#GWKThenAndNow: Benjamin, Nick, Sawyer and Harrison

Back in 2006 Benjamin and Nick met online through Myspace. Benjamin was 18 and Nick was 19, and they lived in Wisconsin. While Benjamin was Nick’s first boyfriend, Nick was actually Benjamin’s third, though his first serious one.

They enjoyed chatting online, and were really nervous about meeting each other in person. Luckily, they had mutual friends who helped them connect offline. Benjamin remembers their first date playing mini golf and going out for ice cream. He still describes it as “one of the best days of my life.”

March 2006: Nick (left) and Benjamin in France during spring break of college, shortly after they were first together

Even at 18 and 19, Nick and Benjamin knew they wanted to be parents. But they didn't learn it was possible for gay men to become dads until several years into their relationship. They researched their options and decided on adoption. They adopted their children privately; their first child Sawyer has been with them since birth and he will turn 3 years old next month.

January 2013: Benjamin holding Sawyer for the first time in the hospital

The dads got married in 2014, shortly after gay marriage became legal in their state.

June 6, 2014: wedding day in Madison, Wisconsin

Harrison, their second son, joined the family when he was 1 week old, in March 2015.

March 2015: Harrison is now part of the family

They now live near Madison, Wisconsin. Benjamin, now 28, runs a day care looking after the neighborhood children; Nick, 30 in a few weeks, is a school psychologist.

Late May 2015: Dig day on the location where their current home is built

September 2015: The happy family after Harrison’s adoption finalization at the courthouse

The most difficult part of being a father is always worrying about doing the right thing. Benjamin says, ”We just want our kids to be healthy, happy and good people. We don’t want to screw them up.”

September 2015: Outside the stadium going to see a Badgers football game

Nick (“Dad”) and Benjamin (“Daddy") agree that the most important lesson they are teaching their kids is compassion and understanding. They believe it’s what the world needs most, today.

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