IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Hoda Kotb talks life with baby Hope and why the 'door's still open' for a 3rd child

The TODAY co-anchor and her two daughters grace this week's People magazine cover.
/ Source: TODAY

Hoda Kotb may have just welcomed a second child a few weeks ago, but the TODAY co-anchor says she's already receptive to the idea of inviting a third.

"I come from three, so I think the door's still open," Hoda said in an interview with People magazine, on which she and her two daughters grace the cover of this week's issue.

Hoda introduced Hope Catherine to her family last month after adopting her with boyfriend Joel Schiffman.

Hoda Kotb and Haley Joy delight in the new addition to their family, Hope Catherine.
Hoda Kotb and Haley Joy delight in the new addition to their family, Hope Catherine.People

Hoda, 54, said she knew she wanted to expand her family ever since the couple adopted their first child, Haley Joy, shortly after she arrived on Valentine's Day 2017.

"I wanted another child, and I also thought Haley needs somebody to witness her life all the way through. A second child would just make it complete," Hoda said.

The couple called their adoption agency three months later to learn about next steps. They had to wait nine months before they could start the paperwork. The couple applied for a second adoption in November 2017, and then began to wait.

They occasionally received a call about a potential match only to see the possibility fall through.

"So much time passed that I started to think that maybe it's not for us," she said.

And that would have been just fine, she insisted.

"I was perfectly happy obviously with the blessing I got (in Haley)," Hoda said. "I already got the best thing in the world, so I just tried to live."

Hoda officially stepped into the TODAY's co-anchor spot in January 2018. A year later, she said farewell to her fourth-hour partner of 11 years, Kathie Lee Gifford.

But throughout the past 17 months, Hoda and Joel, 61, held onto hope, a word she wrote in her journal "about 10 million times" as she waited.

The couple reserved their apartment's third bedroom for a possible nursery rather than convert it into an office. They also began getting Haley ready about the idea of an addition.

"We were kind of prepping her, saying, 'Pretty soon you're going to have a brother or a baby sister,' and she'd say, 'Baby brother coming. Baby sister coming.'"

Hoda got the call she was waiting for a week last month just after Jenna Bush Hager made her debut as the permanent host of the fourth hour.

"I won't forget the day," she recalled. "The agency called me, and they said, 'Are you by yourself?' which made my heart pound a thousand miles an hour. And they said, 'It's a girl.'"

Hoda said she was overcome with emotion when she finally met her new daughter.

"I felt like, before Haley came, I'd had an average life. She stepped in it, my heart exploded. And then all of a sudden this little girl Hope steps in, and you realize how much room there is in there," she said. "You think you're topped out. But your heart's ability to expand blows my mind."

The household has been adjusting to the new addition, but Haley has taken well to the changes and has been absolutely delighted by her role as a new big sister.

"She's very protective of her," Hoda said.

But for now, Hoda is just trying to remember how to take care of a newborn again.

"I forgot everything! I was like, 'How do you hold the baby? How do you feed a baby? How do you swaddle?' I was Googling 'swaddling' and – you're not going to believe this – 'how to put on pajamas,'" she said.

"But I just can't believe how, in a blink, life changes, and all of a sudden there are two babies in this house. I'm just so overwhelmed with joy."