BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) reports the number of children eligible for foster care in Louisiana more than doubles the number of people certified to take them in.
In light of Foster Care Month, the DCFS has launched a campaign to recruit foster and adoptive parents. A Baton Rouge couple said their fostering experience changed their lives.
The Thurmans, like most families, are set in their morning routine. Andrew, 11, knows exactly what he wants for breakfast.
"I like the banana (muffin)," Andrew Thurman said.
Watching them interact, you would not know his parents, Henry and Natalie, only recently came into his life.
"I go to his class and all the kids are like, that's Andrew's daddy," Henry Thurman said.
The proud parents came to know Andrew, last summer, through the DCFS. Natalie credits her husband, Henry.
"We had been through several miscarriages and I was not sure that adoption was the route I wanted to take, but he really encouraged me to give it a chance," Natalie Thurman said.
The Thurmans went through classes where they said they learned how to become foster parents. They also learned a lot of the sometimes dark details of neglect and abuse that a lot of children lived. Natalie said Andrew had been placed with four foster families before meeting her and Henry.
"He didn't want to try again. He was ready to give up. When we met one of the first things I told him was give us a chance," Natalie said.
Natalie said it took a lot of hard work to build trust with Andrew, but she and Henry were committed. After ten months of fostering, on May 6, 2015, they adopted him.
The Thurmans said in less than one year, Andrew changed their lives.
"Looking at his face first thing in the morning and when I go to bed is just one of the most important things to me," Natalie said.
In May, the DCFS reports more than 4,300 children will be in the foster care system. Only 2,000 families are certified foster homes.
The Thurmans said the experience has been a blessing.
"I'm just a firm believer that God places us in positions to make things perfect, and that's what he's done with Andrew. That's what he's done with us," Natalie said.
DCFS is holding an orientation session in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, May 20 at 6 p.m. at the East Baton Rouge Parish office om S. Ardenwood.
To learn more about becoming a foster parent, visit