Counting On parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are in hot water after wishing their daughter Joy-Anna Duggar a happy birthday on Instagram. Although they might have meant well, the post was criticized for including a picture of Joy-Anna when she was pregnant. Joy-Anna and her husband, Austin Forsyth, revealed the pregnancy ended in miscarriage in July.
Back on Oct. 28, Joy-Anna marked her 22nd birthday. To mark the occasion, her parents posted a gallery of recent photos, beginning with a photo showing her baby bump.
"Happy birthday, Joy!! One of my favorite things about you is that you always have a song in your heart to sing," the Duggars wrote of their daughter. "In good times and in hard times we have always heard your heart overflow with encouraging truth from God’s Word through song. It is beautiful, and so are you!! Now we get to sing to you tonight!! Happy birthday, Joy... You are SO LOVED!!"
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While many of the 400 comments were from fans also wishing Joy-Anna a happy birthday, a handful criticized the inclusion of the baby bump picture.
"You seriously used a picture of your daughter when she was pregnant with her stillbirth??” one person wrote, notes InTouch Weekly. "[That is] completely clueless and insensitive."
"Perhaps you could’ve left out the picture of Joy’s last pregnancy??? I’m sure it’s not easy for her to see. Just saying," another added.
A few other fans were confused about the picture, with some thinking Joy-Anna was pregnant again since the photo was taken early on in Joy-Anna's pregnancy.
"Perhaps you could’ve left out the picture of Joy’s last pregnancy??? I’m sure it’s not easy for her to see. Just saying," one person wrote.
"Is that a current picture of you? If so … is there an announcement?" another asked.
Back on July 3, Joy-Anna and Forsyth revealed they learned they suffered a miscarriage when they went to see their doctor for Joy-Anna's 20th week ultrasound. They named the unborn baby Annabelle Elise, which means "God has favored me" and "God satisfies."
"Although we don’t understand why, God has given us unexplainable peace and comfort during this very difficult time," the couple wrote on Instagram. "Yes, it still hurts and we have cried countless tears, but we know that we can trust the Lord. In the words of King David after the loss of his baby, 'I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me' (2 Sam 12:23). We don’t grieve as those who have no hope because we trust that we will see this little one again."
Last month, Joy-Anna received a special gift to remember her lost daughter by. A friend sent her a necklace with Annabelle Elise's name etched onto a charm.
Joy-Anna and Forsyth are also parents to son Gideon Forsyth, who was born in May 2018.
Photo credit: TLC