Cynthia Mercado and Manuel Rodriguez have taken care of nearly 25 kids as part of the Denver Human Services (DHS) foster care program.
One of the kids they fostered is their now-adopted son, 4-year-old Carlos.
"He got here when he was 3 days old,” Mercado said. "With Carlos, we just knew from the beginning. He's our child, and it was just like that."
Mercado and Rodriguez's family is one of several who foster the nearly 900 kids who currently need a family to temporarily take care of them.
May marks National Foster Care Month -- a time DHS said is meant to recognize these families and to encourage others to step up and take part, especially minority families.
The couple originally started fostering because they couldn’t have kids of their own. After researching all the local foster programs, they chose DHS.
'We decided [on] Denver because they have more Latino community, and we want to help this community," Mercado said. "It's really hard to know that there are so many kids in the Latino community. There are too many and we don't have to many house and families and we need to help these kids."
DHS said 48 percent of kids in its foster care program are Latino, while only 18 percent of its foster parents identify as Latino.
"It's important for the kids to know where they come from and to keep their language as well," Mercado said.
DHS also said it's important that kids in foster care stay connected and engaged with their cultural and traditional values.
That's why they're calling on not only Latino families, but African and Native American ones, to fill the gap. DHS said 29 percent of its kids are African American, while only 15 percent of its current foster parents identify as African American.
"These kids need a home,” Mercado said. “They need a house, they need love, they need to know that they're important for someone."
Mercado and Rodriguez also have a 5-year-old daughter, who they also adopted through the foster care system.
Foster families must pass a background check, complete training and participate in a home study assessment.
More information on becoming a foster family can be found here.