Buford resident MaShun Smith is a father of three children — a 22-year-old son and 11-year-old twin daughters. He and his wife, Dorianne, will celebrate 15 years of marriage this fall.
Smith became a father the day he was married — his son was 7 at the time.
“He has never been and never will be referred to as my ‘step’ son,” Smith says. “I’m his daddy and he’s my son.”
In 2011, Smith and his wife welcomed their twin daughters.
“I jokingly say my son made me bald and my twins turned my hair from black to white,” he says. “I embrace it all.”
Smith began serving as captain of All Pro Dad at his daughters’ school, White Oak Elementary in Sugar Hill, in 2018. The organization is part of Family First and works to get fathers involved at their children’s schools.
“I remember the first day of kindergarten for my girls, I saw several men high-fiving kids, playing music, greeting students, parents and teachers, and handing out tissues for the moms — first day is rough,” Smith says. “I thought they were a part of the school staff.”
After learning about All Pro Dad and its mission, Smith joined as a volunteer.
“… it empowers fathers in a way they have not seen,” Smith says of the group. “To see how these kids interact with their dads and to hear the dads open up to their kids is something you cannot script.”
Smith says that as a father, the first lesson he learned was he didn’t know as much as he thought he knew but he knew enough to realize he needed to learn more.
Smith encourages dads to not approach fatherhood alone and instead become connected with other fathers within the community. He references Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
“Dads, we need each other,” Smith says.
To other fathers, Smith shares this sentiment: “I bet you didn’t know that you are already a hero in their eyes, and you didn’t have to leap over the tallest building or lift 1,000 pounds to prove it.”