“Today” co-anchor Hoda Kotb has inspired millions of people across the world with the story of how she became a mother when she was 52 years old. She just recently shared the precious tradition she started with Haley Joy that the now-2-year-old is beginning to repeat.
In 2017, Kotb shared that she had been waiting to adopt for some time. When she learned little Haley Joy was born on Feb. 14, 2017 and that she would be able to adopt the infant, Kotb’s heart was filled with so much joy.
She kept the amazing news a secret from most of her co-workers until after the adoption was official. She later shared the news with them live on the air, which resulted in an emotional moment for the “Today” cast.
Kathie Lee Gifford told her later that day through tears, “You have so much to give other people and we’re so happy to see something so wonderful for you because you deserve it.”
A year later, Kotb told Ellen DeGeneres, “I would take my worst day, the day when everything’s falling apart, since Haley over my favorite day before. She changed everything.”
Since then she has graced her Instagram account with pictures that show just how loved that little girl is. Kotb even wrote a children’s book that pays a special tribute to Haley Joy called “I’ve Loved You Since Forever.”
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In a more recent episode of the “Today” show, Kotb shared a precious tradition that she started with her daughter and how Haley Joy is beginning to catch on to the important truths her mom tries to live out every day.
Kotb told Gifford that she has recently embraced the fact that ordinary moments make up the majority of our lives.
“Most of life… are not the remarkable days,” she said. “Most of the days aren’t terrible days, they’re not horrible things happening. Most days are Wednesdays.”
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She then began to describe a small, seemingly insignificant portion of Kotb and Haley’s bedtime routine. As Kotb is changing Haley’s diaper, she says, “Do you know what my favorite time of the day is, Haley? … Right now.”
The night before the show, Kotb was getting her beloved daughter ready for bed and said, “Haley, do you know what my favorite time of the day is?”
Haley Joy, just beginning to learn how to speak, answered in her sweet toddler voice, “Right now.”
It was confirmation (and maybe even motivation) for Kotb that her daughter is watching her and picking up on her behaviors and attitudes toward situations.
This precious conversation between Kotb and her daughter is a perfect example of something Tish Harrison Warren calls “ordinary love” in her book, “Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life.”
Warren says that ordinary love can be responding patiently to your spouse, celebrating a friend’s accomplishment or even handing carrots sticks to a toddler.
“Ordinary love,” she continued. “Anonymous and unnoticed as it is, is the substance of peace on earth, the currency of God’s grace in our daily life.”
For Kotb, her act of ordinary love that day was showing her 2-year-old daughter to love the “Wednesday” moment and her heart was blessed with a sweet exchange with the child she waited so long for. What does your ordinary love look like today?
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