The Star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding is an Adoptive Mom

Nia Vardalos places importance on mothering.

Denalee Chapman March 30, 2016
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Not all movie stars are so focused on their careers that other important things fall to the wayside. Case in point: Nia Vardalos.

After struggling for nearly a decade to begin a family with her husband, Ian Gomez, the couple was finally given the gift of parenthood. And by struggling, I mean that Nia can relate to many, many hopeful parents. Infertility, followed by IVF, followed by surrogates, followed by home studies for adoption . . . it’s a road that far too many people can relate to. Sure, her wit as well as her success as a writer and actor kept her busy. But that hole—that ever growing hole—of being deprived of the blessing of nurturing a child was painful.

Nia has a knack for finding the good among the difficult. “I’m thankful for my biological and adoption disappointments because they led me to my daughter,” she told Upworthy.  Sure, she would have welcomed motherhood earlier. But Nia and Ian are aware that one thing led to another . . . and so on, until they were matched with their beautiful almost-three-year-old daughter. The call came suddenly, after all their waiting. They were given just fourteen hours to make the decision and prepare to become a family of three. Nia says that the moment she saw this little girl, who had been living in a California foster home, the recognition was instantaneous: she knew they belonged together.

But it wasn’t all pink ponies and birthday cake. The toddler, understandably, wasn’t thrilled with being moved to another home. Determined to make it work, Nia made the choice to put the bulk of her effort into filling her daughter with comfort, with love, with acceptance and with security. She stopped taking acting jobs and instead became an intentional parent. Her focus was on her daughter. And it paid off. Now 11 years old, Nia and Ian’s daughter is just part of the family. And it’s a truly lovely family who know what is really important in life.

Nia knows that the struggle is real and is hard for many hopeful parents. So she’s used her writing skills to share their adoption journey and to point out little things that helped them along the way. The best-seller, Instant Mom, is available on Amazon.

Read the full story here.

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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