Hoda Kotb hinted at her secret adoption with cryptic Instagram: Here's what it said

Hoda Kotb knows how to keep a secret, but she couldn't help slipping a hint.

The "Today" host surprised her co-anchors with news of her new baby on Tuesday, leaving them shocked and emotional — especially Willie Geist, who could barely pick his jaw up off the floor.

But while the announcement was kept well under wraps, Kotb actually teased the secret on Monday with a cryptic Instagram. She posted a photo that read "Choose Hope," an inspirational phrase with a double meaning: Kotb's daughter is named Hope Catherine.

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Happy Monday xx

A post shared by Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) on

One day later, Kotb shared the significance behind the sweet name during Tuesday's episode.

"The name came because I think there are a lot of women out there who are hoping their day is coming too, you know?" she said.

As for the baby's middle name, "Catherine is my best friend's daughter's name. It just so happens this weekend when [Hope] was born, it was also John's birthday, my best friend's husband who passed, and they said that they promised him that they would come to New York and go to Yankee Stadium to a baseball game for him on his birthday in heaven," she said. "And so it was a very emotional time for all of us and I said to Catherine, 'You're the strongest kid I know.' So I wanted to name her after Catherine."

PHOTOS: Hoda Kotb with her daughter Haley

Hoda Kotb's snaps of daughter Haley Joy
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Hoda Kotb's snaps of daughter Haley Joy
Game face!
Coming soon xo
#dayofthegirl ❤️👶🏼
My girl met my girl and my face exploded! @todayshow @klgandhoda
My girl #haleyjoy
MESMERIZED!!! @mariashriver @todayshow
My girl @meredithvieira !!!! Didn't think I could love her any more-- then she fed Haley 😍😍😍
Aunt savannah showed us how to swaddle !!! Happy Haley xoxo ❤️❤️❤️
Uncle matt! ❤️❤️❤️ @todayshow
Happy bday to my ❤️
So much love today ❤️❤️Valentine’s Day x2
We ready!!!!!! @saints
Merry Christmas xxx
Al... you always show up for life.. thx for loving Haley .. happy 40th anniversary xxx
The lighting of the family Christmas tree! (Sorry I am so loud with the countdown! Yikes!) ❤️❤️❤️

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