One of my all time favorite movies is My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I easily watch it about once a year. A couple of months ago I was at the thrift store and saw this book on the shelf written by Nia Vardalos who wrote and starred in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I looked at the synopsis and decided it was worth a read so I picked it up. I set it aside and wasn’t planning on reading it for a while, I had started Me Before You to read in between book club books. But then the other day I decided to read the first chapter just for something different. And I was hooked immediately. I finished it in just a few days.
In Instant Mom, Nia writes about her struggles with infertility and her journey to adopting her daughter. Her writing is beautiful – there is plenty of humor and wit, but she is not afraid to be emotional either. You will literally be crying from one paragraph and laughing hard in the next.
I find it fitting to review this book during National Infertility Awareness Week (which I truly hadn’t planned so it’s a nice coincidence). 1 in 8 women suffer from some form of infertility. And I know at least 4 of these women, so that says a lot. Nia sheds some huge light on this issue as she talks of her struggles to try to get pregnant. She did IVF thirteen times. THIRTEEN times. For her health and well being her doctor and husband finally said she needed to stop, so she did begrudgingly. She gave herself time and then started looking into other avenues to become a mom. Finally she looked into adoption and then specifically adoption through fostering. And she was led to her daughter.
Her daughter was three years old when they brought her home, so Nia jokes she was pretty much thrust into instant motherhood. No easing into it with a newborn. She shares all the frustrations that all parents of toddlers go through and how some of it was magnified because her daughter was frightened she’d be sent back. They worked through tons of issues and difficulties and were rewarded with moments of joy and even peace. The adoption was finalized after about six months and then she shares a bit more about parenthood and how she fell in love with her daughter. Then the book ends with a fantastic Q&A about adoption.
I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. No, I did not adopt my child, but I still found plenty of things I could relate to, especially because I am the parent of a three year old. I felt every ounce of Nia’s pain, then anxiety, then joy, then anxiety again (because let’s face it, that’s parenthood, amiright?). With every word I loved Nia more and more. She is the real deal. I haven’t seen much of her other work besides My Big Fat Greek Wedding and I think I’ll be seeking more of it out now.
Whether you’re a parent of an adopted or biological child, I seriously recommend this book. It’s a beautiful story of parenthood.