Hoda Kotb’s recently adopted daughter has taught the Today show co-host “how much a heart could feel,” she said Tuesday at the TIME 100 Gala.
“She has taught me everything,” said Kotb, who was named one of the most influential people of the year in the 2018 TIME 100. “I don’t think I knew what love was until her. I don’t think I understood how much a heart could feel. I didn’t know. She taught me that your heart expands beyond what you could possibly imagine.”
“I got a whole other look at life,” added Kotb, a breast cancer survivor who earlier this year announced that she had adopted a baby girl named Haley Joy.
Kotb, 53, added advice for women who might think it’s too late to have kids. “I think life happens right on time,” she said. “That baby is right on time. You just have to trust your heart.”
Kotb, an Emmy-award winner, became a Today host after Matt Lauer was fired over sexual misconduct allegations. She now co-anchors Today with Savannah Guthrie, who is also among the 2018 TIME 100.
Haley Joy inspired Kotb to publish the children’s book I’ve Loved You Since Forever.
In the 2018 TIME 100, author and journalist Maria Shriver praises Kotb and Guthrie for their hard work along the years. “This is Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb’s moment,” Shriver writes. “They’re wonderful on their own, and they’re even more wonderful as a team.”