“I vow to always be fair and honest with you,” he said. “I promise to support you in every way I can. I promise to always hold your hand and brush your hair when you ask me to. I promise to tuck you into bed every night. I vow to show you how a man should treat a woman through my relationship with your mom. And above all else, I vow to protect you, care for you, and love you ‘so big’ forever.”
The groom struggled to get the words out through his tears; the bride, too, was overwhelmed with emotion.
“It’s pretty special finding someone that loves you unconditionally, but to come as a package deal with a little one and have a man make a commitment to love her unconditionally as well is an absolute blessing,” Brittany told The Huffington Post.
Mike has been a figure in Heidi’s life since she was just 14 months old. Brittany told HuffPost that she was protective of her daughter at first and wanted to take things slow, not wanting Heidi to get attached to Mike before she was certain the relationship would last.
“Mike was very patient,” Brittany said. “I would have to pause our movies and shows to change diapers or rock her back to sleep at 10 p.m. Or the lack of freedom I had to do ‘normal’ dating things or be spontaneous because I had a child. He was never allowed to spend the night at my house unless Heidi was at her dad’s. He never once seemed annoyed or inconvenienced by any of it.”
Over the years, Brittany and Mike have also formed a friendship with Heidi’s father, who is still a big part of her life.
“Just two days after our wedding we all went to her dad’s house and trick-or-treated. It was a ‘pinch me’ moment,” Brittany said. “After separating from her dad it was always my goal to have a friendship with him but also provide my daughter with a good example of a relationship. And I got it.”
In 2015, the couple got engaged and moved in together. That’s when Heidi’s relationship with Mike really began to blossom.
“Mike was taking a more fatherly role by doing things like tucking her in and kissing her as he leaves for work,” Brittany told HuffPost. “Though we have had our share of bumps in the road ― there’s no instruction manual for this stuff! ― it’s been a beautiful journey because we’ve all been patient, open and honest with each other. And most of all, just had fun.”