Ellen plays a special “TODAY” edition of “Rate My Baby” with new mom Hoda Kotb


Hoda Kotb had a pretty crazy 2017!

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Not only did she become half of the first all-female team to helm “TODAY” in its 66-year history, but she also became a mom for the first time when she adopted a little girl named Hayley Joy.

This week, Kotb appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to talk about her hectic year and share the story of how she learned she was going to be a mom.

It began, she told the host, when she received a text message that simply read, “Call me.”

“I stopped for a minute. I looked at the clock and I wrote down 11:54 a.m. I knew that was the minute it was changing. I just felt it,” she said. “And I dialed the number, and [a woman from the adoption agency] answered the phone and she said, ‘She’s here.’”

Kotb got a little choked up as she continued to share her story: “I would take my worst day, the day when everything’s falling apart since Haley, over my favorite day before. She changed everything.”

She went on to talk about 60-year-old Joel Schiffman, her partner of four years, and how he reacted to becoming a dad again at his age.

“I had thought about having kids for a long, long time. But one day I was sitting with my boyfriend and I said to him, ‘I’m going to have to talk to you about something, because I can’t push it down anymore, push it away,’” she explained. “I said, ‘Don’t answer now. Take a day, take a week, take some time. But I want to talk to you about this.’ And he said, ‘OK, what is it?’ And I said, ‘I would like to explore adoption with you.’”

“He looked at me and said, ‘I don’t need a day,’ ” she said. “And I knew I’d chosen the right man.”

Later on, Ellen thought “this would be a good time to compare all the babies at [‘TODAY ‘] and rate them to see who has the best baby.” So she forced Hoda to play a game of “Rate My Baby,” which involved the “TODAY” anchor comparing the cuteness of her colleagues’ kids, as well as her own.

“Oh, no,” Kotb said.

“Everyone knows it’s four points per tooth,” Ellen noted as she looked at an image of Dylan Dreyer’s son Calvin. “So that’s eight right there.”

Kotb just couldn’t maintain her composure!

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