On May 21, 2017, two Canadian dads, Richard and Francis, were married in front of family, friends and their two daughters. It was a beautiful spring day in their hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Richard and Francis met online in 2011. Francis is from a tiny French town (of only 30 people) in Saskatchewan, and Richard grew up in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in Vernon, British Columbia. Religion played a significant role in Francis' life; he even spent a year of his life studying seminary to become a priest. Richard married and had two beautiful daughters, Emma and Olivia. This relationship ended when Emma was just 3 and Olivia an infant.
Their online meeting was serendipitous. Richard, who was coming out of a bad relationship, created an account. He saw Francis' profile and he was the only one he messaged. Francis logged in to delete his account, and saw Richard's message. The rest, as they say, is history.
When Francis and Richard began their relationship, the girls were only 3 and 1. Two years ago, they decided to call Francis "Papa."
"That moment was huge for me," shared Francis. "I never thought that I'd have my own children. It changed the dynamics of our family and we bond more and more everyday."
Francis (back, left) with Emma, and Richard (back, right) with Olivia.
As part of the wedding service, Emma and Olivia made vows to accept Francis as their papa.
"That was one of the most powerful moments of the wedding for myself," said Francis, remembering the moment fondly. "Olivia looked up at me with her big brown eyes and gave me the biggest sweetest grin."
In the past year, the family of four have moved into a new home, celebrated a marriage, Richard and Francis have travelled to Europe on their honeymoon, and started a new life together. A life that Francis says he never envisioned. As a family, they're all very excited for the next adventure.