Some say it takes a village to raise a child—and while the village certainly may have helped, in Peng Yunsong’s case, he did most of the work alone. Now 97 years old, Peng Yunsong’s children and grandchildren are singing his praises. He adopted his first of six children in 1935, when he was only 16 years old. Seeing a child in need, Peng Yunsong loved him as his own and put his entire life into caring for him. Five more times Peng Yunsong would adopt, loving each child as much as the one before.

It wasn’t easy to care for six children, especially without a wife. Yet each of his children needed so much care, that Peng Yunsong chose not to marry. His was a heavy burden and he didn’t wish another to have to help carry the load. Additionally, he couldn’t think of taking away some of the attention his children needed.

So Peng Yunsong chose to raise his six children as a single father. This meant he would not only care for these kids, who were once orphans, at home, but he would be the breadwinner as well. Peng Yunsong held down a regular job at a machine shop. But with six young mouths to feed, more income was required. So he would take on additional part-time jobs as they became available.

When it was time to put his children in school and pay for their education, the family bought five goats. Each morning before work, Peng Yunsong would rise early, milk the goats, then sell the milk to the local market. This extra bit of work proved enough to pay for the children’s education. Although he would take on as many jobs as possible, he never allowed his children to get jobs. He wanted them to focus on their educations. Peng Yunsong was generous with his meager earnings when it came to his children.

As the family gathered together to celebrate their father’s 97th birthday, the grown children recalled how excited they would get as they waited outside to catch a glimpse of their father in his blue uniform returning from work.

One child remembered that when he joined the military just after his 16th birthday, his father snuck about $1.50 into his pocket. When the money was discovered, his son broke down in tears, realizing his father had given him about half a month’s worth of wages. All of Peng Yunsong’s children are grateful to have their father around as they raise their own children.

Photos of Peng Yunsong and his family as well as the full story may be seen here.