TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- As turmoil erupts between Ukraine and Russia, one Topeka family has been stuck in the center of it all.
Sunday, Don and Lisa Jenkins were greeted with hugs from fellow church members after a long flight home from Kiev.
"It was a grueling and long trip that took 25 hours. It feels great. We are happy to be back and have a chance of normalcy," says Don.
But he says things didn't feel so normal in Ukraine.
"People burning down buildings and a lot of bloodshed going on. You know we have to keep our family safe," says Don.
They were there to adopt 4 children from Ukraine. All 4 speak little to no English, including 8-year-old Roman, a special needs child. They couldn't leave Kiev until they received all 4 children's passports.
Then, violent protests erupted just a mile away.
"Being in the fourth floor of our apartment, we could see the flames, the smoke, and we were being told by the US Embassy to not venture out and don't try to go out because you don't know what is going to happen," says Don.
3 of the 4 passports were ready, but Don says the fourth passport had a typo which delayed the process even more.
"We kept waiting for the final passport. It was like it was never going to come," said Don.
The Jenkins' received help from Senator Pat Roberts' and Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins' office and prayers from their Topeka family and friends. The final passport was delivered Friday afternoon. They landed safely in Kansas City International airport Saturday night. Don says there is no place like home and Roman has already learned how to say his favorite expression in English.
"Peace out!" says Roman.
Don told 13 News the first thing they did as a family was celebrate a late Christmas. They still had their house lit up and a Christmas tree with a bunch of presents for all the kids when they arrived home.