Hoda Kotb’s life change forever when she adopted her daughter Haley Joy in 2017. For years, Hoda says that felt like something was missing in her life — she soon found out it was being a mother. But since she was already in her 50s when she started thinking about adoption, she didn’t think that she could handle motherhood and kept pushing her yearning to be a mom to the side, she tells Us Weekly.
“I was at a point where things were not in my favor. Every time I had a pang like, ‘I wish I could,’ I pushed it away.”
But as time went on, she just couldn’t push away her strong feelings of having a child any longer. The TV personality admitted that she used Sandra Bullock as an example for herself, thinking that if Sandra could adopt two children, why couldn’t she? The last straw was seeing a photo of a Syrian refugee — it was then that Kotb knew she had to do something to help a child while also helping herself.
“All of a sudden, I thought, ‘Why not me?'” she confessed. “I wanted it to go from a dream, a wish, a prayer to a reality.”
Now, Kotb’s daughter is already 17-months-old and Hoda still can’t believe that she’s a mom — even claiming that getting to do things like wake up in the middle of the night with Haley is the “coolest thing ever.” She adopted Haley with her longtime boyfriend, Joel Schiffman, who was fully on board with the adoption from the beginning.
After all the years of putting her career before her family, Kotb says that she is so glad that she decided to take the leap and adopt. The 54-year-old says that she has finally found her calling in life and she just could not be happier.
“My whole life, my career has been riding shotgun with me. But now, with Haley, it feels like, for the first time, I can see clearly. I understand my purpose. I understand why I’m on this earth. All of a sudden, the most exciting part of the day is after work when I’m holding her. Not when I’m interviewing someone, even if it’s Beyonce.”
Now, Hoda hopes that her story will help to inspire others who are on the fence about adopting. She says that many of her fans have come up to her and told her that she was the inspiration behind their adoption because before they thought they were too old, and this is something that brings Kotb to tears.
Another plus? Kotb says that she and her life partner, Joel, have become even closer after adopting their daughter.
“I didn’t know how sexy it would be to watch my life partner dance with our daughter in the kitchen. It’s the best thing ever, a whole other level of love that I haven’t experienced,” the Today Show host dished.