I heard about Instant Mom a few weeks ago while Nia Vardalos was promoting her new movie Helicopter Mom through the Today Show. The Universe aligned and my sister happened to check Instant Mom out from the local library this past weekend. I’m not a mom, but I really liked My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding &My Life in Ruins and figured Vardalos would write a fun read regardless of the subject matter.
Like most memoirs, Vardalos give us a brief synopsis of her life: her childhood, her early career and the runaway success with My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding etc. However, Vardalos’ primary goal is to educate us about the foster care system and promote adoption. After a long struggle with fertility (she hears about her Oscar nomination en route to a fertility clinic) IVF and two attempts with surrogates that all lead to nothing.
Vardalos & her husband, Ian Gomez, decide to look into adoption. This isn’t an easy road either, they get on a lot of international lists as well as connect with the American foster care system. Their struggle pay off with the arrival of a 3-year-old girl they call Ilaria. There are some growing pains and Vardalos never implies she is a parenting expert but she details some of the steps the Vardalos-Gomez house took to make their little girl feel welcome.
Like anything Vardalos writes, though this is her first memoir, her protagonist is charming and self deprecating. While I knew the story involved Vardalos getting a child I found my heart breaking when she described her struggles and was so excited when her big day finally came.