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Joseph Duggar son announces he's courting Kendra Caldwell -- "We are so excited"

UPI News Service, 03/09/2017 

Joseph Duggar is the latest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's 19 children to begin courting.

The 22-year-old reality star announced his courtship with family friend Kendra Caldwell on Wednesday following word of sister Joy-Anna Duggar's engagement.

"We are so excited to share the news with others that we are courting," Duggar told People.

"Our families are close friends through church and this has allowed Kendra and me to get to know each other. She's the best!"

"I'm looking forward to getting to spend more time with Joseph as we take this exciting step toward a new season in life," Caldwell added. "It's a really wonderful moment!"

Duggar hails from a conservative Baptist family that views courtship as a formal lead-up to engagement and marriage.

He gave Caldwell a promise ring and is now allowed to "side-hug," but will share his first kiss with her on their wedding day.

"I'm looking forward to the side-hugs and getting to do phone calls and texting and also getting to do ministry stuff together out in public with everyone knowing we're courting," Caldwell said in a video for TLC.

"The promise ring signifies that I'm going to wait for you for marriage," Duggar told his girlfriend.

Duggar's sister Joy-Anna Duggar got engaged to Austin Forsyth last week after announcing their courtship in November. Her sister Jessa Duggar was among those to congratulate the couple online.

"We're super excited for y'all getting engaged, and we're looking forward to the big day -- your wedding day," she said in a video.

Duggar and his family came to fame on the TLC series "19 Kids & Counting," which was canceled in 2015 in the wake of Josh Duggar's sex abuse scandal.

The family now stars on "Counting On."

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