Many romances in Hollywood fizzle out after a few months. Celebrities frequently face heartbreak before finding their happily ever after, and Hoda Kotb was no exception.
In 2005, Kotb wed her now-ex-husband Burzis Kanga for the first time. Their union, however, didn’t last very long. The couple’s relationship soured just two years after they got married, and Kotb requested a divorce.
Burzis once said that the reason her first marriage ended was due to various issues that they were unable to resolve. He added that it was challenging for them because Kotb had breast cancer and his father was ailing.
While Kotb’s filing for divorce astonished Burzis, he acknowledged how challenging that period in their lives was. He then acknowledged their wonderful times together and wished her nothing but the best for the future.
She endured a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery due to breast cancer the same year Kotb and Burzis filed for divorce. The celebrity admitted that she was taken aback by her diagnosis.
“I received a cancer diagnosis a very long time ago. Even though I was in excellent health, I recall them noticing a bulge and me saying, “Oh, you must be mistaken.””
Despite the fact that Kotb was aware that something might be amiss, she refused to have the lump examined. She thought being ignorant was bliss, but in the end, she realized that she needed to be tested to ensure her safety.
Despite beating breast cancer, Kotb’s capacity to perform other tasks was hampered. After her recovery, Kotb was no longer able to have her own children, among other things.
She claimed that she had always wanted to be a mother, but that she had given up on that ambition after her cancer treatment prevented her from becoming pregnant. Before having her daughter in her 50s, Kotb had never expressed her desire to have children in public.
When Kotb was diagnosed with breast cancer, her ex-father husband’s was also experiencing health issues, which caused them to put more emphasis on themselves than they should have on their relationship.
Speaking about their divorce, Burzis claimed that in addition to the individual difficulties each of them was facing, there was another factor that caused their marriage to fail. He conceded:
“In hindsight, I can see that I was quite immature and made mistakes. It was terrible that our marriage lasted so little time. It’s unfortunate how things turned out.
Kotb’s new companion, Joel Schiffman, helped him find happiness after years of health issues and misery. At a gathering for Wall Street professionals in 2013, Schiffman and Kotb started dating. Kotb admitted that she didn’t want to go, but that if she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have met Schiffman.
Kotb gave Schiffman the moniker “Boots” since their relationship was going well and she didn’t want his name to be revealed for privacy reasons. However, their secret was revealed in 2015 when pictures of the pair on a beach vacation emerged.
Kotb revealed in 2016 that she and Schiffman were cohabitating and that Kotb felt younger. She added these words as a response:
Being in your 50s and saying, “Hey, we’re moving in,” is a little strange. Like we’re children again. It’s really odd.
The couple chose to start a family in 2017 because they were so devoted to one another. Kotb claimed that Schiffman gladly consented when she requested him to discuss adoption with her at the age of 52.
Kotb kept quiet about the adoption during the process since she was calling it her “project,” but in February 2017, she was finally ready to let the world know.
Kotb has no regrets about adopting kids when she was older than typical new mothers. On “Watch What Happens Live,” she told Andy Cohen that she thought her daughter was “exactly on schedule.”
Kotb and Schiffman made the decision to adopt a second child after receiving their first daughter, Haley Joy, into their family. Hope Catherine joined the family not long after. Hayley, according to Kotb, stepped right into the big sister role.
According to Kotb, she has not kept her kids’ adoption a secret from them, thus they are aware of it. She informs them of their adoption by saying:
“You came from Mommy’s heart, not her tummy,” she said.
After experiencing the delight of welcoming their girls into the world, Kotb and Schiffman made an engagement announcement. Kotb claimed that when Schiffman proposed to her, he did so while they were on vacation.
While Kotb expressed her delight at the proposal, she also admitted that she was in the dark about it. She acknowledged being stunned by the incident and remarked on Schiffman’s poker face.
Schiffman and Kotb were planning wedding arrangements when Kotb proposed in 2019, but the COVID-19 quarantine put a stop to those plans. But the pair thought it would be time to grow their family again.
Despite being content with their two kids, they desired a third adoption. They started the procedure, but the pandemic delayed down their plans and prevented them from adopting a third kid jointly.
Unfortunately for the couple, they announced their separation two years after they said they were engaged. They said that after much thought they had concluded that they were best off as friends.
After that, the couple promised to keep their girls at the forefront of their thoughts as they worked through their divorce. KTOB stated:
We made the decision to begin the new year on a fresh road as friends and loving parents to our lovely, delightful children.
Then, according to Kotb, nothing terrible happened to cause their divorce; rather, it was just a case of their love only lasting for a short time and not lasting forever. The pair reconciled their differences.
Many Hollywood couples attempt to effectively co-parent their kids, but fail. However, it has been a very different story for Kotb and Schiffman. Kotb has even said that it has been “simple” for them to co-parent.
According to Kotb, Schiffman frequently sees the kids since he sometimes drives them to school and hangs out with them on the weekends. She continued:
We make sure the children spend a lot of time with both him and me.
Kotb enjoys spending time with her and Schiffman’s daughters, taking them on boat cruises that are the envy of many, lunch dates with their families, and time dressing up.
She spends time with her girls in the evenings eating dinner and playing games with them. For the sake of their daughters, Kotb and Schiffman also share several holidays and birthdays together.
Kotb adores her kid, and she once posted a picture of the three of them at a glass table on Instagram. Kotb smiled into the camera while eating with her daughters and captioned the picture, “Lucky me,” with one of her daughters standing on either side of her.
Although Kotb has had numerous eye-opening experiences as an older mother, as she has already remarked, one thing it has aided her in doing is teaching her children wise lessons.
She once revealed how she instills honesty in her daughters. She claimed that she makes a party out of her daughters’ stating the truth and expresses gratitude to them for doing so. By doing this, she demonstrates to her girls the value of telling the truth.
Kotb continued by stating that she attempts to be her best self around her girls because it is clear to her that they imitate her conduct.