When a then-22-year-old Haiti student visited his hometown, he witnessed something unforgettable. A baby boy was lying in the trash with ants on his skin while people stood there, reluctant to touch the infant. Instead of walking away, the man did what no one else dared to do.
They say it’s easy to go with the flow, and going against it takes courage only a few people have. When a person decides to do something others are afraid to do, some people give them judgemental looks, while others motivate and support them.
The man in today’s story swam against the current when he saw a distressed baby covered in ants lying in the trash. With the help of his family, he did what others around him were afraid to do.
A REGULAR STUDENT
In 2017, then 22, Jimmy Amisial, who studied communication and electronic media at Texas State University, came to his home in Haiti for his vacation when he discovered something that changed his life.
Like every time he visited his hometown, Amisial had brought gifts from the States for the children at the orphanage next door. Since he was a teenager, he loved spending time with the kids and had a soft spot in his heart for them.
While Amisial was on his way to the orphanage, something strange caught his attention. He saw a crowd of people around a trash can who were looking at it with eyes wide open.
Curious, Amisial made his way through the crowd and bent forward to see what was inside the trashcan. To his surprise, it wasn’t something ordinary. A four-month-old baby was lying in the trash with ants on his skin. Amisial said:
“When I woke up that day, I was totally unaware that my life was about to change forever.”
Standing near the bin, Amisial could hear people talking about the baby. He could listen to them ask what they should do with the crying baby who had no idea where his parents were. Meanwhile, Amisial looked into the infant’s eyes that reflected nothing but pain. The 22-year-old wanted to do something to help the child.
“Everyone was just staring at him – not a single soul wanted to help,” Amisial recalled. While other people just looked at the baby and argued amongst themselves, Amisial bent over and pulled the crying baby out of the smelly trashcan.
A few days after the investigation began, the judge asked Amisial a life-changing question.
The bystanders were shocked to see the young boy take the baby in his hands. Since they were reluctant to touch the baby, they didn’t expect Amisial to hold the little one in his arms and take him to his house.
When Amisial reached home with the crying baby in his hands, his 66-year-old mother, Elicie Jean, was shocked. She had no idea why her son returned early from the orphanage with someone else’s child in his arms.
THE POLICE INVESTIGATION
After learning that Amisial found the crying baby in the bin, Jean helped her son wash the baby and feed him. They dressed him in clean clothes before taking him to the doctor for a quick check-up.
Next, Amisial went to the police station and told them about his discovery. The police immediately launched an investigation but could never trace the baby’s parents.
A few days after the investigation began, the judge asked Amisial a life-changing question. Since they couldn’t find his parents, the authorities thought the best solution would be if Amisial became the baby’s legal guardian.
THE UNEXPECTED QUESTION
When the judge asked Amisial to raise the baby, he spent days thinking about it. On the one hand, he was just a university student and didn’t have enough funds to support a baby. On the other, he didn’t want the baby to grow up without a father as he did. Amisial said:
“Something inside was telling me that this had happened for a reason – so I took a leap of faith.”
Despite not having enough money to pay his tuition fee and knowing that his family wasn’t financially stable, Amisial agreed to raise the child with his mother and named him Emilio. When he picked the baby from the trashcan, the university student had no idea he would become a father at 22.
As Amisial’s vacation was about to end, he started planning his trip back to the States. The only thing that bothered him was Emilio. His mother offered to look after little Emilio while Amisial studied and worked in Texas. Amisial confessed:
“Sometimes you don’t’ have to know what to do, you just have to be ready, to do it.”
After signing up as Emilio’s legal guardian, Amisial divided his time between the U.S. and Haiti. He frequently returned to Haiti to reunite with little Emilio when he wasn’t working or studying. As a result, Amisial had to take breaks from his studies, which meant he would graduate late compared to his batch-mates.
In September 2022, 27-year-old Amisial would start the third year of his university, while Emilio joined a school at the beginning of the year. Little Emilio said he loved music and aspired to become a musician when asked what his favorite subject at school was. After reflecting on his progress, Amisial shared his feelings:
“It’s been an incredible journey and watching him grow up has been so rewarding – I’m very proud of him.”
Watching the baby he had rescued from the trash grow up made Amisial believe he did the right thing by stepping up when others were afraid to hold four-month-old Emilio. After being his legal guardian for three years, Amisial felt ready to adopt Emilio formally.
READY FOR FATHERHOOD
As much as Amisial wanted to embrace fatherhood by legally adopting Emilio, some hurdles kept him from doing so. He started the adoption process in 2020, which is still in progress. Amisial said:
“I truly do feel like a father, and I’m excited to put pen to paper and make Emilio my son – I just need to raise the money first.”
Before Amisial can legally adopt Emilio, he needs to raise $30,000. Being a student who works to make ends meet barely, he couldn’t afford to adopt Emilio without help from other people. He had to ask people on the internet for monetary support.
On July 28, 2022, Amisial started a fundraiser on GoFundMe, where he shared his journey of finding and raising Emilio. He said he felt special transforming Emilio’s life from “being abandoned in the TRASH to a wonderful TREASURE.”
In just one day, people donated more than $5,000 to help Amisial adopt five-year-old Emilio. He urged people to share the fundraiser link with friends and family to help him achieve his goal.
If you enjoyed reading this inspirational story, share it with your friends and family to let them know people like Amisial still exist.