Hoda Kotb has been inspired by a lot of remarkable people in her life, including Oscar winner Sandra Bullock. The Today host revealed that she became a mother after watching the Bird Box actress raise a family of her own.

In an interview with TODAY.com on Tuesday, July 9, Hoda, 59, named Sandra, also 59, as one of the people she hopes to have on her “Making Space” podcast some day in the future. Sandra is not only an incredible actress and producer, but also a mom to kids Louis and Laila, whom she adopted in 2010 and 2015, respectively.

“I’ve admired her, and she so shaped the pathway of my life,” Hoda shared. “I feel like I adopted my kids because I saw that it was possible through her at our same age, and I realized, ‘Wow, it can be done.'”

Sandra raised her kids with boyfriend Bryan Randall, who died in August 2023 at age 57 after a private three-year battle with ALS.

“It is with great sadness that we share that on August 5, Bryan Randall passed away peacefully after a three-year battle with ALS,” his family shared in a statement to People at the time. “Bryan chose early to keep his journey with ALS private and those of us who cared for him did our best to honor his request.”

Sandra was “devastated” when Bryan died, an insider told Closer in May, adding, “Now that she’s turning 60, she’s feeling a tremendous emptiness in her heart.”

Hoda, who will be turning 60 on August 9, announced her breakup from her ex-fiancé, Joel Schiffman, during an episode of Today in January 2022. Since then, she’s been open about her dating journey and navigating life as a single mom.

Hoda Kotb Says She Was Inspired By Sandra Bullock to Adopt
Courtesy of Hoda Kotb/Instagram

“It’s funny because all my guests have been through hardship of some sort,” Hoda said of hosting her candid podcast. “They have kind of done things against the odds.”

“I seem to be drawn to people like that,” she continued.

Hoda adopted her first daughter, Haley, in 2017, and her second daughter, Hope, in 2019 with Joel, 66. It was always Hoda’s dream to become a mom, but battling breast cancer in 2007 left her unable to conceive. She turned to adoption and was thrilled when her prayers for a family were answered.

“When you’re a mom late in life, you realize the gift it is,” she told People in March 2018. “I’m not saying I wouldn’t have realized it when I was younger but trust me, when you’re a new mom for the first time at 52, you get on your knees and say thank you. Because you get to do something you didn’t think you had a shot at.”

With her career thriving and her girls growing up right before her eyes, Hoda has so much to look forward to in her next year of life.

“I feel like we would have an instant, beautiful conversation,” she said of hoping for the opportunity to have Sandra on the podcast, which is celebrating its 50th guest, Lainey Wilson, on Wednesday, July 10.

“She’s a delight. She is honest. She is the next generation of fantastic and unbelievable country music stars,” Hoda said of the country singer. “She’s someone who you want to be friends with. I loved everything about her.”

The broadcaster also named Princess Kate Middleton as one of her dream podcast guests. The Princess of Wales is currently undergoing preventative chemotherapy for an unspecified form of cancer.

“I’ve always thought about her because I feel like she’s full of goodness and grace,” Hoda remarked. “You watch how she’s even handling this chapter of her life and how she’s doing it her way.”