In her compelling book “Instant Mom”, Nia Vardelos shares her story about her hasty decision of adopting a preschooler. Like many women, Vardalos felt she was supposed to be a mother but Mother Nature and modern medicine had a different plan for her.
From exposing her body to countless procedures, getting a surrogate, and seeking out adoption, Vardalos speaks out about her experiences and the hardships she faced in her journey to motherhood.
As an actress in the public eye, Vardalos shares everything from the fat shaming, discrimination and the constant reminder that women are limited and not good enough due to the depictions in the media. She speaks out about her personal struggles with not being able to give birth and the toll that had on her due to the misconception that to be a woman one must be a mother.
Society has constantly told women that womanhood and motherhood are interchangeable therefore when a woman cannot have children she feels as if she is not a whole woman. Vardalos is no exception. She felt inadequate as a woman because none of the procedures were working for her. Being in the public eye, she had to put her best face forward even though behind-the-scenes she was putting her body through so much to achieve pregnancy with no success.
I find out IVF #10 didn’t work either. No pregnancy. I’m now standing on the red carpet, waving and smiling, with a concave dark hole in my chest.
In this book, Vardalos bares all. She tells of the joys and fears of motherhood she discovers through Illaria. Motherhood is not all fun and games like it is portrayed on television. Vardalos shares that there are days where children are terrible and you just want to run away. It does not make women bad mothers, it makes them human. I loved that she expressed this because mothers are stigmatized as ‘bad mothers’ if they feel this way so it is refreshing to see a prominent figure admit to it.
Vardalos devotes a comprehensive how-to-adopt section in her book to answer the common questions people have such as the different types of adoptions, requirements, and costs.
Adoption is not an easy process but she did it. Vardalos allows us to dig deeper into her journey of becoming an adoptive mother. As an actress, she did not get any special privileges. She waited as long as everyone else. She filled out countless forms and had to face an emotional rollercoaster throughout the process. She did not get a child from the sky. She endured agonizing pain but at the end it was all worth it. Vardalos learned that whether it is through biology or adoption, motherhood comes in different forms.
She was now a mother.
Antonia Eugenia Vardalos, better known as Nia Vardalos was born on September 24, 1962 in Winnipeg, Canada. She is an actress, screenwriter, director, singer and producer. Best known for My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), Connie and Carla (2004) and I Hate Valentine’s Day (2009). Vardalos resides in Los Angeles with her husband, the actor Ian Gomez, their daughter Illaria, and many pets. She is currently working on balancing her acting and writing career with motherhood and adoption advocacy.