TODAY anchor Hoda Kotb has become a mother after adopting a baby girl, Haley Joy Kotb.
“She’s a Valentine’s baby so she’s a little nugget,” Hoda, 52, said Tuesday during a phone call to her TODAY family. “She is the love of my life!”
The arrival thrilled Hoda’s coworkers, including her co-anchor Kathie Lee Gifford, who somehow managed to keep the news a secret.
“I’ve got the biggest mouth in the world and I’ve said zilch,” she said. “Hoda, we are thrilled for you, sweetheart. You were made to be a mom.”
Matt Lauer agreed.
“This is such fantastic news. This little girl, Haley, is the luckiest girl on the planet,” he said. “You are going to be one of the most fantastic moms I can ever imagine.”
Carson Daly also chimed in.
“You are going to be an incredible mother,” but joked, “You thought you drank a lot of wine before? You just wait.”
Last week, Hoda hinted at the reason behind her time off by posting inspirational quotes on her social media account.
“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings,” read one. “For all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you,” read another.
Hoda’s love for children is no surprise. She often shares with the TODAY audience stories about time spent with her nieces, Hannah and Ella, frequently showing pictures of her extended family on the air.
Last year, Hoda announced on her Sirius XM show that she had moved in with her boyfriend, Joel Schiffman. The couple have been dating since June 2013. Hoda was previously married, but has no other children.
It’s certain Hoda will be turning to her best example for her new role: her own mother, whom she describes as “among the strongest, most optimistic people I’ve ever met, because she believes anything is possible.”
Hoda told her co-workers that her mother just arrived at her home a few days ago, greeting her daughter with, “Hi little Haley. We’ve waited so long for you!”
Hoda called her mother strict, but always steadfast in her support for her children.
“If I looked up at every sporting event, my mom was sitting there,” Hoda recalled in a Mother’s Day tribute. “Every crummy basketball game, every JV whatever, every time I rode the bench — there she was. She was sitting there, saying, ‘That was an amazing shot! I know you were only in it the last minute, but boy, that it was amazing.”