The Today co-host shares daughters Hope Catherine, 17 months, and Haley Joy, 3½, with fiancé Joel Schiffman

By Benjamin VanHoose and Charlotte Triggs
October 07, 2020 09:00 AM
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Hoda Kotb has plenty of love to go around.

The Today show co-host tells PEOPLE that the possibility of adopting a third child with fiancé Joel Schiffman is definitely on the table. Kotb, 56, is already mom to daughters Hope Catherine, 17 months, and Haley Joy, 3½, both of whom she welcomed via adoption.

"It's funny, I think to myself — and I've obviously had a conversation with Joel about it, many conversations — but I feel like, well, can we? Yes. Will our family be better with it? Yes. Do we have enough love in the house? Yes. All the answers seem to say yes," Kotb tells PEOPLE in this week's issue.

"I think then you just wait and see if it's meant to be for you," she continues. "That's where we are on that. I feel like families come in so many different shapes and sizes and as long as there's lots of love, I think they'll endure. I'm just going to wait and see on that one."

With her inspirational new book This Just Speaks to Me (out Oct. 13), Kotb looks at the silver linings in life — something she's done a lot of throughout the pandemic.

"It's a different world," the working mom says of the extra time at home with her family. "I didn't know that I'd ever get this much time with my kids, and I've loved every second of it."

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Hoda Kotb and family
Hoda Kotb/ Instagram

"If you're into the silver linings, it changed everything. I feel like I didn't miss a minute of Hope, not a minute. And how lucky am I that I got to witness that?" says Kotb of her younger child, who is "talking up a storm" nowadays.

Her older daughter Haley is in preschool now, and when Kotb drops her off and picks her up from the socially distanced classroom sessions, she can't help but rave about parenthood with the other moms.

"One of my favorite things is standing six feet apart from the moms at the place, waiting for her to come out. And literally, she sprints out the door ... and I scoop her up. It's the best," she says of their end-of-the-school-day routine.

"When they go in," she adds of drop-offs, "I'm watching her face. When I see her pointing to her friend saying, 'That's my mom out there,' it makes me want to weep."

Hoda Kotb/ Instagram

Kotb also opened up to PEOPLE about concerns in being an older mother and worrying that she won't always be there to support them — but she says her girls already show signs of a strong bond with each other.

"I was watching them yesterday and they were in the living room playing and they're holding hands. I just looked at them," she says. "Because one of my, obviously, concerns is as an older mom, you want them to be loved forever, for their whole life. It can be scary to think of that."

"When I saw them standing there holding hands together and they were literally in our apartment, walking back and forth, holding hands," continues Kotb, "I looked at Joel and I said: 'I think we did it. ... I think they're lifelong, forever. I think they're going to help each other forever.' "

"It was so moving to me in that moment for some reason to look at them, oblivious to us, just there together, holding hands," she adds. "I was thinking in that moment, I hope you guys have your hands in each other's hands for the rest of your life."

For more from Hoda Kotb, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.