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Instant Mom

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,267 Ratings  ·  370 Reviews
"Some families are created in different ways but are still, in every way, a family."

Writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Nia Vardalos firmly believed she was supposed to be a mom, but Mother Nature and modern medicine had put her in a headlock. So she made a choice that shocked friends, family, and even herself: with only fourteen hours' notice, she adopted a presc
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by HarperOne
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Heidi DuPree Curled up in bed before I fall asleep at night.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 06, 2013 Erin rated it it was amazing
I wish I could say a personal thank you to Nia Vardalos for this book. Normally I would rather not meet any authors because I will just embarrass the both of us, but I'd risk it here because really, I would like to shake her hand and buy her a drink. She has done so much for foster care with this book. Instead of retreating into silence after an excruciating personal path to motherhood, Vardalos realized the boost her public position could provide for foster care, and she boosted.

With our first
Oct 31, 2015 Randee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I picked this up at the library on a whim. I'm not even sure why outside of the fact that I liked 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' and Nia Vardalos seemed to be a nice girl with talent. Oddly enough, I have practically no interest in parenting, adoption or children as I, myself, knew from an early age that I definitely did not want children ever. I look at parenthood as one of life's most thankless tasks. I know I am the exception rather than the rule. I have never regretted not having children. I enj ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Uda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
As an adoptive mom, I come to this book having lived a lot if it. I am a non Greek, married to a Greek man & lived the whole big, fat Greek wedding. What I appreciate so much about this book is not just the humour and sensitivity of the very sweet & grounded nia vardelos, it is the courage that it took to write so honestly about her infertility struggle & the tough transition of her daughter to their family. This is a feel good book but it doesn't stint on the toughness needed to par ...more
Apr 07, 2013 Lily rated it it was amazing
This book was outstanding and I found it to be very candid and refreshing. I wish it were being marketed differently because it is more than an adoption "how to" guide. I think everyone should read it as an honest glimpse into the world of foster care and foster adoption which is often portrayed as so negative and fear-inducing by the media.
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
Η Ελληνοκαναδέζα ηθοποιός και σεναριογράφος, Nia Vardalos, την οποία γνωρίσαμε αρκετά χρόνια πριν μέσω της τεράστιας επιτυχίας που έκανε με την ταινία "Γάμος... αλά ελληνικά", είναι μια δυναμική και ενθουσιώδης γυναίκα που όπως έχει δηλώσει η ίδια, αν της μπει κάτι στο μυαλό δεν μπορεί να της το βγάλει κανείς, και δεν θα σταματήσει μέχρι να πετύχει τον στόχο της. Βέβαια, δεν είναι όλα εύκολα σε αυτή τη ζωή και καμιά φορά οι καταστάσεις και τα γεγονότα μας προλαβαίνουν, δυσκολεύοντας μας να αποκτ ...more
Oct 26, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
A warm, funny, and incredibly likable memoir of Nia Vardalos's experience becoming a mom through the U.S. foster system (adopting a little girl who was nearly 3). Her huge love for her daughter shines through every page of the book - and honestly, I think this book and her experience could sell almost anyone on the idea of adoption through the foster system! - but she's also very honest about the real challenges they faced in their adjustment period after the adoption, as well as about the pain ...more
I loved, loved, loved this book! I'm a mommy (biological, foster and adoptive), Nia is spot on when she describes the heartache, bitterness, jealousy, a despair of infertility and the adoption process. Absolutely, hilariously spot on. We're in the middle of this process again and I really needed to read her words. I devoured this book because it was so comforting to know I'm not alone. Highly recommended for anyone who has fostered or adopted, or wants to foster/adopt, or who knows someone who h ...more
Jul 02, 2013 Heidi rated it liked it
Nia Vardalos chronicles her heartbreaking experience with infertility and her eventual decision to adopt through the foster care system. The first half of this book was compelling and so difficult to read if you've known anyone who has struggled with infertility. I admired her decision to take a child from the foster system who needed a home rather than paying thousands of dollars for an infant, which she probably could afford as an Oscar-winning screenwriter. The second half of the book walks t ...more
Manny Gomez
Apr 04, 2013 Manny Gomez rated it it was amazing
AMAZING! This is so beautifully written: it's a funny and gut-wrenching book about hope and optimism. I'm not a mom or married but I completely related to this book about tenacity and the pursuit of happiness. I have always looked up to Nia Vardalos as a person who gets things down, who admits she's human and makes mistakes. Her autobiography is so honest and I recommend it for everyone. It's an instant classic, you will love it.
Apr 27, 2013 Marie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-to-buy
Funny and poignant with a side of practical information. This book was just great. I laughed and cried and had a hard time putting it down.
Aug 05, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I've been a fan of Nia Vardalos since My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was great to read about how she got her start in comedy in Toronto and her subsequent career trajectory - all while negotiating fertility treatments, investigating adoption options and then ultimately adopting her daughter. Vardalos has become an advocate for the US & Canadian foster care systems out of which she adopted her child. The book is fresh, funny and honest - plus, for those looking to ad ...more
Cabrielle Rudisill
Jul 13, 2013 Cabrielle Rudisill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh Nia Vardalos, I love your book and your story. I spent the entire time I was reading this book asking myself two questions; “Where has this book been all my life?” and “Why am I not besties with Nia Vardalos?” This heart-warming and eye opening book is a must for everyone, especially anyone who can answer yes to one of the following questions:

