Topeka Family Sees Progress In Bringing Children Home From Ukraine

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Eight-year-old Roman climbs onto a chair and bounces up and down as his adoptive father, Don Jenkins, turns the cell phone his direction so he can wave to the person on the other end of a Facetime call.

Roman is one of four children Don and his wife, Lisa, are adopting from Ukraine. The mood Thursday in their apartment in Kiev was one of celebration.

After weeks of delays in obtaining the fourth and final passport for the children, Don says the family is cautiously optimistic that news they received earlier in the day means an end to their journey is finally in sight.

Speaking with 13 News via Facetime, Don said they were initially disappointed to learn the passport did not arrive at the designated office Thursday. However, their local facilitator made a call and was told the passport is printed. They are working to arrange an early delivery Friday, which will allow the family to get the final records and papers they need to take the children out of Ukraine and home to Topeka.

If it goes as planned, Don says, the family could be on a plane by Saturday morning.

The Jenkins have waited out the passport delay since early February, as tensions between Ukraine and Russia heated up. While Don says they feel safe, they also sense a lot of apprehension over what Russian president Vladamir Putin may do next. For example, Don says, he could act to close airports, which makes the family all the more anxious to leave the country before the situation becomes any more unsettled.

In addition to Roman, the Jenkins are adding Natalie, 15, Angela, 16 and Tatiana, 17, to the family. They will join sons Taylor, 24, and Tyler, 26, at home. Don says Tyler keeps track of the political situation the famiily is in, but knows they would never put themselves in immedite danger.

As they wait, the Jenkins say they have been bolstered by the many messages of support from their family and friends, their church family at Northland Christian Church, and their employers and coworkers at BNSF.

"We all love them and miss them very much," Don said. "We're just looking forward to seeing that "Welcome to Topeka" sign."

Family members have set up a fund to asssist the Jenkins with their additional expenses through Topeka CoreFirst Bank branches. Northland Christian Church has established a similar fund through Silver Lake Bank.