Saturday, May 10, 2008
Last year, I presented the story about an incredible Arkansas couple who have produced 17 children. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar had brought their 17th child into the world on August 2nd, 2007.
And now, according to Yahoo News, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post, they've just found out they will be parents for the 18th time. And Michelle is only 41 years old. The baby is expected to be born on New Year's Day in 2009. The newest addition to the family will join seven sisters and ten brothers. Here's the full roster:
Josh, 20; Jana, 18; John-David, 18; Jill, 16; Jessa, 15; Jinger, 14; Joseph, 13; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 10; Jeremiah, 9; Jedidiah, 9; Jason, 7; James, 6; Justin, 5; Jackson, 3; Johannah, 2; and Jennifer, currently 9 months. Note that there are two sets of twins.
Cumulatively, Michelle Duggar has been pregnant for more than 11 years of her life. "We've had three in January, three in December. Those two months are a busy time for us," Michelle said. The fast-growing family lives in Tontitown in northwest Arkansas in a 7,000-square-foot home. The kids are home-schooled.
The family is in the process of filming another series for Discovery Health. The new series examines life inside the Duggar home, where chores — or "jurisdictions" — are assigned to each child. One episode of the new show involves a "jurisdiction swap," where the boys do chores traditionally assigned to the girls, and vice versa, Michelle said. "The girls swapped jurisdictions, changing tires, working in the garages, mowing the grass," she explained. "The boys got to cook supper from start to finish, clean the bathrooms," among other chores.
Duggar said she's six weeks along and the pregnancy is going well. She and her husband, Jim Bob Duggar, said they'll keep having children as long as God wills it. "The success in a family is first off, a love for God, and secondly, treating each other like you want to be treated," Jim Bob Duggar said. "Our goal is for each one of our children to be best friends, and everybody working together to serve each other makes that happen."
Probably a good thing they don't live in Texas; the child welfare folks would probably be raiding then right about now. However, had they lived in Alaska, they would have received $28,118 in Permanent Fund Dividends in 2007.
The overwhelming majority of people were quite supportive and congratulatory when the Duggans brought forth Jennifer last summer. But there was one glaring exception. Alan Bisbort, a columnist with the Hartford Advocate, an alternative newspaper after the manner of the Anchorage Press, ripped the couple as being poster children for overpopulation, even though they've long since paid off their home and have never needed public assistance. But Bisbort went far beyond responsible criticism - he personally insulted the family by denigrating Jim Bob's name (stereotyping of Southern white men), referring to the kids as "pups", and proclaiming the proud mother a "Queen Bitch". Bisbort was also biased against the family because they are practicing Christians.
And the comments section erupted like Mount Spurr. A rapid succession of commenters unloaded on Bisbort. The comments were saved and cross-posted HERE, although Bisbort took the post down. Bisbort then followed up with a lukewarm apology.
The problems of "overpopulation" result from the maldistribution of population and resources. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar do NOT contribute to the problem in any way since they pay their own way. They are to be commended for not only being willing to bring so many children into the world, but also for being prepared to support and raise them without public assistance. Visit the Duggar Family website HERE.