-You are currently trying to conceive (TTC)
-You have gone through (or are currently going through) fertility treatments
-You want to adopt
-You love kids
Kylene (KyandMatt)
Apr 19, 2013 Kylene (KyandMatt) rated it really liked it
I loved it! Nia is truly a gifted writer. She had me laughing and crying! This book really hits home with me since I'm in the process of adopting. I love hearing her feelings about her infertility and finding her daughter as well as the little pieces of parenting advise (although, she presents them more as stories and less as advise). I love her views on life and parenting!
Apr 15, 2013 Patricia rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book! Nia Vardalos has written a candid and heartfelt account of her journey to motherhood. Recommended for anyone interested in adoption, foster care or heartwarming stories.
Mary Allen
May 03, 2016 Mary Allen rated it really liked it
Funny. Loved the parts describing when her daughter first arrives. Very real but someone having a more exciting real life. Very relatable and I learned about adoption and had some laughs.
Jan 12, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
I read this book in one day. It made me laugh, it made me cry. There were some very helpful, down to earth information for anyone who is interested in adoption or foster care.
Jun 13, 2013 Laurie rated it liked it
Good for Vardalos for using her celebrity to highlight foster care and adoption.
i set the bar low for this one because most celebrities are not necessarily great writers. & let's face it: most mommy memoirs are also not that good. but nia vardalos is actually quite talented! i was very pleasantly surprised at how well-written this was. i guess she was nominated for an oscar for her screenwriting. i should have had more faith.

vardalos opens up about her struggles with infertility & the long & winding path she took to eventually deciding to pursue domestic adopti
I want to give this a 3.5, but I can't decide if it's just slightly better than a 3 or slightly worse than a 4. The beginning and the end were slow for me, and were very memoir-y, which was ironic because she kept talking about how she never wanted to write a memoir. I loved what she wrote about her journey, though, the actual adoption process, and I burned through the middle 170ish pages before it slowed way down again. She's a pathological humble-bragger, even when telling "embarrassing" stori ...more
Jan 03, 2014 Callie-shea rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, and at first I did. I to am an adoptive mother, I wanted to read this book as we also adopted an older child and sadly I was disappointed.
I applaud Nia for writing about adoption and trying to bring light to a difficult subject. You can see she is very passionate about this issue and wants to educate people, so I can understand why she may have wanted to paint a very picturesque view of adoption.
Like any parenting situation there are good but there is also ba
Jun 02, 2013 Rachel rated it liked it
I am glad I read this book. It's nice to hear an inspirational story about adoption, particularly foster adoption, and this story is told with warmth and openness, without revealing too much Vardalos' daughter's story. That being said, I had some issues with some aspects of the book, particularly from the perspective of an adoptive mom (through international adoption). Vardalos is trying to educate the public about adoption, but she doesn't get her facts straight in the book (at least about inte ...more
Jul 15, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book -- I had no idea I liked Nia Vardalos so much! I loved that the book was so funny despite all the hardship she endured. Her love for her daughter is sooooo apparent throughout the book and I felt like she really effectively talked about the joy and challenges of adoption. I also respected that she protected her child's privacy (no details about her birth family or life prior to joining Nia's family) but still shared her story. As a mom through adoption who has faced so ...more
Kara Lucas
Jun 05, 2013 Kara Lucas rated it really liked it
Description: Writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Nia Vardalos firmly believed she was supposed to be a mom, but Mother Nature and modern medicine had put her into a headlock. So she made a choice that shocked friends, family, and even herself: with only fourteen hours' notice, she adopted a preschooler.

