Hoda Kotb has opened up about how she talks to her young daughters about adoption, saying they understand that they came from her ‘heart’ not her ‘tummy.’
The Today co-anchor, 57, shared what she tells her daughters Haley Joy, four, and Hope Catherine, two, about being adopted during a discussion about parenthood on People‘s new podcast ‘Me Becoming Mom.’
‘I tell them they were adopted, and I’m not sure if they 100 percent know what that means,’ said Hoda, who is raising her children with her financier fiancé Joel Schiffman.
Candid: Hoda Kotb, 57, opened up about telling her daughters Haley, four, and Hope, two, they’re adopted during her appearance on People’s new podcast ‘Me Becoming Mom’
Honest: The Today co-anchor explained that she ‘tells them they were adopted,’ but she isn’t sure they ‘100 percent know what that means’
‘I always say, “You didn’t come from Mommy’s tummy, you came from my heart.” And they understand that,’ she continued.
‘They said, “Did a baby ever come from you tummy?” And I said, “No. It didn’t.” And [my daughter] said, “Okay, I’m adopted.” They say that all the time.’
Hoda was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 42 years old and came out of treatment unable to conceive. She believed for a long time that motherhood just wasn’t in the cards for her.
However, a decade later, the Today host began considering adoption — an idea that she decided to discuss with her then-boyfriend Joel, who was immediately on board.
Hoda was 52 years old when she and Joel adopted Haley in February 2017, making her a mom for the first time. Two years later, they welcomed Hope in April 2019.
So sweet: Hoda said she tells her children: ‘You didn’t come from Mommy’s tummy, you came from my heart’
Journey to motherhood: The mother of two was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 42 years old and came out of treatment unable to conceive
Joel, 63, also has a 27-year-old daughter Kyle from a previous relationship.
‘We haven’t had the big discussions about it, because I think that is to come. But in this moment, they know that they are adopted,’ Hoda said of their young daughters.
‘I tell them how cool it is,’ she added. ‘I tell them that their cousin Ella was adopted and, you know, “All the cool kids were adopted” — they get such a kick out of that.’
Hoda and Joel had to postpone their wedding twice so far due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s unclear when they will finally say ‘I do.’
On the Today show last spring, she explained why they want to get married after so many years together.
‘With our family, there are a lot of things that are unusual about our grouping and I think that’s it’s good to have all those things in order,’ she said.
The mother of two added that having parents who are married will be one less thing for their daughters to have to explain when they get older.
True love: A decade later, she began considering adoption, an idea that she decided to discuss with her now-fiancé Joel, who was immediately on board
Cute: Hoda also reminds Hope and Haley that their cousin Ella (second from right) is also adopted, saying ‘All the cool kids were adopted’
‘I think everyone makes their own choice, but you have so many things to explain, like, “That’s my mom and dad. They’re not married. We’re adopted. They’re old.” There’s a lot to talk about,’ she said, laughing.
Hoda has also been candid about her desire to expand her family and adopt a third child. Last November, she confirmed on The Drew Barrymore Show that she and Joel had completed the paperwork to start the adoption process.
‘You know what’s funny? I don’t know why I said that — even though it’s true,’ Hoda told DailyMail.com at the time. ‘It was one of those moments where you’re having a vulnerable moment and you’re like, “Yeah, I did do that.”‘
While she didn’t intend to go public with the news, she also didn’t regret being open about her wish to have another child.
‘Sometimes I do think speaking something out loud sort of wills it into existence, weirdly,’ Hoda said. ‘You know, it’s almost like if you have a secret desire or dream you can even just whisper it. And if you do, there’s a chance you’re just giving it validity.
‘And, [then] again, you don’t want to say something out loud because what if it doesn’t happen,’ she added.
‘We don’t know what will happen. I mean, we hope, we pray, we want it to, and we feel like we have enough love and room. You know, so far, our family is just getting better.’