Hoda Kotb is candid about how she talks to her young daughters about adoption, saying they understand they come from her ‘heart’ and not from her ‘belly’.
The Today co-anchor, 57, shared what she tells her daughters Haley Joy, four, and Hope Catherine, two, about being adopted during a parenting discussion on Peoplethe new podcast ‘Me Becoming Mom’.
“I tell them they’re adopted, and I’m not sure they know 100 percent what that means,” says Hoda, who raises her children with her lender, Joel Schiffman.
Candid: Hoda Kotb, 57, told her daughters Haley, four, and Hope, two, that they were adopted during her appearance on People’s new podcast ‘Me Becoming Mom’
Honest: Today’s co-anchor explained that she “tells them they were adopted,” but she’s not sure they “know 100 percent 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, “Has a baby ever come out of your tummy?” And I said, “No. That didn’t happen.” 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 to conceive. For a long time she believed that motherhood was just not for her.
A decade later, however, the Today host began considering adoption — an idea 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 first-time mother. Two years later, they welcomed Hope in April 2019.
So sweet: Hoda said she told her kids, ‘You didn’t come from mommy’s tummy, you came from my heart’
Journey to Motherhood: Mother of two was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 42 years old and came out of treatment and couldn’t get pregnant
Joel, 63, also has 27-year-old daughter Kyle from a previous relationship.
“We haven’t had the big discussions about it yet, because I think that’s yet to come. But right now they know they’ve been adopted,” Hoda said of their young daughters.
“I tell them how cool it is,” she added. “I tell them their niece Ella has been adopted and, you know, ‘all the cool kids have been 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’ll finally say ‘I do’.
On last spring’s Today show, 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 it’s good to have all those things in order,” she said.
The mother of two added that having married parents is one less thing for their daughters to explain as they get older.
True love: A decade later, she started considering adoption, an idea 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) has also been adopted and says, “All the cool kids have been 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 with a laugh.
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 shows 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 if it’s true,” Hoda told DailyMail.com at the time. “It was one of those moments when you have a vulnerable moment and you think, ‘Yeah, I did that.’
While she had no intention of breaking the news, she also had no regrets about being open about her desire to have another child.
“Sometimes I think saying something out loud makes it happen, oddly enough,” Hoda said. “You know, it’s almost like having a secret wish 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’s going to happen. I mean, we hope, we pray, we want it, and we feel like we have enough love and space. You know, so far our family just keeps getting better.’