It’s official, and officially exciting:
The Bates family will soon have a new member to help bring up.
In an interview with In Touch Weekly, Josie Bates and Kelton Balka confirm that they are expecting their first child together.
They said as much a day before the premiere of a new Bringing Up Bates season on UPtv, and just four months after tying the knot to become husband and wife.
“We can hardly believe it,” the 19-year old mom-to-be tells this tabloid, adding with clear enthusiasm:
“We are already so in love with our little one and so very thankful to God for his blessing on our life as we start our little family.”
The newlyweds also shared a photo of themselves making this same announcement on Josie’s Instagram Story, sharing a picture of Bates’ baby bump, while holding two balloons.
One reads "Baby Balka."
The other reads "Arriving July 2019."
Bringing Up Bates is basically a knockoff of 19 Kids and Counting, the TLC reality show that got canceled after it was revealed that Josh Duggar was a monstrous child molester.
(TLC just premiered the fourth season of that show’s spinoff, Counting On.)
It centers on Gil and Kelly Jo Bates, who somehow have 19 kids of their own, all of whom live under the same room.
The Bates family and the Duggars are actually very close: Josh and wife Anna attended Josie’s wedding to Kelton and there’s been chatter in the past that Jana Duggar is dating Lawson Bates.
Back to Bates and Balka…
They got married in October of 2018.
Her father, Pastor Gil Bates, actually officiated the ceremony; while her sisters, Erin Paine and Tori Bates, played the piano and violin; and the aforementioned Lawson Bates performed a song he’d written for the occasion.
It is worth noting that the impending baby is due just a month after Josie and Kelton got engaged.
Might she have therefore gotten pregnant and then the pair decided to marry?
No judgment here if that’s the case. We’re just wondering.
Even if that’s the case, though, it’s evident the pair were pretty psyched to exchange vows last fall.
“I never could have dreamed the love story that God would write for us, or the merging paths He would lead us on," wrote Kelton after getting married, adding at the time:
I can truly say there was no better feeling than being with the love of my life, surrounded by loving family and friends, who worked tirelessly to bring everything together, there for the sole purpose of cheering us on as we started our life together.
"All I can say is I’m thankful. Thankful and undeserving of the opportunities and blessing that God has put in my life through the lives of those around me.
"And now I’m thankful for the biggest blessing of all, my wife and soul mate, Josie Kellyn Balka."