The COVID-19 pandemic delayed Hoda Kotb’s plans to adopt a third child — but she still dreams of giving her daughters, Haley, 5, and Hope, 3, another sibling.
“It’s definitely in the universe for me,” the TODAY co-host told People magazine for its “Family Issue,” on newsstands August 19. “I feel like whatever is meant to be is meant to be. But I know a few things. I have love and time, and we have an open space.”
Hoda and her former partner Joel Schiffman adopted Haley in February 2017. Hope joined the family in April 19.
Though Hoda and Schiffman, a businessman, ended their engagement earlier this year, they remain devoted co-parents of Haley and Hope. While speaking with People, Hoda described her ex as a "great dad."
“I don’t regret one day, not one minute, not one second of our time together because it brought me here. I have two incredible children I share with him. And it’s because of Joel that I have Haley and Hope, without question,” she revealed. “I think I might have been too afraid to do it alone. That’s not something I love to admit, but it’s true.”
Hoda became a mom at age 52 after a battle with breast cancer. She said she still has pinch-me moments.
“I always imagined family as my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister,” she explains. “I envisioned it that way until I was 50. Imagine someone saying, ‘Hey, guess what? You’re actually going to have a whole other family.’ It still surprises me! It delights me to know that I have Haley and Hope," she shared. "They fell asleep on me yesterday after having meltdowns, and I sang to them, and in that moment I was just thinking to myself, ‘I get to feel these things. We get to have this together.’ It blows my mind that I get to have this adorable little family that’s just right for me.”
Last year, Hoda gushed that her kids are “intertwined.” The sisters, just like their mom, express their gratitude for each other in words and pictures.
“They write each other notes and the teachers deliver them,” Hoda gushed on People’s “Me Becoming Mom” podcast. “I’m so blown away by the love that they share.”