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Instant Mom

by Nia Vardalos

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914251,106 (3.78)1
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 stood in her way. So she made a choice that shocked friends, family, and even herself: with only fourteen hours' notice, she adopted a preschooler. This is Vardalos's hilarious and poignant true chronicle of trying to become a mother while fielding nosy "frenemies" and Hollywood reporters. With her signature wit and candor, she describes her and husband Ian Gomez's bumpy road to parenting, how they found their daughter, and what happened next. Vardalos includes a comprehensive how-to-adopt section and explores innovative ways to conquer the challenges all new moms face, from sleep to personal grooming. She learns that whether via biology, relationship, or adoption--motherhood comes in many forms.--From publisher description.… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
This was raw and real without being sordid, funny without making light of a difficult situation, and informative and reminded you of the issues in the world (foster care, adoption, exploitation of children) without being preachy. Fun to read. ( )
  mmaestiho | Sep 20, 2018 |
(98) ( )
  activelearning | Oct 27, 2013 |
I'm not really a big memoir person, unless there is something extremely specific about the author that I am particularly obsessed with (like I read all the Mitford memoirs), but I enjoyed this in large part because it was a memoir with some purpose -- as she told the story of adopting her daughter, there was a lot of solid information about the adoption process in general. I remember when I was investigating adoption, it was overwhelmingly confusing and mostly discouraging. In addition to being entertaining, I think this would be genuinely helpful to people in her situation.

Although she's a comedic writer and actress, she mentions that she could never do stand-up, which I thought was odd, because several times, the book felt too MUCH like stand-up to me, too many stories and anecdotes ended on a "zinger" that made me roll my eyes. I really do find her funny, but that particular style felt like it was reaching.

As Lucy is about the same age as her daughter (at the time of adoption), I was especially interested in the details related to the little girl and her adjustment and development. A lot of it was fascinating. I was sometimes a bit confused as to Vardalos and her husband's parenting choices ... I mean, the choices themselves were fine, it was the presentation in the book that confused me. Often things were brought up in relation to certain incidents or reactions, and, I don't know, I didn't really see how one related to the other, like "this thing happened, so obviously we did this" but the link wasn't obvious to me at all. I think this is always the challenge of memoirs, the author is very close to the events and I'm sure all this seems obvious to HER. I also cringed when she wrote "toddlers need a lot of stuff." Living in a New York City apartment, the most important thing I've learned about parenting is that toddlers don't actually need a lot of stuff at all. ( )
  delphica | Sep 5, 2013 |
As a parent who also created a family through adoption, I was curious to read about Ms. Vardalos' experiences. I loved that she took such a positive and warm approach to the process of adopting. I think her descriptions of how they helped their daughter make the transition to being part of their family are the most valuable part of the book. Because attachment is such a tricky thing, how you handle those first months can be so vital, and the way they were slow to introduce others and how they spent so much time with their daughter (even sleeping in the room with her) and didn't let the difficult behaviors get to them are all great examples for anyone contemplating adoption. And Ms. Vardalos is pretty funny, which made the book a pleasure to read. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Jul 9, 2013 |
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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 stood in her way. So she made a choice that shocked friends, family, and even herself: with only fourteen hours' notice, she adopted a preschooler. This is Vardalos's hilarious and poignant true chronicle of trying to become a mother while fielding nosy "frenemies" and Hollywood reporters. With her signature wit and candor, she describes her and husband Ian Gomez's bumpy road to parenting, how they found their daughter, and what happened next. Vardalos includes a comprehensive how-to-adopt section and explores innovative ways to conquer the challenges all new moms face, from sleep to personal grooming. She learns that whether via biology, relationship, or adoption--motherhood comes in many forms.--From publisher description.

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