From births to courtship rumors to one family member’s trip to rehab, the Duggars had quite an eventful 2015. While it remains to be seen what’s in store for the stars of the now-canceled “19 Kids and Counting” in the new year, the brood of more than 20 immediate family members, which is rapidly growing, is sure to have a busy 2016. In recognition of New Year’s Day, let’s take a look at some possible happenings among the Duggars this year.
Duggar fans believed they might be hearing wedding bells in 2016 when Josiah, the eighth child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, began courting Marjorie Jackson in April. The couple made their courtship public knowledge on the family’s series, “19 Kids and Counting,” that same month. After posting several photographs of their chaperoned outings, however, they called it quits in August. While it doesn’t look like Josiah will be getting married this year, it is possible the Duggars could get a new in-law in 2016.
Gonna miss you bro! Safe travels back to Indonesia✈️ pic.twitter.com/FgByYI2sJ8
— Lawson Bates (@lawbates) September 14, 2015
In September, it was rumored that Jinger Duggar, the fourth-oldest daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle, was courting a family friend, Lawson Bates. The rumors started after a photo surfaced of Lawson, 23, and Jinger, now 22, standing noticeably close to one another during her cousin Amy (Duggar) King’s wedding. Jinger also made a cameo in a photo Lawson posted to Twitter later that same month. The Duggars refueled the courtship rumors in October when they revealed Jinger and several of her siblings visited Bates family members — television fans will know them from UPtv’s “Bringing Up Bates” — in Tennessee.
Three new family members joined the Duggars in 2015. Josh and Anna Duggar welcomed their fourth child, a daughter named Meredith. Jill and Derick Dillard welcomed their firstborn, son Israel, in April. And Jessa and Ben Seewald welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Spurgeon, in November. While neither sister has announced a second pregnancy — Jill recently denied she's expecting again — both have hinted they want more children, and soon. But will their forthcoming additions be biological or adopted?
During the final episode of TLC’s “Jill & Jessa: Counting On,” Jill and Jessa both opened up about their desires to adopt. Jessa said she and Ben had been looking into adoption before discovering they were expecting. The couple said they plan to look more into the topic in the new year.
Jill and Derick, who are currently in Central America on an extended mission trip, have also expressed their hope to adopt. After volunteering at a children’s home on “Counting On,” the couple said they would see their family growing overseas.
“Who knows? We came down to Central America as a family of three. We could go home as a family of four, or more!” Jill said.
— Rebecka Schumann (@RebeckaSchumann) August 27, 2015
The eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle, Josh, had a rough 2015. It was revealed in May that he molested five underage girls, four of whom were his sisters, while he was a teenager. In August, he was at the center of a cheating scandal. After admitting to being unfaithful to his wife Anna and having an addiction to pornography, he checked into a faith-based rehabilitation center in Illinois. Anna has visited Josh at the facility on several occasions, but his release date is unknown. The Duggars announced in August his treatment would take place at a “long-term” center and he would have a “long journey towards wholeness and recovery.” It appears Josh will likely spend at least some of 2016 in treatment.
Ever since Josh’s cheating scandal broke, Anna has been rumored to be considering divorcing the father of her four children. Contrary to this speculation, Anna has recently hinted she wants her marriage to remain intact.
“In my heart, when I got married, I vowed to God first and then to Joshua, ‘For better or for worse, ’til death do we part,’” she said during a cameo on “Counting On” in December. “I pray that through all of this that I would be an extension of God’s love to Joshua, that I would love him and forgive him and wait patiently and allow God to work through our hearts.”