BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The faces of some of the young boys and girls in Mississippi who are up for adoption are displayed in the Heart Gallery. It's a travel exhibiting displaying many of the children looking for a loving home.
"The heart gallery has approximately 50 children. There are others who are free for adoption, but not willing to have their picture out there on the gallery," said Tana Walker.
Walker is the Senior Recruitment Specialist for Southern Christian Services. She's hosting informational meetings across South Mississippi to recruit families to foster or adopt.
"Sometimes just seeing a child's face makes them more real. You're realizing that that's a real child. That's a real person that's needing a family," said Walker.
Carrie and Byron Horst came out to the meeting in Bay St. Louis to learn more about the process.
"I thought the process would be a little more difficult, but coming tonight showed you that they really hold your hand through the whole process and help you walk through it," said Carrie Horst.
The meeting wasn't well attended, and Walker thinks she knows why.
"I believe it's the unknown that makes people nervous about taking that step," said Walker.
For the Horsts, it may be an unfamiliar process, but it's something they're willing to research and consider in hopes of giving a child a forever home.
"It's always been in the back of our mind. Our family has a really good heart for adoption. His mother was adopted and my mom and her three siblings were adopted. So it's something that's always been close to the family," said Carrie Horst.
Her husband, Byron, agrees.
"I've always known I was meant to be a father. I was born to be a dad. That's something I do well. I love it, and I enjoy it. So I'm not over yet. I'm not done yet," said Horst.
There will be another informational meeting January 31 at 5:30 p.m. in Picayune at Crosby Memorial Library.