Four years ago, Hoda Kotb became a mother at 52 after adopting baby girl, Haley Joy. Two years later, she and fiancé Joel Schiffman adopted another bundle of joy, Hope Catherine. And over the summer, Kotb shared she and Schiffman have plans to grow their family by adopting a third baby.
But there was a time when the TODAY co-anchor wasn’t so sure Schiffman, her boyfriend at the time, would be interested in adopting with her.
On the first episode of People’s “Me Becoming Mom” podcast, Kotb recalls being uneasy about discussing her desire to be a mother with Schiffman, as they were newly dating and he had an older daughter of his own already in law school.
“I was terrified,” she said. “I was rehearsing in my head ‘how am I going to say this?’”
She continued: “I think what I was probably the most scared of us was that I knew I was going to do it any way. Depending what he said would have depended on whether or not he was going to be in my life. And I wasn’t sure I wanted that to go away.”
When Kotb mustered up the nerve to sit Schiffman down to tell him she wanted to “explore adoption with you” she said she thought to herself, “This is the end of a relationship or the beginning of a family.”
Kotb told the podcast’s host Zoë Ruderman when Schiffman immediately agreed to go on the adoption journey with her, she knew she made the right decision in dating him.
“I said I chose right. I chose a man who chose my happiness over his convenience maybe in that moment.”
During the podcast episode, Kotb, 57, also discusses what it’s like becoming a parent at an older age.
“There are a lot of things you evaluate in your life when you’re an older parent,” she says. “I feel like there are so many pluses, I can’t even quantify them all. You're calmer, you have your priorities straight. You have all these things. I’m also keenly aware that I want two siblings that can share a life alongside one another, long after we’re gone.”