There are few joys in life greater than the experience of becoming a new parent. Although having children isn’t for everyone, there is nothing quite like the bond that forms between parent and child.
Some people desperately want children but due to complications in their life or with health, are unable to do so. Today Show host Hoda Kotb had always wanted to be a mother but her ten year battle with cancer left her unable to conceive a child.
At the age of 52, Kotb never quite got over her desires to be a mother and decided to go with the next best option of adopting daughter Haley Joy. She’s even received a special gift from Carrie Underwood!
Kotb described the pain she would feel whenever asked if she had any children and she would have to respond with no. After living with the sadness of not being able to have a child she finally thought to herself ‘Why can’t I? Why not me?’ she told People, ‘I had this ache in me that I couldn’t push away any more.’
Adjusting to life as a new mom, Kotb has opened up to People about her experience and time with Haley Joy. She also had a phone interview with co-anchors at Today which brought them to tears.
Things seemed hopeless for Kotb when she battled breast cancer and was left unable to conceive a child. During this time her marriage of two years also ended in divorce. But Kotb’s desire to become a mom never went away.
Although she desperately wanted a child, Kotb rarely voiced her desires or spoke of them publicly. She is described by co-anchor and friend Kathie Lee Gifford as a very grateful person who doesn’t whine or complain.
Despite her positive outlook on life, Kotb told People that ‘there was a hole’ although she did find joy from being an aunt.
She wanted to be a mother so badly, that she had even thought about leaving her career as a TV anchor and becoming a teacher or camp counselor.
After growing tired of the sting and realizing that having kids was meant for her she decided o begin the process with her boyfriend Joel Schiffman, a 58-year-old financier.
Kotb told People that she had been nervous to even say it out loud ‘because then it felt so real’ and told Schiffman to think about it for a day or so. However his response was supportive telling her he was ready to get the journey going.
‘At that point I blubber like a baby,’ Kotb told People. ‘It was like the dam burst.’ And so began the adoption process. She started working with an adoption agency in New York and in a few months the adoption was finalized and Kotbs baby daughter was born on Valentine’s Day.
Adjusting to life as a new mom, Kotb is taking some time away from her position at Today in order to bond with Haley Joy. Kotb recalled the first few days at home with her daughter: “We just stayed in the apartment and ate and slept and burped and took naps, and that’s it. That’s all. But it’s fun!”
Kotb also shared that it’s hard to believe how much has changed even joking that she wakes up some mornings thinking ‘Oh my God, I have a baby!’
When asked what she found to be the most surprising thing about being a new mother, Kotb said ‘I didn’t know that my heart could feel like this,’ bringing tears to her co-anchors eyes.
She described that even though she’s had amazing loves in her life, such as the love for her mother and boyfriend, this love feels like a warm hand on her heart.
In tears, her co-anchors expressed how happy they were for Kotb as she deserved something like this to happen to her. Kotb explained that part of the reason her daughter has the name she does is because she brings her joy.
Kotb explained that she is thrilled to be able to finally say that she has a daughter. It’s obvious that Haley Joy has found herself a family full of love.
When country singer Carrie Underwood got the news of Kotb’s adoption, she decided to send the cutest gift that was absolutely perfect and fitting. Underwood is a mother herself to 2-year-old Isaiah and it’s nice to see celebrity moms bonding.
Kotb tweeted the gift which was a tiny pair of pink cowboy boots writing ‘Hey @carriunderwood! Haley Joy loves her very first pair of cowboy boots! Can’t wait until you meet her! Thank you’