Kara Lucas, MSW, shares another book review with us: This time she gives Instant Mom, by Nia Vardalos a solid 4 stars.
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 memoir had me laughing out loud in places. I loved her voice; I honestly found myself wishing I could somehow be her friend. (Also a plus: she calls social workers really pretty angels! Now she’s a friend for life!)
On a more poignant note, she bravely chronicles her heartbreaking journey through infertility and the sometimes agonizing adoption process and the hard road of waiting for that certain phone call. Prospective adoptive parents and first-time adoptive parents alike will be able to relate a lot to her struggles and triumphs throughout the whole book: from the bewilderment of what to buy for a preschooler, to the success of getting Ilaria to sleep through the night for the first time.
Nia Vardalos is a spokesperson for National Adoption Day, and the fost-adopt adoption community is blessed to have such a positive and enthusiastic celebrity in our corner.
Target Audience: Any person interested in adoption or adoptive parent, also a great read for anyone just interested in the subject.
Strengths: Funny and easy read; a very good “How to Adopt” appendix in the back, plus links to great resources.
Weaknesses: Nia speaks often about how she dreamed about her future daughter, and felt as if she was given signs that she would someday adopt a girl with “blond highlights.” While I do not doubt her personal experience whatsoever, I would caution potential prospective adoptive parents by saying that not anyone has such clear-cut premonitions as to what type of child will come into their family. And of course, sometimes children struggle with attachment issues far more significant than what this family encountered.