Havre Daily News
Nadir and Sasha Greytak may be a girl's dream come true - they hunt, can fix a flat tire, love their mother and Nadir can even ballroom dance. Too bad they're both 12 and don't like girls yet.
The boys, born in Kazakhstan, have adjusted well to life in Havre, said their mother Diana Greytak. They were adopted by Diana and Gary Greytak about five years ago.
The Greytaks met the two boys when they served as a host family for a program initiated by Kidsave International, an organization that works to help find families to adopt children in orphanages. The two boys are from different families, and lived in orphanages in towns about 130 miles apart.
Sasha said his favorite part of life in Havre is his family.
Diana and Gary are both from the Hi-Line, which means the two boys are surrounded by family.
The boys said they enjoy getting together with their Grandma and Grandpa Loftus, Diana's parents, to play card games like Uno.
Nadir and Sasha said they like to go to Gary's parents' farm outside of Hingham. Both boys said they like to ride tractors and even know how to fix a flat tire on the tractor.
The boys have a go-kart they have fixed up to look like a tractor that they ride around in their backyard.
Nadir said he likes cowboys and often pretends he is one.
He likes to ride horses, especially his favorite horse, Rooster. He practices barrel racing at a friend's ranch and said he would like to be a rancher and possibly compete in rodeos on bucking broncos.
Both boys said they enjoy playing hunting games on their computer.
They went hunting for the first time this season and Nadir harvested a mule doe.
“I might go for an elk next year,” he said.
Sasha said his favorite animal to hunt on the computer games are bears because “it looks funny when you get charged by the bear.” He added he doesn't think he would want to hunt bear in real life.
Sasha said he wants to be a movie actor when he gets older and live in a large city.
“I kind of like the city,” Sasha said. “I would like to live in Helena in one of the big houses.”
He said the town where he lived in Kazakhstan wasn't very large, just a few houses and an orphanage.
The boys also have a old truck that they are remodeling with their dad for their grandfather. Sasha said they already have the engine repaired but had to stop their work when winter hit.
They love winter when they can go sledding down the hill at Montana State University-Northern.
Diana said winters in Havre are similar to the weather in Kazakhstan.
She and her husband spent a month in the country during the winter as part of the adoption process.
When asked what his favorite thing in America is, Nadir said “Mom and Dad.”
Diana said one of the most touching moments with her kids happened when she, her husband and Sasha went to pick up Nadir from the airport when he came to the states for good.
“Nadir came running down the hall and yelled, ‘Oh, my mama and papa, finally we are all together,” she said.
Nadir said he likes to be at home with his family just hanging out. He said he doesn't like being around a lot of people at once, he prefers when the atmosphere is calm and quiet.
Diana said this is probably because the orphanage he lived in housed about 200 children.
“They do take wonderful care for the kids there. Life is hard because they don't have parental support but they are
very cared for,” she added.
The family has been very open in discussing the adoption with the kids, Diana said. The Lincoln-McKinley Primary
School paraprofessional said she tries to keep the boys familiar with their roots and has a box filled with books about Kazakhstan and other cultural artifacts.
Diana said communicating with her sons was difficult when they first arrived in Montana and she used sign language to help get her messages across.
Diana said the whole Havre community has been great to her kids, especially the schools. She said the boys have run into a few problems with learning English.
“They don't understand why there are so many words with the same meaning,” she said.
“One day when Nadir was working with a paraprofessional at school and trying to learn to spell ‘phone,' he looked her right in the face and said ‘Where's the F?'” Diana said.
“It was a lot of work but if you didn't know their story, you wouldn't know they've only been here for five years,” she added.
Diana said the only she was not familiar with the Kazakhstan area or its past before she met the boys.
“I am not a history buff. The only reason I know anything about it is because of my friends who are history buffs,” she said.
Diana said the boys needed to adjust to American eating habits. They were used to eating more fruits and veggies.
“I didn't like the food here at first,” Sasha said.
Now, his favorite food is pepperoni pizza.
Diana said she makes borscht for the boys so they don't forget their roots.
Nadir said the food from Kazakhstan he misses the most is pierogies, which are dumplings filled with potatoes, cheese, meat or a mixture of all three.
Diana said she is looking for someone to teach her how to make the dumplings.
Nadir said his favorite food is beef and deer jerky. He also uses the jerky as treats for the family's dog, Shadow, who Nadir said knows how to guess which hand the jerky is in.
Diana said that after the boys came for their initial six-week visit, any time Shadow saw the light on in the room where the boys were staying she would whimper.
“That was hard to see. She would cry for them,” she said.
It took the couple a year and a half after the visit to finally adopt the boys.
“We found love and we had to have them,” Diana said.