Most people know Hoda Kotb as a television journalist. She is a woman who has focused her career on sharing the stories of others and giving them a voice. She was born in 1964 in Oklahoma to Egyptian immigrant parents, who moved to the U.S. to further their education. Kotb pursued journalism in college and graduated from Virginia Tech University with a degree in broadcast journalism in 1986. She started her career working for CBS as a news assistant in Cairo, Egypt, her parents’ hometown. After that, she returned to the U.S. and worked as a reporter and anchor for local news stations. She has worked with NBC for the past 21 years beginning in 1998 as a correspondent on Dateline. In 2007, she came more into the public eye as she began hosting the fourth hour of the Today show with Kathy Lee Gifford.
As she became more of a public figure, Hoda began to share more about her life behind the camera. To help and encourage women and families, Kotb shared that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2007. She endured months of treatment and surgery to fight the cancer. Kotb won the battle against this terrible disease that took so much from her, including her ability to conceive and carry a child. This was heartbreaking news to receive, as she had always wanted to become a mother and raise children.
After hearing this difficult news, she told herself she must not have been meant to have children if she couldn’t have them biologically. To cope with this, she never publicly expressed her desire to become a mother. However, due to a deep desire to have children, Kotb stated that she always felt “a hole in her heart” that never went away. After years of contemplating if she could endure what could be a long road of adoption, she sat down with her partner to discuss it as a couple. They decided that domestic adoption was the right fit for them to grow their family. In 2016, Hoda and her partner started the journey of domestic adoption preparing themselves for what could be a couple of weeks to a couple of years, before they could be matched with a child. After only a few months, they received the surprising call that their daughter had been born! She flew to meet her for the first time and bring her home. She described the first time holding her daughter, Haley Joy, as a “puzzle piece that just snapped in. I felt it. It was as if she had been with me forever,” (Juneau, 2019).
As they began their new lives as parents, Kotb and her boyfriend knew in their hearts they wanted to have another child to complete their family. Because they are older parents, they also wanted their children to have each other to go through life with, as Hoda has a sister and knows how special that relationship is to her. They began their second domestic adoption and in April 2019 welcomed another baby girl into their family, Hope Catherine. As she continues to share her story with the world, Hoda Kotb wants to encourage families to never give up hope for becoming parents. “I think the thing we all need to know is when your child arrives for you, that child is right on time. So your time may be when you are in your 30s or in your 40s or your 50s, but your child is right on time.” Her journey through adoption is the story behind her daughter’s name, Hope. If you’re waiting to become parents, choose hope. Your child is out there waiting for you.
If you are considering international adoption or would like to have an adoption home study completed in Indiana, please contact MLJ Adoptions International, Inc. We would love to help you write your own adoption story!