LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - 15-year-old Lance is looking to experience the childhood he never had with the forever family he's always dreamed of.
THV11 is partnered with DHS to bring you his story.
Lance has lived his life in foster care since 2009.
When we met him, he was positive, upbeat, and hopeful that a forever family will find him.
At Chuck E. Cheese, he works hard for those golden tickets.
Game after game, shooting hoops, and slamming skee ball, using his play pass over and again to amass handfuls of tickets.
"It means being a kid I guess, it means doing my kid life while I got it," Lance says, of the experience.
It may seem strange, hearing a teenage boy say that, but a life of nearly eight years in foster care took away much of his childhood. It also delayed him developmentally. Right now he's in the 8th grade. Still, Lance is caring and considerate. He is polite and loves math and video games.
He wants to know soon, before he's too old, what it would be like to be adopted.
"And to feel like it is to be with a family that really cares,” Lance explains. “My family cares and loves me but I want to feel like one I have a real one and not in foster care."
His younger brother knows what it’s like. He was adopted, and Lance says he misses him.
"I felt sad because I couldn't be in the home with him,” Lance shares, “but also felt happy because he finally got a home to be in."
Lance was treated to a virtual ride and pizza, which is Lance's favorite food.
"I wanna be an artist when I grow up,” Lance says. “And I also wanna foster kids too and make their lives happy. I even wanna adopt kids and make their lives better than mine was."
Those words from a foster child who hopes to cash in a real golden ticket for a place to call home. He also has a message for the forever family he knows is coming.
“Really what I want them to know is that family is not perfect, and I will understand if the bad times happen,” Lance explains. “I want them to know that I will understand and if anything happens, I will always care, no matter what.”
Lance did not want to meet Chuck E. Cheese! In fact when the character walked by our table, he whispered, “I hope he doesn't stop. I'm too old!”
He did love the games, so a huge thanks to Chuck E. Cheese for providing that plus the pizza.