When you marry someone with kids, it’s a package deal, and that package includes their other parent. Just ask Pennsylvania bride Katie Musser.
On Monday, the 24-year-old stepmom shared a video to the Facebook page Love What Matters that captures the incredibly touching “co-parenting vows” she read at her September 23 wedding to Jeremy Wade.
In the middle of the wedding ceremony, Katie addressed Jeremy’s ex-wife Casey and Casey’s husband.
With a shaky voice, she thanked the pair for accepting her into their 4-year-old’s life.
“First, I want to thank you for accepting me as your friend and allowing me to be a part of Landon’s life,” Katie said. “I promise to be an amazing mother to your son. I will guide, teach and love him every single day.”
Then, Katie bent down to Landon’s level to read her “vows” to him.
“I promise to stand by you, listen to you and love you every day. I promise to love daddy with all my heart,” she told the little boy. “I promise to be a best friend to mommy and your daddy Tyler. We will be one big family that I promise you will have for the rest of your life.”
The heart-tugging video has over 575,000 views on Facebook and plenty of positive responses in the comment section.
“This is a perfect example of loving a child unselfishly,” one woman wrote. “I hope more parents see this as proof that it is possible to co-parent without the drama and name calling.”
On her own Facebook page, Katie shared a longer note, explaining how she and Casey went from virtual enemies when Landon was an infant, to close friends and coparents.
“Landon’s mom (Casey) and I hated each other,” Katie wrote in the note. “So many stories, rumors, and judgements, but what would you expect? That’s all we ever saw. That’s the norm. You don’t like the ‘other person.’”
Then, “one day, I woke up and thought, ‘I truly hate who I have become.’”
Katie made the first move, contacting Casey before Landon’s first birthday to see if they could work on building trust in their relationship.
Mommy dates soon followed, and these days, they’re so close, Katie gave Casey a sunflower bracelet to match the ones she gave her bridesmaids.
Casey was touched by the gift, but it was the surprise co-parenting vows that really got to her.
“It meant more to us both than anyone could imagine ― we both want to help others see co-parenting can be done.” Katie told HuffPost. “You do it for the child! It’s not about you. Luckily, she and I developed a lifelong friendship.”
After the ceremony, though “Casey wanted to kill me!” Katie said. “She told me ‘Hey, a little warning would have been nice!’ And then we laughed.”