Home From Ukraine | How Adoption Unfolded

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- "We cant wait to make this new chapter of your life. We are glad you are home," said a speaker at Northland Christian Church as the congregation applauded.

A month-long ordeal that found a Topeka family in the middle of an international hotbed is over.

Don and Lisa Jenkins and their four newly-adopted children from Ukraine came home over the weekend.

The couple has two sons of their own and said they always wanted a daughter. They knew it was their calling to adopt, but say they never thought they would end up adopting children from a foreign country.

The journey for Don and Lisa Jenkins and their four adopted children to hear those words Sunday was a long one, ending at their church where it all began nearly a year ago.

It was through the church, they learned of 15-year-old Angela who lived in a Ukrainian orphanage. If she wasn't adopted before she turned 16, her future looked dim.

"Most of them end up in prostitution, trafficking, drug and alcohol abuse so we felt the need to reach out to her," says Don.

While filing adoption papers, the couple learned of a program that allowed them to invite Angela to their Topeka home for three months last summer.

"We hosted Angela and she was a sunshine in our life for the summer," smiles Lisa Jenkins.

As Lisa brought Angela to return to Ukraine, she met Angela's best friend Natalie, who had an older sister, Tatiana. When Don and Lisa traveled to Ukraine last Fall for approval to adopt the girls, they learned Natalie and Tatiana also had a younger brother with special needs, 8-year-old, Roman.

"There was no way after meeting Roman that we were going to not bring him in our family because you know those are his sisters and we fell in love with him from the beginning," said Don.

"He has brought a lot of spirit to the family and a lot of love and a lot of energy," said Lisa.

The Jenkins returned to Ukraine in early February for what was supposed to be a quick trip to bring the children home, but a glitch with Angela's passport, coupled with delays created by political turmoil with Russia had the family stuck until Saturday.

Finally, they touched down on U.S. soil; four new American citizens, with their new family.

Tatiana, Roman and Angela are still learning English. Natalie speaks some and expressed her joy at calling America her new home with her brother and sisters.

"We are so happy that we are here. It is my dream to be in America. I am so excited that I am in this family. I am excited I am a Jenkin and I love them very much," said Natalie.

The kids plan to enroll in ESL classes here in Topeka in two weeks.
Roman will attend North Fairview Elementary and Natalie, Tatiana, and Angela will be freshman at Seaman High School.