Michael and Tina Haland were desperate, really.
They wanted children, but Tina could not have them. They wanted to adopt, but the rules in Norway said they were too old.
So they moved to America. Las Vegas, specifically. They waited.
Michael, a mechanical engineer, got a job. They began the application process.
Three years passed.
And then Thursday happened, and everything was worth it.
The Halands are now parents to Angel, 4, and Demetrius, who will be 2 next month.
"We look at it as our mission in life to help children," said Michael, 47.
Tina, 46, said the two children, who aren't related, are already like brother and sister. The Halands have been foster parents to Angel since March of this year, Demetrius since August 2011.
"They are so attached," she said. "When she's gone (for preschool), he doesn't know what to do with himself."
The Halands were one of 45 families who went through the final adoption process Thursday as part of Clark County's annual Adoption Day. It's part of National Adoption Awareness Month.
The Halands, a white couple, adopted two black children. They said they haven't given that a second thought.
Both children were born prematurely and suffer from physical problems. Angel has Down syndrome, and Demetrius has breathing trouble. He has a tracheostomy tube in his neck to help him breathe.
Tina said she was trained as a registered nurse in Norway, but she plans on staying home with the children now.
Being a mom is her full-time job.
Judy Tudor, a manager with the Department of Family Services, said Thursday's adoptions brought the total for the year into the high 400s. It probably will top 600 before the year's end.
She said there are typically about 3,500 children in the foster care system, so there is always a need for more foster parents.
The goal is always to reunite children with their biological family, but sometimes that's not possible. She said drugs or abuse are often reasons a child can't go back to his or her biological parents.
The children adopted Thursday ranged from infants to teenagers. They included 23-month-old triplets.
One of the young ones was Kaiden, 3, adopted by Michelle and Stephen Dorsey.
Michelle, 37, is a kindergarten teacher. She said she was stunned by how many kids were in foster care and needed to do something.
"It amazed me that there were so many kids out there who had no families," she said.
Stephen, 45, is a freelance graphic designer. He is in a wheelchair, the result of a spinal injury 29 years ago.
They got Kaiden when he was 9 months old, and he has been with them ever since. They have had three other foster children along the way, but those children ended up going back with the biological relatives.
It wasn't always clear that Kaiden would be theirs, either.
Before they knew for sure, they had their own child, Audrey, 2 months old.
"It's been a long road," Michelle said.
They've chosen an open adoption, which means they keep in contact with Kaiden's birth mom.
"We're not going to hide it from him," Michelle said.
Contact reporter Richard Lake at rlake@reviewjournal .com or 702-383-0307.