Jenkins’ family spends first Thanksgiving together as a ‘new’ family

TOPEKA (KSNT) –It’s been 8-months since Kansas First News have last spoken with the Jenkins family.

In February Don and Lisa Jenkins added some new additions to their family by adopting four Ukrainian children – Natalie, Tatiana, Angela and roman.

Violent protests and a government power shift left the family stranded in Ukraine for several weeks, and in March they were finally able to return home.

“I got my driver’s license, but I still need to wait one year until I can drive to school,” Natalie Jenkins.

Lots of life changing events have occurred in the last couple of months. — Two of the girls were baptized, all of the children have celebrated a birthday and their son Taylor is expecting a new baby.

The girls are like any other teenagers … They love texting, hanging out with friends…even getting jobs.

“I like to make hamburgers,” said Tatiana Jenkins.

Don and Lisa say they are amazed with how far their English has come.

“Roman got an A-plus on his spelling test. Didn’t miss a word!” said Don Jenkins.

The children say they just want to make their parents proud.

That’s why they plan to keep a Jenkins family tradition going — starting with the school they will attend after high school…

“KU,” said Natalie.

“That’s their plan once they graduate,” said Lisa Jenkins.

But today was about thanksgiving – the children’s first in America.

“We started off with 20 people and then it just grew and grew,” said Don.

Grew to nearly 60 – with one last minute, very unexpected addition. Their oldest son Tyler arriving from Boston.

A new family – celebrating an old tradition – and a day to give thanks.

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