Nia Vardalos became a household name after the massive success of her independent movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. After that she faced a 10-year journey to motherhood. Her new book is called Instant Mom and it's a hilarious and poignant road-to-parenting story that eventually leads to her daughter and prompts her to become a major advocate for adoption. Check out our fun chat with the actress and now best-selling author.
"For me the title Instant Mom is a bit of an ironic wink at the audience that it took me 10 years to finally become an instant mom," Vardalos says of being matched with her daughter Alaria, who was three-years-old at the time, through American foster care. Vardalos and husband Ian Gomez, of Felicity and Cougar Town fame, received 14 hours notice before receiving their daughter.
When they did meet, it was love at first sight.
"All I was doing was just staring at her like 'You're it. You're the one. You're who I've been waiting for. It was such a beautiful day."
Of course, it did take time for both parents and child to adjust to their new lives together. Vardalos says they went through the typical testing phase where Alaria was pushing back, and couldn't sleep.
It's these obstacles Vardalos writes honestly about in her book, with hopes of demystifying the foster care and adoption process for others considering it, while sharing her own tales of parenting.
"I wanted to be honest about how difficult it was, and why I became the spokesperson for American and Canadian foster care," she says, describing the process as non-discriminatory, whether you're older, younger, gay or straight.
Despite some of the serious subject matter, Vardalos also brings her signature humour to Instant Mom. In a chapter about firsts, Vardalos describes one memorable sleep for Alaria.
"Even if you adopt an older child everything you do is a first ... So my daughter was sleeping and I did the classic mom mistake, I trimmed her hair [for the first time]," she says laughing. "She woke up ... and you know what you do, you keep fixing it and trimming it and trimming it, and it got worse and worse ... When she did look up and shake her head a little bit, it was a monster-truck-rally mullet."