Many people plan to have a child once they have settled down. Having the means to care for a child, both financially and emotionally, takes careful planning, but life doesn’t always go to plan. This was certainly the case of Jimmy Amisial who became the parent of a child he found on the street.
Amisial was at home in Haiti at the end of 2017, on a break from his studies at Texas State University. On New Year’s Eve, he was on his way to a party when he stopped to investigate a crowd of people in his path. This moment of innocent curiosity would place his life delightfully but firmly in a place he had no plans for yet.
In the center of the gathered crowd was a crying baby, abandoned and in pain, bitten by ants and lying in a pile of garbage. None of those present wanted to touch him, for fear that the baby would be cursed. Amisial instinctively took the child. “He had no clothes,” he recalls. “He had fire ants crawling all over him because he had been there for a few hours. When I picked him up, he immediately stopped crying. Unbeknownst to Amisial, this lucky child’s life was, at that moment, also about to change forever.
It turns out that the young man was actually armed with presents at the time, as he was on his way to a party at the local orphanage. He generously offered his time there when he was not studying. Amisial was not one to turn away from the suffering of others, and unlike the crowd of people around him, he later reported that he only saw a precious living soul like himself. He couldn’t let the baby die.
At home, Amisial and his mother, Elicie Jean, cleaned up the rescued bundle and tended to his wounds. Once the investigation into the child’s abandonment began, Amisial was asked if he would agree to be the baby’s legal guardian. Growing up, Amisial had already spent a lot of time mentoring vulnerable children in the streets and at the orphanage where he volunteered. Being a strong role model and father figure was nothing new to him.
Amisial signed the papers granting her the privilege of becoming the child’s legal guardian in January 2018 without a second thought. He and his mother are the only ones caring for the child they have since named Emilio Angel Jeremiah. “It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been a blessing,” says Amisial. “One thing I know is that you can never go wrong when you choose love.”
Amisial has worked hard for the past four years to legally adopt Emilio, who is now five years old. Amisial took a break from her studies to take care of Emilio, and has since started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for adoption, through which he raised over $162,000. The adoption cost is estimated to be around $30,000, and Amisial says he will use the rest of the money to further his studies in communications to continue supporting Emilio, and he wants to donate some of his money. money raised at orphanages across Haiti. He would also like to move his mother and Emilio to the United States, to ensure their well-being and safety, now that their situation is known to all.
“I always wanted to be part of something big and for me it was time,” says Amisial. The chance meeting between baby Emilio and Amisial, the man Emilio now calls dad, is a beautiful reminder of how a single act of love and responsibility can truly change the world.
When Texas State University student Jimmy Amisial was visiting family in Haiti, he found an abandoned baby in a trash can.
He quickly rescued the child and has cared for him ever since.
Now, Amisial is raising money through a GoFundMe campaign to help legally adopt the child and support him.
Amisial wants to donate a portion of the funds it receives to orphanages that care for abandoned children across Haiti.
Watch Amisial tell his touching story and that of Emilio on the news:
All images via Jimmy Amisial.
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