When 22-year-old Jimmy Amisial stumbled upon a crowd of people surrounding a trash can in his home country of Haiti, little did he know his life was about to change. What he found was a 4-month-old baby boy left abandoned, the crowd too hesitant to intervene. It was a dire situation in which the tragedy could have continued to unfold, but instead, it led to an extraordinary story of faith, hope, and unwavering love.
The Moment that Changed Everything
Jimmy was back in Haiti during a study break from Texas State University, where he is majoring in communications and electronic media. On that day in December 2017, he was on his way to a nearby orphanage with gifts for the children. As he pushed through the crowd to see what had gathered their attention, he found a baby inside the trash can. “Everyone was just staring at him—not a single soul wanted to help,” Jimmy said. The child was naked, crying, and covered in fire ants, yet the crowd just stood there and merely watched, some even suggesting that the baby might be cursed.
Unlike the hesitant crowd, Jimmy took immediate action. He picked up the child and took him home, where he and his mother, Elicie Jean, provided immediate care. They cleaned, clothed, and fed the baby. Despite their financial difficulties and the fact that Jimmy was behind on his university fees, the decision to assume guardianship was not difficult for him. “Something inside was telling me that this had happened for a reason,” said Jimmy.
From Guardian to Father
Fast forward five years, and Jimmy is now 27 years old. While he’s been the legal guardian since that life-changing day, Jimmy is now in the process of adopting the child, whom he named Emilio Angel Jeremiah. With over $135,000 raised through a GoFundMe page to cover the $30,000 estimated adoption costs, the path ahead looks promising. The excess funds will be used to continue both Jimmy’s and Emilio’s education, with some to be donated to orphanages in Haiti.
Jimmy, who grew up without a father, knew too well the challenges that could face Emilio if he did not intervene. “I didn’t have a dad growing up, and this poor child faced a lifetime of instability and uncertainty,” he explained. Emilio, now almost 5 years old, lives with Jimmy’s mother in Gonaives, Haiti, but the bond between Jimmy and Emilio has grown strong. Described by Jimmy as a “bright spark” who loves music, Emilio is adored by everyone who knows him.
Jimmy plans to move Emilio and his own mother to the U.S. for a safer, better life, especially in light of rising crime rates and political instability in Haiti. While they wait for the adoption to become official, Jimmy communicates with them frequently via video chats and travels to Haiti at least twice a year.
Jimmy’s story is a living example that sometimes you don’t have to know what to do; you just have to be ready to do it. A leap of faith can transform lives in miraculous ways, as it has for Jimmy and Emilio.
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” — James 1:27