April 18 (UPI) -- Hoda Kotb says "everything changed" after she adopted her daughter in February.
The 52-year-old television personality shared the story of daughter Haley Joy's top-secret adoption Monday during her first day back on Today.
"I started the application process in the fall and they said, 'We can't make any promises,'" Kotb told E! News. "I lived my life, but in my journal I scribbled every night, 'Please God, if you can.'"
"Fast forward to later and I'm in my office," she recalled. "I use[d] the word 'project' [as a contact in my phone] so I wouldn't slip up and say 'adoption' because I was trying to keep it very private. I saw the word 'project' ... and I stopped everything."
Kotb said on Today that she "took out a pen and wrote down 11:54 a.m." after "project" popped up on her phone because she knew it "was the moment [her] life was going to change."
"I scribbled it down and I dialed the phone. And the woman on the other end said, 'She's here.' Like, that's all. 'She's here.' And that was it. And everything changed," she said.
Kotb kept Haley's adoption private by sticking to her apartment for nearly a month before announcing the news Feb. 21 on Today. She has since introduced her daughter to co-host Kathie Lee Gifford, with whom she has co-anchored the show for nine years as of this month.