Three weeks after arriving home, Don and Lisa Jenkins are helping their newly adopted Ukrainian Children adjust to American culture.
The family is glad to be back after being stuck in Ukraine during the peak of its uprising.
Kansas First News Reporter Don Bolerjack joined the family on an outing to see how the kids are fairing with the change in scenery.
“I’ve never had daughters, now I have three teenage daughters, says Don Jenkins, so that’s got concerns of its own.”
Don Jenkins, his wife Lisa and their four newly adopted Ukrainian children hit the sand for some exercise because the past three weeks has been a whirlwind of emotions for the kids, exciting, different, relaxing and a bit difficult adjusting to American ways.
Natalie and her three siblings, Roman, Tatiana and Angela came from a country of violent protest to a land with language barriers and culture shock. Their dad says they’re blending right in.
“We knew there was going to be some differences with the way they were growing up because they’ve been growing up without parents, says Don, “We’ve kind of grown together as a family, its not too bad of a struggle.”
Laenii Crow is one of the many friends the kids have made. She says they’ve really opened up to new experiences.
“It’s been great, they’re a lot of fun, says Crow, its been fun getting to go out and hang out with them and see them pick up on the language and different things.”
The biggest problem Don and Lisa say they’ve faced with the kids is the American cuisine and the schools.
“Coming here, where there are over 300 in their graduating class alone has been wonderful, says Don, and to know that there’s so many activities to get involved in, that is something that is brand new to them.”
“We like school, yes, says Natalie, but it’s different in Ukraine, we have smaller schools.”
This new chapter brings work and adjustment but also new experiences for them to look forward to as a family.
“You have to guide them when you can and just hope for the best.”