'Today' host Hoda Kotb adopts baby girl

Hoda Kotb is a mom.

“The Today” co-anchor announced on Tuesday that she adopted a baby girl named Haley Joy Kotb.

“She’s a Valentine’s baby,” said the 52-year-old while phoning into the show, as reported by E! News. “She is the love of my life.”

“How hard it has been to keep this secret,” said her on-screen partner Kathie Lee Gifford. “I have the biggest mouth in the world and I’ve said zilch."

However, Kotb was using Instagram to give fans a few hints of her new arrival. Kotb posted several inspiration mantras on the social media app, including “May the new few months of your life be a period of magnificent transformations.”

Kotb also used Instagram to announce the newest member of her family.

“And then my soul saw you and it kind of went, ‘Oh there you are. I’ve been looking for you,'” she captioned a photo.

“You were made to be a mom,” added Gifford.

Kotb has been dating financier Joel Schiffman for several years. The couple moved in together October 2016. She previously told E! News that if Schiffman were to ever propose, he should keep it casual.

“There are certain things in life that are intimate and between two people,” said Kotb. “I like that. I like it more low-key."

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Hearts bursting! Today Show co-anchor Hoda Kotb announced during Tuesday's show that she has adopted a baby girl. Matt Lauer teased the announcement, noting that Kotb has been taking some time off from the show recently.

They then introduced Hoda on the phone as she dropped the heartwarming news.

"I do have something to tell you, but you know what, how about this, instead of telling you, I'm going to show you something," Kotb, 53, teased her co-anchors before sharing a picture of herself cradling her newborn baby girl.

"That little girl, Haley Joy -- I'm crying -- is my daughter," an audibly emotional Kotb said. "I adopted her, and you can hear her, that's her crying. She's a Valentine's baby. She's a little nugget. She is the love of my life."

Kotb's longtime pal and co-anchor, Kathie Lee Gifford, declared, "Do you know how hard it has been to keep this secret? I've got the biggest mouth!"

Gifford also quickly took to Twitter to share her congratulations.

"So thrilled for @hodakotb and her precious daughter, Haley Joy!! She will be the best mommy ever! We love you, Hoda, enjoy every moment!" she wrote.

Little Haley will be Kotb's first child. She is currently dating financier Joel Schiffman, but made no mention of his involvement in the adoption announcement.


What's in a name? Hoda Kotb reveals the meaning behind her new daughter's name

When Hoda Kotb suprised the world this morning with news that she had adopted a newborn baby girl, fans near and far erupted with applause and celebration. To break the amazing announcement to her co-workers and family at TODAY, Hoda called in and shared a picture of herself cradling the sweet newborn in her arms.

The baby girl, born on Valentine's Day, is named Haley Joy, and is "the love of my life," Kotb said through tears.

A short time later, Hoda called back in to the show and shared more details about her new daughter with hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Jenna Bush Hager, including the story behind her daughter's name.

"Haley is because of Halley's Comet and it was one of those things that I just picture her sailing through the sky," Kotb said.

And in keeping with tradition, H names are a popular alliteration in the Kotb family. Hoda's sister is Hala, and her neice is Hannah, for example.

The middle name was chosen because of the girl's sweet disposition, and for what she brings to Hoda and the family.

"She brings us joy," Kotb said. "She’s got a beautiful way about her."

So, what's in a name? Haley has an English derivation and, in its authentic form, denotes natural elements like hay, wood, or a meadow.

The name caught on in popularity in the United States in the mid-1980s, after Halley's Comet made news for breaking through the atmosphere and giving people around the world a glimpse at a rare astral event that only happens once every 75 years.

According to Nameberry.com, Haley ranked #279 in popularity in the US in 2015, after peaking at #28 in 2000. Multiple variations on the spelling exist today, and include everything from Hailee, Hailey, Haleigh, Halle, Hallie, Haylee, Hayleigh, Hayley and Haylie.

Kotb isn't the only one who cherishes the name Haley. Other celebrities who given their children this same name include musician Pat Benatar, newscaster Paula Zahn, country musician Ronnie Dunn formerly of the duo Brooks & Dunn, and even Kotb's NBC co-worker Bill Hader, who named his daughter Hayley Clementine.

Other popular Hayley's include English actress Hayley Mills, Paramour lead singer Hayley Williams, and film actor Haley Joel Osment. Hayley Vaughn was one of the most popular soap opera characters to ever exist, and was portrayed by actress and talk show host Kelly Ripa on the ABC soap opera "All My Children" from 1990-2002.

Recently, Kotb has been absent from the show, but remained active on social media posting inspirational quotes and messages, which may have left fans wondering what she was up to. One inspirational post read: "And suddenly you just know it's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings."

One of the most recent ones stated something far more special: "For all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you."

"I didn't know my heart could feel like this," Kotb shared with her TODAY family on the air this morning.

"With all the love I've ever had in my life, I never imagined that I could feel this ... it's like a warm hand on my heart. I'm over the moon."

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