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This morning on TODAY, Hoda Kotb returned from maternity leave and shared her emotional journey to motherhood. She’s still on cloud nine, two months after adopting her beautiful baby daughter, Haley Joy.
The moments that led up to her introduction to Haley Joy were obviously filled with happiness — and nervousness, too.
Hoda recounted that very special meeting on SiriusXM’s TODAY Show Radio this afternoon. To keep the adoption process private, her longtime boyfriend, Joel Schiffman, did not accompany her, but her best friend did.
“I’m in a room and I can hear (Haley Joy) crying from behind the door,” she said. “And I’m just standing there. And Karen is looking at me, and we’re both standing there, and she’s like, ‘Should I take video or pictures? My hands are shaking! I’m taking video! Who’s taking pictures?’ I’m like, Oh my God! It’s like you’re having a meltdown.”
The doors opened and Hoda saw a woman holding Haley Joy. “I almost fainted,” Hoda said through tears.
Mother and daughter instantly bonded. Hoda thought to herself, “If anything is a perfect fit, this is. ... Nothing felt more right than her in my arms.”
Before she took Haley Joy home, the adoption agency offered her a quick tutorial on parenting. For example, she was taught how to hold a child and eat a sandwich at the same time.
“I didn’t know how to hold her. I was literally YouTubing how to change a diaper, how to give a bath, how to burp. How do you know? I didn’t know,” she admitted.
Not only that, but she had to eat an egg salad sandwich, and she doesn’t even like egg salad!
Hoda also changed Haley Joy, and, she said, she had “never been happier than right then.”
After she was given a bag of diapers and formula, Hoda and Haley Joy were off to begin their new lives together.
How did Hoda come up with the name for her child? Let’s just say she received a sign from above.
“Halley’s comet was visible during that time,” she explained. “Everything was crazy. Everything was right.”
There's no question that Hoda is right for Haley Joy, and vice versa.
“I must have had a tiny hole in my heart that Haley filled perfectly,” she said.
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