In 2008 Nia Vardalos adopted her daughter Illaria through the foster care system and later wrote about the experience in her Instant Mom book. At the time, she was matched with Vardalos and actor Ian Gomez (to whom the actress was married until 2018), the little girl was only three years old.
“What I didn’t know then is that there is no damage that has been done to a child that can’t be undone with love,” she wrote in an essay for Guideposts magazine. “I have met so many kids who have been adopted from foster care and have gone on to live fantastic, productive lives. It’s why I became the spokesperson for National Adoption Day.”