10 years to become an Instant Mom

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First aired on Steven and Chris (24/04/13) 


Canadian-Greek actress Nia Vardalos and her husband, Ian Gomez, tried to have a child for about a decade. After 10 years of fertility doctors, herbal remedies and even two surrogates, Vardalos and Gomez decided to adopt.

One day, the couple found out they would be meeting their new toddler in 14 hours. Vardalos documents this experience in her new book, Instant Mom -- a title she calls "a bit of an ironic wink at the audience."

The My Big Fat Greek Wedding star visited the Steven and Chris show to talk about her journey to motherhood and how she became an adoption advocate.

"I say I'm using my big, fat, Greek mouth to talk about adoption," she said of the book that chronicles her family's process.

In the book, she recalls the day she first met her daughter, now named Ilaria, which the couple and girl chose together. The foster agency told Vardalos and Gomez the nearly three-year-old child rarely spoke, but Vardalos wasn't interested in that information. She already knew she had met her daughter.

"You're it. You're the one. You're who I've been waiting for," she remembers thinking.

Initially, the transition was smooth. Then Ilaria realized she was with this family for the long haul, said Vardalos, and the testing phase began. Her new daughter started pushing them away, testing their limits.

Vardalos covers these challenges in her book too, saying she "wanted to be honest about how difficult it was."

Still, the comedian's book doesn't shy away from talking about some of the funnier moments of being a first-time mom, like when Vardalos tried to give her sleeping daughter a haircut. It resulted in her husband prying the scissors out of her hands when he got home, and her daughter rocking a "monster truck rally" hair style.

Following her experience, Vardalos became an adoption advocate, especially for American and Canadian foster adoption services, which she says are not discriminatory against any potential adoptive parents.

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