Hoda Kotb On 'the Minute' She Learned She Was a Mom: I Knew My Life 'Was Changing'
It’s been quite the year for Hoda Kotb.
In addition to recently becoming half of the first female team to helm Today in its 66-year history, the journalist is also now a mom to 11-month-old Haley Joy. During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, Kotb recounted the moment she realized she her dream to become a parent was coming true.
It all started with a simple text, reading, “Call me.”
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“I stopped for a minute. I looked at the clock and I wrote down 11:54 a.m. I knew that was the minute it was changing. I just felt it,” she told the host. “And I dialed the number, and [a woman from the adoption agency] answered the phone and she said, ‘She’s here.’ ”
Getting emotional, Kotb said, “I would take my worst day, the day when everything’s falling apart since Haley, over my favorite day before. She changed everything.”
The 53-year-old anchor also recounted talking to boyfriend of nearly four years Joel Schiffman about the decision to adopt.
“I had thought about having kids for a long, long time. But one day I was sitting with my boyfriend and I said to him, ‘I’m going to have to talk to you about something because I can’t push it down anymore, push it away,’ ” she explained. “I said, ‘Don’t answer now. Take a day, take a week, take some time. But I want to talk to you about this.’ And he said, ‘OK, what is it?’ And I said, ‘I would like to explore adoption with you.’ ”
Kotb added that Schiffman is nearly 60 years old and has a daughter in law school, but he didn’t hesitate.
“He looked at me and said, ‘I don’t need a day,’ ” she said. “And I knew I’d chosen the right man.”
Asked if the pair would ever marry, Kotb said, “Maybe, we might.”
Kotb also talked about permanently joining Savannah Guthrie at the Today anchor desk after Matt Lauer was fired in November for alleged inappropriate sexual behavior. She began by filling in for the former co-anchor, revealing that producers continued to ask her back week after week.
“It was never a real ‘Hey, we want to offer you something,’ ” she explained. “They sort of said, ‘We think this is working. Do you think it’s working? Do you think this is something we should try?’ ”
The host continued, “It was very, I think, organic and real. It didn’t feel like, we’re calling you, here’s a moment. It just sort of merged into a job.”
And she reassured DeGeneres that she hasn’t kicked the wine habit — she still hosts the 10 a.m. hour with Kathie Lee Gifford.