‘Bringing Up Bates’: It’s a Girl for Josie and Kelton!

Everything is coming up pink for Josie Bates, 19 and Kelton Balka, 23. It has been a wild year for the pair who began a courtship, got engaged, got married and announced their first pregnancy in under 365 days. Now, the newlyweds are ready to fill their fans in on even more exciting news – like the gender and name of their baby!

Are Kelton and Josie having a boy or girl?

While Josie isn’t due until July, the young couple couldn’t wait to share their baby’s gender with the world. According to People, the pair will be welcoming a baby girl in the summer. Not only did the couple find out their baby’s gender ahead of delivery; they also have a name all picked out.

According to an UpTV press release, the young couple is planning to name their first child Willow Kristy. The name is a meaningful one, especially for Kelton. Kristy, the impending baby’s middle name, is Kelton’s late mother’s name. Kristy Balka died in 2009 at the age of 39 during childbirth.

Kelton opened up about the loss of his mother in a recent episode of Bringing Up Bates; he noted that her passing was particularly difficult given the circumstances. The family’s fifth child, Kiersten, was born healthy.

How did Josie and Kelton meet?

Balka and Bates initially met several years ago, and a friendship developed. Gil Bates, however, was concerned by the budding romance. He asked the pair to put the brakes on their relationship until they were older. Gil, and Kelly Jo were concerned that Josie would get sidetracked from her education by entering into a relationship so early. Kelton was also substantially older than Josie, which concerned her parents.

By early 2018, however, the pair couldn’t wait any longer, and Kelton asked Gil and Kelly Jo for permission to begin a courtship. From there, it was a rush to the altar. The pair was engaged within a few short months of starting their courtship and married in October 2018. Once married, Josie packed up her things and moved to Knoxville with Kelton. The family’s show, Bringing Up Bates, chronicled Josie’s move to Knoxville and the couple’s apartment-hunting adventures. 

Now the photogenic couple is excitedly awaiting their first child together. It has undoubtedly been a whirlwind year for the pair, but Josie and Kelton both appear to be plenty prepared for parenthood. Josie is one of 19 children, and already has a handful of nieces and nephews. Kelton, the oldest in his family, has also spent substantial time around children.