Review: Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos is the perfect summery, beachy read for any adoptive parent or person interested in possibly adopting. Funny, chatty, and personable, Nia's adoption me
May 15, 2013 Hannah rated it really liked it
Having gone through the adoption process I was eagerly awaiting this book. Pre-ordered it and started reading the moment it arrived. There were so many times I wanted to shout "YES!" and "EXACTLY!" and say things like "That's how I would have written it, too!". I did not adopt through the foster care system and my child was a bit younger when he came home. We didn't deal with the same adjustment issues or anger issues but it doesn't mean I couldn't relate to EVERYTHING that was talked about in t ...more
Jan 06, 2015 Cassandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't always agree with all of Nia's parenting choices, but I loved reading this book. She seems so down-to-earth and I love that she is open about her flaws and insecurities and her struggles to become a mom. The book had me rolling in laughter at times. There were sections that I had to read aloud to my husband because they were hilarious.

She has a quote toward the end of the book that really resonated with me.

"I know now I never felt like a sophisticated adult because it just doesn't come
Dec 19, 2014 Dana rated it really liked it
I'm not typically into celebrity bios, but after watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" for the millionth time, I downloaded this from the library. Instead of writing about her whole life, the focus of this book is Vardalos's path to motherhood. And there's plenty to write about. After struggling with infertility for years, Vardalos and her husband adopted a toddler through the foster care system, and ever since Vardalos has been a passionate advocate for adoption.

Vardalos can write, no ghostwriter
Apr 25, 2013 Linda rated it liked it
This book is an easy read, written by the woman who wrote and starred in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." She begins by discussing her infertility struggle and moves to the decision that she and her husband made to adopt a child from the American foster care system. She is very candid about her concerns and fears and about the early struggles with their daughter as she adjusted to living with them. One thing that really put me off was her assertion that "a checkout" from one's work, in order to refle ...more
Aug 18, 2016 Leeann rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir, 2016
I read this book in bits and pieces over a fairly lengthy period of time. Overall I enjoyed it, although there were times when it was too pithy and trite, when Nia tried to convince her readers she was 'just like us' when obviously she lives a pretty different life than most. I do greatly appreciate the great lengths she and her husband go to, to shield her daughter from public and media exposure.

Some good information about fostering and fostering to adopt, and the adjustment process involved f
Apr 12, 2016 Marie rated it really liked it
While I've always been interested in adopting a child, I also have been a big fan of Nia Vardalos' work, so I had to pick this book up. It is both hilarious and honest, which I expected, but what surprised me most was my reaction as I was reading it. As Nia described the process of adopting and specifically how she got to know her daughter and the ordeal of the early years of parenting, it took me away from my own mommy frustrations and reminded me that whether or not we add to our family (throu ...more
Jun 10, 2013 Wendy rated it really liked it
While this isn't a brilliantly-written book, it is real and natural and honest, and that's refreshing. It's pretty much like any parent's blog or memoir, with a little more Rita Wilson and Sean Hayes and paparazzi. I liked Vardalos a lot on the page even though I know our senses of humor wouldn't mesh in real life (she acknowledges having an immature sense of humor, and I can't argue with her--not in the way she writes, but in incidents she talks about from real life). I haven't seen any of her ...more
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Antonia Eugenia "Nia" Vardalos is a Canadian-Greek actress, screenwriter, director, singer and producer. Her most notable work is the 2002 Academy Award–nominated film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
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“Anyone who ever wondered how much they could love a child who did not spring from their own loins, know this: it is the same. The feeling of love is so profound, it's incredible and surprising.” 24 likes
“I hold my daughter in my arms and thank God for bringing her to me. If the standard route for creating a family had worked for me, I wouldn't have met this child. I needed to know her. I needed to be her mother. I know now why all those events happened. Or didn't happen. So I could meet this little girl. She is, in every way, my daughter. I am carrying my Funny Gift from God and all is good.” 17 likes
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