to learn that her boyfriend wanted to take on the role of “dad.”
“I was afraid to even say it out loud, because then it felt so real. I said, ‘Think about it for a day or a week or whatever.’ And he said, ‘I don’t need a day. Let’s get this journey going.’ At that point I blubbered like a baby. It was like the dam burst,” Kotb said of the emotional decision.
As People Magazine points out, Kotb worked with a licensed New York adoption agency to find and adopt Hailey. However, Kotb and Schiffman decided to leave his name off of the adoption papers to “simplify the process.” This could likely be because the two aren’t married. Either way, Kotb insists that Hailey will call Schiffman “dad.”
Schiffman has a 23-year-old daughter named Kyle from a previous relationship. While he is starting from scratch with the diaper changes and the bottle feedings, Kotb says that he is doing a wonderful job.
“[He] has been so great. He’s such a great dad and a great influence,” she said recently. Around that time, Kotb shared the following photo of Schiffman hanging out with Hailey on her playmat, getting in some tummy time.
And, of course, Hailey Joy has been warmly welcomed into The Today Show family — and she fits right in. Check out the photo below, posted by Kotb on May 12.
Hailey was born on Valentine’s Day. She is the first child for Hoda Kotb, who has wanted to be a mother for quite some time.
You can catch Kathie Lee and Hoda weekdays during the 10 a.m. hour of The Today Show, which airs on NBC. Are you a fan of the show? Are you happy that Kotb has found love and happiness in her life?
[Featured Image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]