Update: Despite the previous statement from the Duggar family stating that Derick and Jill Dillard would not return to the U.S. until summer, as of the evening of May 18, they have posted that they have returned, some 20 hours after the old photo stirred up rumors.
The Duggar family has posted a photo of Jill Dillard together with her parents and husband, again resulting in many viewers asking, has Jill returned to the United States? The last word on Jill’s location was that she intended to stay in El Salvador until summer, returning to the U.S.A. only weeks before the birth of her second child. However, the various Duggar social media accounts keep posting photos that lead viewers to question this.
In this case, the Duggar family Instagram page presented a photo and birthday wishes, along with a description of Jill Dillard’s character from her parents’ point of view. The birthday wishes, though, were not what caught the eye of many viewers. If this photo showed Jill and her parents together, could that mean she was back home?
However, a cursory examination of the photo shows that it is from Jill and Derick Dillard’s last visit to Arkansas, as it is clearly before Derick’s haircut — which previews have shown was before the Dillard family returned to Central America, and will be a plot point in the upcoming season of Counting On. In the photo, Jill’s husband still wears his hair long and tied back, though, in more recent photos, it is cut short.
Happy Birthday Jill! Jill you are an excellent wife and a tender hearted young mother, who always thinks of others. For as long as I can remember, you have had a heart for sharing Jesus's love with people around the world. You genuinely care about helping people who live in some of the poorest & most dangerous conditions in the world. You and Derick are an inspiration to us all. You are a Proverbs 31 woman like your mom! Can't wait to see you. We pray you have a wonderful Birthday! Love, Daddy
Derick’s most recently posted photo, in March, is a blurry shot of the couple with their son Israel, and shows Dillard with the shorter hairstyle.
Another photo of the couple, posted on the Duggar Family Official Facebook page, and apparently taken recently in Central America, shows the same.
An older photoset, from February, when the Dillard family was still in Arkansas, shows Jill’s husband with the tightly-pulled-back hairstyle. Since the photo in the birthday post matches this, it’s logical to conclude that the Duggar family simply posted a photo that had been taken during the Dillard family visit to Arkansas, rather than that the photo of Jill is new.
However, the photo of Jill and Derick isn’t the only thing that has viewers questioning exactly what the Dillards’ travel plans are. The family recently issued a stark denial of rumors that Jill had already turned to the U.S., started similarly by a photo of Jill and her sisters together — however, the photo was a screencap of the upcoming season of Counting On and was filmed before Jill left for Central America.
Still, viewers are wondering exactly what’s going on. Jill and Derick say in a recent blog post they won’t be in El Salvador much longer.
“We will only be here a little while longer, before we return to the States to prepare for the birth of our second little one…”
However, in the Duggar family’s denial linked above, it’s stated that the couple won’t return until summer — which is almost five weeks away, by the calendar.
The second baby Dillard is due in July. Though the couple has not stated an exact due date, a return in late June would mean Jill’s pregnancy being 34 weeks along, even if Baby Dillard isn’t due until the end of July. Many airlines place restrictions on travel at that point, though the restrictions may be as simple as requiring a doctor’s approval.
However, the other question that’s being raised is how long the Dillard family will remain in the United States. While they referred to their recent visit as a “brief stateside term,” it began in August 2016 (per the Dillard Family blog, here), and continued into February 2017 (also per their blog, here). That’s about half of the past year.
If the Dillard family doesn’t return until late June, they will have spent four months in El Salvador — less time than their ‘short visit’ to the U.S. They haven’t stated how long they intend to stay in Arkansas this time, only expressing that they will return here for the birth of their second child — and creating a stir by asking for donations to do so.
“Continued financial support as we still need to raise additional support for the rest of our time here on the field as well as the time we will be home surrounding the birth of our second little boy due in early July.”
While Derick and Jill Dillard haven’t stated a specific date for their return to the U.S., the disparity between what they have said and the statement from the Duggar family, coupled with concerns about travel during pregnancy, use of donations for private life in the U.S., and the division of time between the Dillard family’s visits to Arkansas and time in El Salvador, they’ve raised a lot of questions for viewers and supporters.
[Featured Image by Derick Dillard/Instagram]