The Duggar family has dominated the media since word of Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation scandal broke several weeks back. In their first public appearance since TLC removed episodes of 19 Kids and Counting from the network, sister Jill Duggar Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald–both of whom admit they are Josh Duggar’s victims–made a public appearance. The siblings, along with husbands Derick Dillard and Ben Seewald, respectively, spoke at the ALIVE Christian Music Festival in Ohio this weekend.
Although neither Jill nor Jessa discussed the scandal that has no doubt encompassed the Duggar family these past few weeks, Jill Duggar said one of the messages of their show is that they have struggles just like everyone else.
“Hey we’re not a perfect family, we mess up,” she told the crowd during a Q&A-style session on the ALIVE Music Festival’s Beach stage. “Imagine what life is like with a family with two or three kids and multiply that about 10 times over and that’s what you get.”
Josh and Anna Duggar were also scheduled to speak at the event, but in light of the prevailing circumstances, backed out of the festival’s lineup.
Jill Duggar's baby son Israel is getting to be a big boy! http://t.co/BtXbzjtP7w
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) June 21, 2015
Jill Duggar and her husband, as well as Jessa Duggar and hubby Ben Seewald spoke about the love they share as couples, and the role of their strong Christian faith in their lives.
Derick Dillard said God has long prepared him for his role.
“I was actually the mascot in college, so at birthday events, events for little kids, I’d have kids climbing all over me and so I kind of felt the same way whenever I’d go over to the Duggars’ house before we got married, when we were courting,” he said. “It was kind of the same, but now…you don’t have a giant head on.”
Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald shared at the event that although she is pregnant–their baby is due on their first anniversary, November 1st–they still want to eventually welcome children into their lives through adoption.
Jessa Duggar and Jill Duggar Step Out With Their Husbands and Baby Israel to Attend Christian Music Festival http://t.co/VabQc9RIoG
— E! Online (@eonline) June 21, 2015
“We’ve been looking into different options, maybe going through the state or a private adoption agency and that sort of thing,” she said.
There are some restrictions, however, that will prevent Ben and Jessa from adopting right away. The state of Arkansas requires couples be married for a few years prior to adopting, and some private agencies require that any children already in the home be at least nine months old.
“We still have another year to go,” Jessa said.
Josh Duggar opts out of Jill & Jessa's first public appearance following the molestation scandal: http://t.co/G6UWqwnyDl
— E! Online (@eonline) June 19, 2015
The Duggar family is growing by leaps and bounds–even without an imminent adoption plan for Ben and Jessa Seewald. Derick and Jill Dillard welcomed baby Israel into their lives in April, and Josh and Anna Duggar are expecting their fourth child next month.