Hoda Kotb never gave adoption much of a thought, but she couldn’t be happier now that she’s an adoptive mom, the “TODAY” host revealed on Thursday’s episode to mark World Adoption Day.
“World Adoption Day could have gone by a thousand times, and I would have never blinked an eye,” she told her co-star Kathie Lee Gifford. “Didn’t even think twice about it. Thought, ‘Good for you,’ for people who do it, but never imagined it would end up being such an important part of my world.”
Kotb had always dreamed of becoming a mom, but didn’t think it was in the cards for her after a battle with breast cancer in 2008. But last year, she felt the one thing missing from her life was a child. When she brought up the possibility of adoption to her longtime partner Joel Schiffman, he was immediately on board. She went on to adopt her baby girl Hayley Joy and shared the joyous news with the world in February.
“When you adopt a baby you feel like that child — although they may not be your flesh and blood — you feel that they are yours,” the proud mom said.
Kotb went on to praise birth mothers who “make a very generous decision” to give their children up for adoption, calling it the “ultimate form of love.” She also opened up about how being adopted would affect her daughter as she grows up and how the family will deal with it.
“I just was thinking about her life ahead,” she said. “I know a lot of people worry when they adopt, like what will happen when. I just feel like that’s part of what makes her so special. It’s awesome.”