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My son deserves to be a Real Fathers Real Men nominee because he dedicates every waking moment trying to make sure his children keep smiles on their faces.

It’s been a hard journey because he is a father of nine. He tries his best to make sure that his children have what they need –without making excuses for his circumstances. He has been there for each one of them since day one like a real father is supposed to be. What makes this situation unique is that he has six biological children, but has reared his three non-biological children in his home (without the mother) while never making a difference between them. With the help of the three mothers, they drive home the point of having a good education.

He has seven  children in school right now and all seven of them are on the honor roll. He even returned to school at age 30 to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business which he obtained from Lane College in Jackson, TN in April 2013 (age 35). All nine of his children (ages 15, 12, 11, 11, 8, 7, 6, 2, 11 months) attended his graduation. He explained to me that he is the only father they know for the most part and just because a relationship didn’t work out it would be selfish of him to turn his back on a child that he has reared from six months old. He does not have a lot of money, but he makes sure that in addition to money, he gives them as much of his time as possible.

He once told me that many people think money is the most important thing but when it comes to children, the most important thing a parent can give is time. He receives many smiles and nods just from taking his girls to the park or sitting in his sons’ basketball practice. He prepares their meals, bathes them, changes diapers and reads to them at night, just to name a few things. When I asked how he keeps going, he said, “I am just walking down the path GOD laid before me and I’m standing on my faith.” I also suspect that it is because he grew up without his biological father and wants to make sure that his children never feel the emptiness that he felt. David is a humble, God-fearing man and I honor him for some great accomplishments.

Real Fathers, Real Men: David Bland  was originally published on