The TODAY co-anchor made the heartwarming announcement during a phone interview on Tuesday that she has adopted a baby girl named Hope Catherine, which means daughter Haley Joy, 2, has become a big sister.
“I’m feeding her and I can’t believe it,” a tearful Hoda said. “I’m so happy she’s here!”
It’s only been a few days, but Haley Joy has already embraced her new role.
“This morning at breakfast (Haley) was trying to feed (Hope) her raspberries and I was like, ‘Not yet, babe,”’ Hoda joked. “She was literally marching around saying, ‘I’m a big sister!”’
As the TODAY anchors dabbed tears after hearing the news, Hoda spoke about having room in her heart to raise another child with boyfriend Joel Schiffman.
“You know what’s funny? You think that you’re full,” she said. “That’s exactly how I felt with Haley and Joel and everything. Joel and I were standing there when they hand you the baby, and it’s the closest thing to a live birth you’ll ever see, but in that moment I was like, ‘Oh my God, my heart just grew.'”
“It’s amazing. I can’t believe it’s happening.”
Schiffman has been right alongside Hoda with tears of joy since Hope arrived.
“He cried when Tiger Woods won the Masters, and he cried when Hope was carried into the room,” Hoda joked.
Hoda gave Hope the middle name of Catherine in honor of her best friend, Karen Swensen, whose 15-year-old daughter is named Catherine.
Swensen lost her husband of 18 years, New Orleans homicide detective John Ronquillo, when he died at 64 from cancer last year. Swensen and her daughter also both happened to be on TODAY last week as part of the inaugural Best Friend Friday with Hoda and Jenna Bush Hager.
Hoda, 54, became a first-time mom in 2017 when she adopted Haley Joy, and has often spoken about the life-changing experience of adopting.
“I feel like if you’re meant to have a child in your life, your child is out there,” Hoda said on TODAY on World Adoption Day in 2018. “They said to me at the adoption agency, ‘Don’t worry, your child is out there waiting for you.’ And I remember I would scribble in my journal, ‘I know you’re there.’ I could feel her.”
Hoda hinted at her big announcement a day earlier with an Instagram post on Monday that read “Choose Hope.” Little did we know she was talking about daughter No. 2!
Hoda has shared plenty of sweet moments with Haley over the last few years, like going on an Easter egg hunt, strolling on the beach, setting out on a weekend trip, and having Haley blow her a kiss from her crib.
Now it’s time to do it all over again with Hope Catherine. We’re so happy for you, Hoda!