‘Counting On’ Premiere Recap: Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald Talk Baby Plans, Anna Still Has ‘Hope’ for Marriage With Josh

It was time for big changes in this big family! On the season premiere of Counting On, the Duggars’ lives continued to be in flux. Unlike last season, however, which focused heavily on the gang regrouping after Josh Duggar‘s scandals, the updates kicking off season 2 on Tuesday, August 23, were happy ones.

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Jessa and Ben Prepare to Adopt

Jessa Duggar and her husband, Ben Seewald, had always been open about their intention to adopt a child (or two or three) — but the birth of Spurgeon put those plans on hold. (ICYMI, the adoption agency had a policy that all of the children in the household had to be a minimum of 9 months old before the parents could begin the adoption process … most likely to ensure the parents didn’t lose their minds.)

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Now that Spurgeon was 6 months old, however, Ben and Jessa were revisiting those plans and starting to lay the groundwork for expanding their family (though it’s unclear whether the August 23 announcement of Jessa’s second pregnancy would put these adoption plans on hold yet again). 

As part of that process, they decided to babysit for a couple who had adopted a daughter from Africa. The only problem? Ben and Jessa’s house was not yet babyproof, which meant either they had to fix that before 5 p.m. that day when the other kids showed up, or they would risk those kids getting into lots of things they shouldn’t.

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Baby Steps

Naturally, Jessa enlisted the help of some family members to meet the 5 p.m. deadline. Anna and Jinger Duggar came over to lend their guidance — Anna, because she had been babyproofing things for nearly seven years, and Jinger because … well, probably because Jessa just wanted to hang out with her. But Jinger added that as a child, she got into everything, so she was kind of an expert on the subject.

Anna brought one of her older kids over to poke around and help show Jessa spots she’d overlooked, and there were a lot. Then the gang headed to a store, where they bought all of the necessary supplies and did their best to get everything installed properly. Jessa split apart one of her new wood cabinets trying to add a security latch, but other than that, the project went off without a hitch.

Anna and Josh Work on Their Marriage

In stark contrast to last season (which Josh spent at a rehab facility), this season Anna was smiling and upbeat when discussing her marriage. “Personally, I have a lot of hope for our marriage, and so as I see Josh taking steps to do what’s right, it brings a lot of joy and helps heal the pain that we walked through,” she explained.

“We are just taking it one day at a time … and working on strengthening our relationship as a couple and with our children.”

In other news, Jill and Derick Dillard were living without running water with their increasingly active son, Israel, in their Central America home, and John David was trying to help Josiah prepare to take the test for his commercial driver’s license. Neither of those ventures was going particularly well.

Jinger Is in Love

By far, the biggest news was that Jinger was in love. “I am not officially courting anyone,” she smiled to the camera. When asked what that meant, she clarified, “That means no comment.” It turned out, however, that her days of not officially courting were numbered because soon Jeremy Vuolo arrived to have a chat with her dad.

As background, Jinger met Jeremy through Jessa and Ben, and while she liked him right away, she confessed she never thought he’d be interested in her. Jinger admired Jeremy for giving up professional soccer to become a pastor and thought he was overall an amazing guy. Asked what qualities she loved about Jeremy, she laughed, “How long do you have?” (Sounds like a woman in love, indeed!)

Jessa
Jessa

All of her siblings concurred that not only was she in love, but she was so in love that she was practically living on a different planet. Meanwhile, however, back on planet Earth, Jeremy landed at the airport and met up with her father for a man-to-man talk.

“It has really been a privilege getting to know Jinger, your daughter,” Jeremy began, clearly nervous. “It has been a blessing, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you and your family. I just wanted to speak with you and ask you about having the opportunity to court your daughter, and so I wanted to ask your permission for that.” Jim Bob let Jeremy squirm for a minute or two before revealing that he and Michelle had already discussed this possibility and gave their blessing for Jeremy and Jinger to start courting.

“Words can’t express the gratitude I feel to you and Mrs. Duggar,” Jeremy said before they went to the house so he could ask Jinger if she was on board. (Err … she was.)

Jeremy Asks Jinger to Court

Jeremy showed up with flowers in a coffee mug, since he knew how much she liked coffee. “When I saw Jeremy, I was just so overwhelmed with joy,” Jinger reported. “I am completely in love.”

The couple went outside for some semblance of privacy (a number of her family members, including her parents, were hanging out inside) and sat on a bench. “I’ve really asked the Lord that he would give me a woman who has a heart for service and a heart for the Lord and for the gospel. And Jinger, I’ve seen that in you, and so I wanted to ask if you would take that step forward with me.” To be clear, he was asking her if she wanted to court, not get married. She said yes, and they each said “I love you” before heading back inside to announce their happy news.

Tell Us: Do you like Jinger and Jeremy together?

Counting On airs on TLC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET. 

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