Hoda Kotb Shares the Sweet Significance Behind Daughter Hope Catherine's Name

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Hoda Kotb thought long and hard about what she'd name her second daughter.

On Tuesday, the Today co-anchor revealed that she and boyfriend Joel Schiffman welcomed their second daughter, Hope Catherine Kotb. The happy news came just over two years after the pair adopted their first child, Haley Joy. 

Both Hope's first and middle name hold great significance to her mom, with the first expressing Hoda's hope for a second child and the second in honor of her best friend, news anchor Karen Swensen's, daughter.

"The name came because I think there are a lot of women out there who are hoping their day is coming too, you know?" Hoda explained over the phone on Tuesday's episode of Today. "... I know the feeling of it not happening for a long time and I feel like sometimes if it's meant to happen, it will. They told me, at the adoption agency, to wait wisely. They said, 'Don't count the days, don't wonder.'" 

"... We had already thought of a name, Joel and I had, and 'hope' is in my journal about 10 million times when I was writing for her," she emotionally continued. "Catherine is my best friend's daughter's name. It just so happens this weekend when [Hope] was born, it was also John's birthday, my best friend's husband who passed, and they said that they promised him that they would come to New York and go to Yankee Stadium to a baseball game for him on his birthday in heaven. And so it was a very emotional time for all of us and I said to Catherine, 'You're the strongest kid I know.' So I wanted to name her after Catherine."

Hoda is so close with both Karen and Catherine that she even brought the pair to an event for The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, which Karen gushed over on social media, calling the experience "super fun."

The significance of the name was not lost on Hoda's Today family, with Savannah Guthrie praising her sweet choice. 

"It speaks to everything that Hoda is and everything that she has been working for," Savannah said. "And this day has been in her heart for such a long time and now it's here. She's got her little baby girl. Her family of four is complete."

Jenna Bush Hager agreed, saying that Hope "has such a perfect name because... she is the embodiment of hope."

"All these weeks and months and years, Hoda, we've known it's in your heart to have another baby come. Lots of times I think about it and I don't know where it is in the process, to continue to hope is the greatest courage," Jenna said. "I loved seeing your hope answered and your hope fulfilled. When you told me her name, I could not take it. It's just so perfect."

Jenna also expanded on how Hoda embodied hope throughout the entire adoption process and managed to manifest Hope into the world.

"A couple of months ago when you had your children's book out, you put it out into the world," Jenna said of Hoda's book, You Are My Happy, which was released in March. "... You told us that you wanted this thing, you envisioned this baby in your life... you put it out into the world and I thought to myself, how brave, because we can't control these things."

"I mean, my heart is exploding, but I remember Savannah, I was at an event with you, and I remember you said something to all these kids, they were young... budding, whatever they wanted to be, and you said, 'Say it out loud, even if you whisper. Even if you just say it to yourself out loud. But, say it out loud. It changes everything,'" Hoda recalled. "And I have to tell you, saying it out loud when it came to Hope was a hard thing to do because I wanted it so bad that I felt like when someone asked me, they could see it in my eyes, they knew it, and I said, 'Well, it's up to God, if it's meant to be, it will come.' But, in my heart, I was like, 'Please, God, I hope this is something you anticipate for me.' And then to get the call, it's so mind-blowing. You can't believe someone is saying come and get her."

In addition to Jenna and Savannah, the rest of Hoda's Today family also took to social media to wish her well. Carson Daly exclaimed that "God is great," Dylan Dreyer said "words can't describe how happy" she is for Hoda, and Craig Melvin welcomed "baby Hope" to the party.

The happy news comes just over a month after Hoda told ET that she and Joel wanted a second child.

"We don't know when, but it is something that is important to me and to Joel," she said. "We like the idea of Haley [having] a sibling because she has had such interesting circumstances to grow up [in], so it would be nice to share it with somebody."

She also revealed that she made the decision to start growing her family in her 50s because "I always had this thing inside me, like a voice that I couldn't quiet."

"It was a voice that [told me I] wanted to be a mom, but I thought it was too late," she admitted. "You can push a voice like that away for a long time, but sooner or later it comes back up, and you have to address it. 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."

Watch the video below for more on Hoda's family.


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