If there’s one thing TODAY co-anchor Hoda Kotb always wanted, it was to be a mom. And in February 2017, that longtime wish of hers finally came true! Nearly one year ago, Hoda announced that she had adopted an adorable baby girl named Haley Joy, and now she’s gushing about how her daughter changed her life for the better.
“I would take my worst day, the day when everything’s falling apart since Haley, over my favorite day before. She changed everything,” the 53-year-old shared during her recent visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
She proceeded to tell the story of her heartwarming adoption process, which she shared with her boyfriend, Joel Schiffman. “I had thought about having kids for a long, long time. But one day I was sitting with my boyfriend and I said to him, ‘I’m going to have to talk to you about something because I can’t push it down anymore, push it away,’” she explained. “I said, ‘Don’t answer now. Take a day, take a week, take some time. But I want to talk to you about this.’ And he said, ‘OK, what is it?’ And I said, ‘I would like to explore adoption with you.'”
Hoda continued, “He looked at me and said, ‘I don’t need a day.’ And I knew I’d chosen the right man.”
Soon after her heart-to-heart with Joel, she found out she would become a parent following a text message she received that stated: “Call me.” “I stopped for a minute. I looked at the clock and I wrote down 11:54 a.m. I knew that was the minute it was changing. I just felt it,” Hoda told Ellen DeGeneres. “And I dialed the number, and [a woman from the adoption agency] answered the phone and she said, ‘She’s here.’”
And now, as Haley is about to turn 1 years old — and she’s cuter than ever! We can’t wait to see the photos Hoda will post for her first birthday on February 14!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Closer Weekly.