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Hoda Kotb gets emotional opening up about Haley Joy on World Adoption Day

"I could feel her," the TODAY anchor said about adopting her daughter.
/ Source: TODAY

Hoda Kotb took time on World Adoption Day to reflect on the life-changing experience of adopting her daughter.

The TODAY anchor welcomed 1-year-old Haley Joy into her life in February 2017 and has experienced one beautiful moment after another since the day she learned Haley would be hers.

"I feel like if you're meant to have a child in your life, your child is out there,'' Hoda told Jenna Bush Hager Friday on TODAY. "They said to me at the adoption agency, 'Don't worry, your child is out there waiting for you.' And I remember I would scribble in my journal, 'I know you're there.' I could feel her."

Since welcoming Haley, Hoda has shared her sweet moments with the 1-year-old, such as going on an Easter egg hunt, strolling on the beach, setting out on a weekend trip, and having Haley blow her a kiss from her crib.

Hoda also spoke about the hesitation she first felt when considering adoption.

"It's changed mine completely,'' she said about her life since Haley's adoption. "And I think sometimes you think either I can't ... or I waited too long, or circumstances didn't intend for me, and I should be grateful to have this life, and why would I ask for something more? It felt almost selfish."

Jenna, who is a mother of two daughters herself, saluted all the parents out there who have adopted children, as well as the birth mothers who decided to entrust other loving families with their children.

Hoda and Jenna also mutually disagreed with using the common phrase "giving up" children for adoption, when talking about parents who make that difficult and brave decision.

"It's probably the most loving thing a mom can do,'' Hoda said. "It's almost like, 'I know I can't care for this child, but I'm going to do the most loving act I'm capable of, and that is making sure this child is loved in the way he or she should (be).'''

"It's the opposite of giving up,'' Jenna added. "It's pushing on. It's saying that my child matters enough that I want them to have a future."