Hoda Kotb was all smiles as she celebrated Easter with her mother, sister, and two daughters on Sunday, a few months after her split from her former fiancé, Joel Schiffman.
The Today host, 57, shared heartwarming family photos from the holiday weekend on Instagram, revealing that it was her mom Sameha Kotb’s birthday. Hoda and her daughters, Haley, five, and Hope, three, were also joined by her sister, Hala Kotb.
‘Happy Birthday Mom!!! Happy Easter,’ Hoda captioned a carousel of images from the day, including a selfie of the five of them cuddled on the couch together with balloons floating in the background.
Hoda Kotb celebrated Easter with her daughters, Haley (left) and Hope (right), and her mother, Sameha Kotb (center). She shared photos from their weekend on Instagram on Sunday
The family was also joined by Hoda’s sister, Hala Kotb (far left), who posed on the couch with them while they took a selfie
Another snapshot taken from a different angle showed Hoda and Sameha posing on the couch with Haley and Hope, who was holding a plastic Easter egg to her face.
Hoda also proudly posted a picture of their dyed Easter eggs, which were colored with shades of purple, blue, green, and pink.
In a separate post, she shared a photo of her mother right before she blew out the candles on her birthday cake. She had her arms around Haley and Hope, who were sweetly by her side.
Hoda adopted her two daughters with her ex-fiancé Joel, and Easter marked the family’s first major holiday since their breakup.
The journalist announced on the Today show on January 31 that she and Joel had split after eight years together, saying they were ‘better as friends and parents’ to their daughters.
Hoda revealed their relationship had come to an end after her co-host Jenna Bush Hager pointed out that she wasn’t wearing her engagement ring on the show.
Hoda revealed it was her mother’s birthday, and in a separate post, she shared a snapshot of Sameha right before she blew out the candles on her cake
Hoda also proudly posted a picture of their dyed Easter eggs, which were colored with shades of purple, blue, green, and pink
‘Joel and I have had a lot of prayer and meaningful conversations over the holidays and we decided that we are better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple,’ she said.
‘So we decided we are going to start this new year on our new path as loving parents to our adorably delightful children and as friends.’
Hoda insisted there was no bad blood between them, saying: ‘It’s not like something happened. They say sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, a season or a lifetime, this was for a season.’
She admitted that it felt ‘weird and awkward’ to talk about it publicly, but she wanted to focus on the ‘joyous moments’ they had together.
‘A lot of women know what this feels like to be changing course in life I feel really breathe in this moment which is a strange feeling to feel. Sometimes in your life, you have to say the truth,’ she said.
Hoda and Joel met in 2013 at a book signing that he attended as a fan, and they hit it off right away. Afterward, they reconnected through someone who was running the event and eventually started dating. They went public with their relationship in 2015.
In February 2017, they adopted baby girl Haley Joy, after the journalist spent years thinking that parenthood wasn’t in the cards for her.
Hoda shares her two daughters with her ex-fiancé Joel Schiffman, and Easter marked the family’s first major holiday since their breakup
The former couple, who were together for eight years, adopted five-year-old Haley in 2017 and three-year-old Hope in 2019
Hoda, who was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 42 years old, came out of treatment unable to conceive. She was originally nervous to bring up the topic of adoption with Schiffman, but she resolved to have the emotional conversation.
‘I remember when I went to speak to Joel about it… my heart was pounding. I think I was afraid of the answer, to be honest. But I knew I had to say something, I had to ask,’ she exclusively told DailyMail.com in 2018.
‘When I went to speak to him, he could tell there was something up, and I think he was just thinking, “What is happening?”‘
When Kotb told him she wanted to pursue adoption with him, she made it clear that he should feel free to take as much time as he needed to ponder that possibility.
‘Take a day, a month, a year, whatever you need to think about it, and you can just let me know when you’re ready,’ she said, recounting the conversation. ‘And he just looked at me and said, “I don’t need a day.”‘
Hoda was overwhelmed by Joel’s immediate commitment.
‘I could have died,’ she said. ‘I was crying so hard, I soaked his T-shirt. It was incredible. And they have an amazing relationship.’
Joel proposed to Hoda in November 2019 during a romantic getaway to Mexico. They had to postpone their nuptials twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic
When announcing their split on the Today show on January 31, Hoda explained that they are ‘better as friends and parents than they are as an engaged couple’
Two years later, they adopted their second baby girl, Hope Catherine.
Joel, a financier, proposed to Hoda in November 2019 while they were enjoying a romantic getaway in Mexico, but they had to cancel their wedding twice due to the pandemic.
The couple was supposed to say ‘I do’ in a beachside ceremony in Mexico in August 2020, but like many people that year, they had to postpone their nuptials because of COVID-19.
They then moved the wedding to November 2020 — marking the one-year anniversary of their engagement — but that also had to be pushed back.
That same year, Hoda opened up about her and Schiffman’s desire to adopt a third child together in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com.
‘Sometimes I do think speaking something out loud sort of wills it into existence, weirdly,’ she said of her wish to grow her family. ‘You know, it’s almost like if you have a secret desire or dream you can even just whisper it. And if you do, there’s a chance you’re just giving it validity.
‘And, [then] again, you don’t want to say something out loud because what if it doesn’t happen. We don’t know what will happen.
Hoda shared the news of their split just weeks after they celebrated Christmas in matching pajamas with their daughters, as well as her mother and sister
The last photo Hoda shared of Joel on Instagram showed them toasting to the new year
‘I mean, we hope, we pray, we want it to, and we feel like we have enough love and room. You know, so far, our family is just getting better.’
However, nine months later, in July 2021, she revealed that the process was taking a lot longer than she expected. At the time, she said it was because of the pandemic.
‘You know what’s funny about the adoption stuff that’s going on now? Apparently, it’s really slow during this time, during COVID,’ she said during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live. ‘I thought that it would be a different game.’
‘They said that people who maybe normally would feel like it would be something they would want to do — have a child and then give it to someone to raise because they couldn’t — are holding onto things because they don’t have anything in that moment,’ she explained. ‘That’s what I’ve heard from our agency, that everything is slow.’
Hoda insisted at the time that they were not giving up the hope of expanding their brood, but they were waiting for the right time.
‘They say wait wisely and just be. So we’re just going to be,’ she said.
Hoda shared the news of their split just weeks after they celebrated Christmas and New Year’s with their daughters.