Some people say good things come to those who wait, and for Ms. Hoda Kotb this is definitely the case!
The Today’s cohost has entered the world of motherhood, adopting a precious baby girl, Haley Joy, 10 years after breast cancer treatments left her unable to conceive.
When speaking on her yearning to become a mother Kotb told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview, “One of the things in my life I’ve always wanted was to be a mom. Sometimes in your life, things just don’t work out for whatever reason, so you say, ‘Well, I wasn’t meant to have that.’ But it was really hard to come to terms with it.”
Friends of Hoda say there was never any inkling that the 52-year-old desired children because she never once complained about the matter or spoke publicly on wanting them.
Co-anchor and close friend Kathy Lee told the mag:
“Hoda is such a grateful person. She’s not a whiner or complainer, so she rejoiced in the blessings she had, and she loved being an aunt and found great joy in that. It seemed like that was enough for her. She never let on that it was something missing in her life.”
But Kotb admits privately there was a deep longing.
“There was hole. People would say, ‘Oh, do you have kids?’ And I’d feel like, ‘Ouch.’ I knew inside it was supposed to be for me.”
Hoda’s desire for kids was so strong that at one point she considered switching careers to become a school teacher or running a summer camp.
“One of the reasons was because I couldn’t have children. Finally I said to myself one day, ‘Why can’t I? Why not me?’ I had this ache in me that I couldn’t push away anymore.”
Just last year, after reembracing the thought of motherhood, Kotb proposed the topic of adoption to her boyfriend of 3 years, 58-year-old financier Joel Schiffman.
“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.”
Fast forward to less than 10 days ago and Hoda’s life has become one filled with diaper changes, bottle feedings and lots of laundry! Reflecting on when her newborn first came home Kotb says, “We just stayed in the apartment and ate and slept and burped and took naps, and that’s it. That’s all. But it’s fun!”
Gushing on her love for baby Haley Hoda says, “It’s one of those things where you think you’ve done it all, you think you’ve felt it all, but I just didn’t know that this kind of love existed.”
The full article detailing Hoda’s emotional adoption journey will be on newsstands this Friday.
Awe, congrats Hoda!