Book review: Instant Mom

I’ll admit it, I get a little excited about celebrity babies. Babies are just exciting! I love reading about who just became a parent and thinking about their new lives of snuggles and spit-up. A couple years ago, I was very excited to read the adoption announcement of Nia Verdalos, screenwriter and actress in “My Big, Fat Greek Wedding.” Though it is not necessarily unique for a celebrity to adopt, it was unique that Verdalos and her husband, Ian Gomez, pursued adoption through the foster care system. They kept their family details private at first, but last year Verdalos released a book telling the story of their adoption.


Instant Mom describes the years of failed infertility treatments and adoption processes. It is real life and is told with Verdalos’ signature humor, though much of the subject matter is emotional and personal. She describes the moment she saw her daughter for the first time.

As we get out of the car, we see a little brown-haired girl in a social worker’s arms. And as we walk toward the group, the little girl turns and looks at me.
At me.
And she smiles.
Everything goes quiet. I hear nothing at all.
All I think is, “Oh, I found you.”
Because now I know who I have been waiting for. I know exactly why the other processes didn’t work. I know I was supposed to wait for this little girl.

Anyone who has seen her movies knows she is a funny writer, but such a personal story of infertility and adoption is no laughing matter.

The fear of the unknown can be a powerful deterrent from anyone adopting… I had fears, too, and it’s one of the many reasons I want to tell this story. When it came to adoption, I’d read the bad stories, too. As I told you, I was scared. As was my family.

She reveals that accurate information helped alleviate some of the fears, and she has an excellent guide in the back of the book with basic information on types of adoption.

As an adoptive mom myself, I thought this book was outstanding at expressing a realistic picture of the emotional side of adoption. She doesn’t sugar-coat things; she describes the first difficult transitional months that come with bringing a child into your family. But she also describes the appreciation of small steps and the discovery of safety and comfort.
Any mom would enjoy reading this book. It makes you laugh and cry and hug your kids.

Nothing prepared me for the love I would feel for my child. Nothing prepared me for how quickly it happened for me. And here’s what I just figured out now: no one is ever prepared. In a way, we’re all instant moms… Nothing prepared us for the daunting responsibility and love we feel for our children. All of us are instant parents trying to rise to the challenge of raising our children well. It is so daunting. And unfathomably wonderful.

Instant Mom

1 thought on “Book review: Instant Mom

  1. Ironic that I’m reading this sitting in a rocking chair at The Toy Store while Kaden looks at Legos, games, cars, planes, and weird sand stuff. Lots of thoughts I can’t post, oh wait, he’s ready to go :)

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