A trip to Haiti at the end of 2017 changed Jimmy Amisial’s life forever.
According to CNN, the then 22-year-old Texas State student was visiting his home country to celebrate the New Year when he encountered a commotion on a street.
“When I arrived at the place where people were making noise, I saw a baby,” recalls Amisial. “It was in a pile of weeping trash, and there wasn’t a single soul that wanted to do anything about it.”
“He had no clothes on,” he said. “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.”
Amisial brought the 3-month-old baby home to his mother; they cleaned him up and put lotion on him to soothe the fire ant bites.
But the next day, a judge asks Amisial if he wants temporary custody of the child since no one has asked for him.
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“Sometimes you don’t have to know what to do, you just have to be ready to do it,” NBC affiliate KXAN told Amisial.
“I always wanted to be a part of something big, and for me it was time,” he told CNN.
Shortly after agreeing to be the boy’s guardian in January 2018, Amisial returned to Texas to continue his college education and left the boy in his mother’s care, according to NBC News. He is now trying to legally adopt the boy, 4-year-old Emilio Enjole Jeremiah, and bring him to the United States.
Amisial launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the adoption process and raised over $140,000 as of Thursday afternoon.
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“The process didn’t really empower me to know what it might take to be her legal guardian,” he wrote on the donations page. “Since then I’ve been the caregiver, the caregiver and I’m doing with it. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been a blessing.”
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“One thing I know is that you can never go wrong when choosing love,” he continued. “It’s those divine moments and interventions to show love, clarity and show the world we can do better.”
Amisial told CNN he took a break from school in 2020 to save money for Emilio’s adoption and now works as a part-time landscaper and delivery assistant. The GoFundMe campaign will help her achieve her goal and change the life of young Emilio.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to turn his life abandoned in the Trash,” he wrote on the donations page, “into a wonderful TREASURE.”