SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Emmanuel gets a glimpse of what family-life is like when he hangs out at the homes of his friends. It's the kind of life he dreams about, but he knows time is running out. It has to happen before he turns 18 and right now he is 15-years-old.
Meet this ninth grader, who was so honest with me and shared from the heart, as he opened up about his past, present and future.
“I would become the best father ever or something, take care of the children and get a good job to support my kids,” said Emmanuel.
Most 15-year-olds aren't thinking about the day they will become parents, but Emmanuel is determined to be a good dad one day and give his kids the unconditional love, stability, and support he has had to live without.
“I've gotten used to some of it, but it still hurts after a while,” he continued.
Emmanuel was placed into foster care when he was nine-years-old and he counts the days in the system:
“Six years, today.”
And when I asked him how life in the system has been, his answer broke my heart.
“Boring. Um, really stressful, actually, really, really emotional and I guess that's really it. And to tell you the truth, it's like hell, really, sometimes it's just horrible,” said Emmanuel.
At age 15, Emmanuel realizes his window of opportunity for finding a forever family is closing – fast - so he recently decided to put himself out there and come on Adopt 8.
Emmanuel is hoping there's a family out there that will take a chance on him.
“I only have three more years to know what a mom and dad feel like so yeah it's basically what I just wanted to do,” he explained.
Emmanuel is focused on the road ahead, but he's not sure where it will lead him.
“I wonder about if I'm ever going to go to college and basically if I can get my career job,” said Emmanuel. “Become something that my parents have never done.”
Emmanuel isn't afraid to challenge himself. He has high aspirations to be a filmmaker or join the Air Force, but knows it will be a difficult ride alone, which is why he dreams about having a family.
“A mom or a dad that can go running with me in the mornings, bike riding, go to the beach,” he added. “One that can support me in school stuff, for sports and stuff. Someone I can talk to.”
In a perfect world:
“Well, I would be out of the system. I would have a happy family. And I would appreciate everything they've done, and all the hard work they did to actually get me in their house,” said Emmanuel.
Emmanuel tells me he's trying to stay optimistic and is excited about what could be:
“If a family can adopt me, I would make them proud,”
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.
CBS News 8 would like to thank Boomers San Diego for hosting a fun day at the park and also photographer Art Brackley for volunteering his time to take the Heart Gallery photos features in this story.