By peoplestaff225
Updated June 05, 2009 08:00 AM
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When Nia Vardalos began trying for a baby, like so many women, infertility caught her off guard. She left no stone unturned in her quest for motherhood, either, including an unsuccessful attempt at surrogacy. “It didn’t work for me,” she tells the Boston Herald. “Can you believe it? Nothing worked. I tried everything.” Even traditional adoption proved problematic; For four long years Nia says she was “on every list, for every country.”

After taking a break from her career as an actress and writer to deal with what she calls the end of her “10-year battle with infertility,” Nia found adoptuskids.org, which helps arrange foster adoptions. “These two women, social workers, came into our lives,” she recalls, and their optimism was infectious. “They just said, ‘This is going to happen. There are 129,000 kids who are legally free for adoption.'”

Eighteen months ago, her now almost 4-year-old daughter arrived and the family of three has never looked back. Nia declines the opportunity to name her preschooler, explaining that she and husband Ian Gomez are “trying to give her a shot at anonymity.”

— Missy