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Jimmy Amisial pictured with a group of kids he works with in Haiti
Jimmy Amisial pictured with a group of kids he works with in Haiti | Photo courtesy of Jimmy Amisial

Texas State University student from Haiti adopts baby he found in the trash

That night sleep escaped me. I stayed up watching this little human sleep beside me and could not fathom the cruelty he experienced just a few hours ago. As the world ushered in a new year, my life as I knew it as a 22-year-old student ended.

Interview Subject
Jimmy Amisial, 28, of Haiti serves as a student in Mass Communication at Texas State University in the United States. He founded “4thelove” foundation, an organization that seeks to provide basic needs to abandoned children in Haiti and to help them obtain an education. He is an entertainer and an athlete who enjoys playing basketball.
Background Information
Haiti ranks in 170th place out of 189 countries in the world on the United Nations Human Development Index. Well over half of the population suffers from poverty.

Once said to have an “orphan crisis,” many are now saying Haiti has an “orphanage crisis,” where children are separated from their families, abused, and trafficked. Sadly, donations from around the world and the U.S. often contribute to the problem rather than help the children, the article said.

SAN MARCOS, Texas ꟷ  As a freshman college student studying at Texas State University, I went home to Haiti for a two-week summer break. At 9:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve in 2017, while delivering gifts to a nearby orphanage, I came across a frantic woman in the street. She said a child was found abandoned in the garbage not far away. Feeling shocked, I made my way toward a crowd of about 20 people and saw a baby lying in a pile of trash.

People murmured around me, suspecting he had been there for hours. The child’s consistent and painful cries filled the air, yet no one would touch him. They feared the baby could be cursed with black magic. I, on the other hand, saw a precious, living soul whose voice called out, “Save me! Save me!”

Young man finds infant in the trash covered in ants

Without thinking, I grabbed the frail-looking baby who wore no clothing. Fire ants covered his little body. Within minutes of soothing him and giving him comfort, his cries subsided. The crowd gasped in shock, offering warnings: the child’s curse could transfer onto me. Undeterred, I took the boy home.

Ever since I can remember, I held a soft spot for children. I could not fathom how these people could walk away from such a situation without offering help. I felt led by something greater than me.

Back home, my mum – who always taught me to be a kind and empathetic person – seemed curiously shocked when I arrived with the baby. I explained the situation and my family began to cry. The baby’s health was our primary concern. He had bite marks on his body, so we applied soothing lotion and informed the police of our discovery.

A doctor friend of mine examined him and estimated the child to be three to four months old. I felt dazed the entire time. The police came to our house that night with a court judge in tow – the norm for such instances in Haiti.

That night sleep escaped me. I stayed up watching this little human sleep beside me and could not fathom the cruelty he experienced just a few hours ago. As the world ushered in a new year, my life as I knew it as a 22-year-old student ended.

Emilio calls me dad, life changes for father and son

A background check by the police revealed no immediate claim to the child, and the judge returned the following morning with a request. His suggestion caught me off guard.

“Since you love children so much, I recommend you become his legal guardian while we work on the modalities for you to adopt him,” the judge said.

Though I felt totally unprepared, I knew taking the child was the right thing to do. I always wanted to be part of something bigger and felt God presented me with an opportunity to do just that.

After signing the required paperwork, at 22 years old, I officially became the legal guardian of baby Emilio. I went back to college the following semester and one of my teachers asked my classmates and I about the most interesting thing that happened to us while we were on break. I said I became a dad. My classmates and teacher congratulated me, celebrated, and even threw a party.

Today, Emilio calls me Dad. He is a joyful, fun-loving little boy who loves to dance. It’s our thing – we dance together a lot. I juggle school and parenting. When I am in Texas, I Facetime with Emilio to ensure I never miss a major milestone.

He started school two years ago and his routine resembles that of any other healthy child growing up in a loving environment. Lately, he asks for a lot of things when we talk on the phone. Right now, he wants a toy car.

People support Emilio from around the world

Over these five years of Emilio’s life, my family, friends, and the community rallied around me. They play a major role, helping raise my little boy as I juggle my studies and the newfound demands of parenthood.

Eventually, people learned about my story and I accepted an interview with an online magazine. When they published it, our story garnered unexpected attention and my phone began ringing off the hook with requests from the media. People started reaching out, offering support, so I setup a Go Fund Me page and raised the money needed to adopt and care for Emilio.

The love we experience feels overwhelming. People from all over the world rallied around us, showing support through acts of kindness. It reminds me, we can all be connected through a bridge of love. I hope my story inspires others.

I feel honored God gave me the opportunity to transform Emilio’s life, from being abandoned in the trash to a treasured and beautiful boy. It feels like a divine appointment, and I accepted the assignment.

Click here for more stories about adoption from Orato World Media.

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Lola Wanyonyi is an experienced Multi-media Journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya, and holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Communication and Journalism from Moi University. She is Skilled in headline writing, breaking news, media relations, Online News, and News Writing. She is a contributing editor to various international media news outlets.