Kotb talks new motherhood and gives us all the feels
In the midst of all the fights about homework, hassles about wearing shoes, and tantrums about eating non-pasta-based foods, it can be easy to, let’s say, lose sight of the blessing that is motherhood. But after you watch this video of Hoda Kotb talking about adopting her daughter, you’ll remember. And you’ll need tissues. Lots and lots of tissues.
After two months of maternity leave, Kotb returned to The Today Show yesterday. To celebrate her return, they put together a video of her talking about her new baby girl, Haley Joy.
We know. We know.
Kotb had always wanted to have children, but at age 52 she thought she had missed her window. “I always had this feeling inside that I wanted a baby, but I thought I was too late…You just think, ‘Okay, I don’t get everything, and it’s okay.’ Then all of a sudden you look around and you go, ‘Well, why not me?'”
It was as Kotb and her boyfriend of three years, Joel Schiffman, were preparing to move in together that she broached the subject of adoption. To her surprise, Schiffman was on board immediately. “You think that by a certain stage in your life,” she says in the video, “‘I’ve had every experience I’m gonna have,’ and then all of a sudden, she shows up.”
It was during a vacation in February that Kotb got the call she’d been waiting years for: “I sat in my office, and I took a pen and I wrote down ’11:54 a.m.’ Like I knew that was the moment my life was going to change, so I scribbled it down and I dialed the phone. And the woman on the other end said, ‘She’s here.’ Like… that’s all. ‘She’s here.’ And that was it. And everything changed.”
Kotb’s gratitude and joy at the arrival of her daughter resonate with every parent and remind us how extraordinarily lucky we are to have our children: “I never believed in love at first sight until now…When they first handed me Haley, I was scared to hold her. And the minute she was in my arms it was a perfect fit.”
The tears keep coming as Hotb describes one of the ways she has changed since having Haley: “When I look at her I see forever…I see past me, I see the future, which I guess I never saw [before].” If that doesn’t kill you dead with the ugly cry, then you are stronger women than we are. Or you’re at work. Regardless, the part where Kotb talks to her coworkers after the video should finally do you in: “I have to tell you, I didn’t know this existed before now. And now I understand everyone who has kids…I understand what you meant.”
Here lies Scary Mommy, who was unable to survive another minute after Hoda Kotb destroyed us with her words.
We’re going to watch this video a few more times today and then bookmark it for the next time we feel like we’ve had enough of motherhood. Our kids are going to get such a hug when they get home, they have no idea. There’s no way they could even begin to prepare for what’s going to happen to them. As Kotb puts it so beautifully, “I don’t think she’s going to know what to do with all the love.”