The Sad Reason Hoda Kotb Worried Her Relationship With Joel Schiffman Would End

For many, famous broadcast journalist Hoda Kotb appeared to have it all: a successful career and a loving fiancé. Alas, deep down, Kotb always knew there was something major missing in her life — children. 

During a raw interview with People's "Me Becoming Mom" podcast, Kotb spoke candidly about the moment she finally confessed her burning desire to become a mother and the array of emotions the admission brought with it. "I was actually with a girlfriend and we were walking down a street and I remember it like it was yesterday," she recalled. "Because I had never shared it with anyone that I had wanted — I still yearned for [children] because it seemed like wanting to go to the moon, it's not happening, so don't even bring it up," she explained. Fortunately, when her friend made an off-hand comment about how neither Kotb or her fiancé, Joel Schiffman, "really wanted to have children," Kotb had what she referred to as an "epiphany" and finally decided to speak the words out loud. 

"I looked at her and I said, 'Well, I do.' I didn't say did, I said I do. She looked at me and she goes, 'What?' I started crying. I said, 'I do. I do.' I said it out loud, 'I do,'" she tearfully confessed. "I was like, 'Oh my God, I do want to have children, right now. Here in my current state,'" she continued. Unfortunately, voicing her desire out loud was only half the battle.

Hoda Kotb was 'terrified' of how Joel Schiffman would react

During an appearance on the "Me Becoming Mom" podcast, Hoda Kotb discussed her fears about how her fiancé, Joel Schiffman, would react to the late-in-life revelation that she wanted to become a mother. "I was terrified," she recalled. "'How am I going to say this?' I don't know his reaction. I think what I was probably the most scared of was that I knew I was going to do it anyway," she recounted about her predicament. 

As it turns out, however, both she and Schiffman were on the same page. After finally mustering up the courage to tackle the subject with him, Kotb revealed, "I looked him in the eye and I said, 'I would like to explore adoption with you.' And there was like a second in there, I was like, 'This is the end of a relationship or the beginning of a family.' This is happening in a snap, in an instant," she explained. But, in a surprising turn of events, Schiffman assured her he didn't need any time to mull it over. "My heart was pounding and he just looked at me and he said, 'I don't need a week,"' she said. "In that moment, I fell on his chest and was sobbing."

The couple went on to adopt two daughters, Haley and Hope, and amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Kotb told her "TODAY" co-host Jenna Bush Hager in July that the two are still planning to go through with their twice-postponed nuptials once "everyone can travel."