The text message read: “Family, Conference call tonight at 8:30 p.m. Please call in.”

 My heart sank, and I felt uneasy. I knew it was going to be bad news.

This brother had NEVER set up a conference call before…so it could only be bad news. At the end of the conference call the news had been revealed: He was going to be a dad in March.

He is my third brother and the most gentle and kind of them all. In a house of ten, he usually waits to eat last.  He laughs a lot and loves to dance. And my friends describe him as approachable, even though he is 6 feet 8 inches tall. He is two months away from college graduation, and had plans to play basketball overseas. He has no career. No money and no way of supporting a child.

I have grappled with this bad news for weeks. At first, I was livid. How could he be so foolish? How could he shame our family like this? Second, I was sad. Because this is not how I envisioned my brother’s life going. I had hoped he would graduate, go overseas, play basketball, make a lot of money, come back to the United States, get married, start a family, and be the bestest and coolest middle school history teacher ever.

I know that sounds crazy…you can’t plan someone else’s life.

But, I realized something today. I have plans for all of my siblings lives. Not detailed plans, but hopes for them. I want them to excel and do well in life. I want one of my sisters  to be the best women’s basketball player ever and I want my other sister to achieve her dream of being an architect. I want my first brother to have a job that he loves and make a lot of money, I want my second brother to be an award-winning broadcast journalist, I want my fourth brother to finish school, focus, and find out his purpose in life, and I want my fifth brother to graduate from high school and play division I basketball and not talk to girls so much for the fear that he’ll end up like my third brother.

My third brother has started a family, and his son will be he in a few weeks. And, I am proud of the strength and courage he has exhibited. He wants the baby to live with him, and he is seeking custody. He is more focused and determined than I have ever seen him. He is working on the weekends, he is on the track team, studying in the early mornings and late at night, and attending classes during the day.

The arrival of my new nephew is quickly approaching. Even though, he wasn’t in my plan for my brother’s life…I take comfort in knowing that God’s plan for my brother’s life is much better than mine.   My hope now is to be a loving aunt and supportive sister.