A Texas university student has raised more than $145,000 in donations to help him adopt a baby he found abandoned in a trashcan while visiting his family in Haiti.
In 2017, Jimmy Amisial, 22, says he was on his way to an orphanage in Gonaïves, Haiti when he heard a large crowd of people making a commotion around a trash can.
"When I got to the place where the people were making noise I saw a baby," Amisial told CNN. "It was in a pile of trash crying, and there wasn't a single soul who wanted to do anything about it."
Amisial said no one wanted to touch the baby because locals feared the child was cursed.
"They thought that the baby was cursed or had some evil spirit," he wrote on his GoFundMe page. There were so blinded by the intensity of magical ritual which is really prevalent in Haiti."
But the Texas State University student said he felt compelled to pick him up.
"He had no clothes on," he said. "He had fire ants crawling all over him because he's been there for a couple of hours. When I picked him up he immediately stopped crying."
Amisial took the 3-month-old boy to his mother's house, cleaned him up, and treated the infant's wounds from fire ants.
He said that day a bond was formed between the two.
"When I woke up that day I was unaware my life was going to change forever," Amisial said.
He called police to report a missing baby, but the next day authorities returned with no leads. A judge asked him if he wanted temporary custody of the child.
After a few nights of thinking it over, Amisial decided to become the boy's legal guardian.
"You know, in life, if you want to be great you have to learn how to face your challenges. And so, I took a leap of faith by saying yes to God, because when I looked into his eyes, I'm like, I cannot say no to that," Amisial told Austin-American Statesman.
Emilio Enjole Jeremiah is now 5 years of age, and lives happily with Amisial's mother in Haiti.
"He is certainly a blessing and a gift that God has entrusted me to show his love," Amisal wrote on Instagram.
Amisial travels back and forth between Texas and Haiti to visit Emilio and to also finish school, and support the family.
The college student's ultimate goal is to make his fatherhood official. He has started a GoFundMe campaign to assist with adoption costs. So far, he has raised more than $145,000.
All God's Children International, an adoption agency, estimates it costs over $40,000 to adopt a child from Haiti without including airfare, lodging and other fees associated with travel, according to its website.
It hasn't been easy, but it's a blessing,"he wrote on the GoFund Me page. "One thing I know is that, you can never go wrong when you choose love. It was those divine moments and interventions to show love, clarity and show the world that we can do better."
"I'm glad that I get the opportunity to transform his life from being abandoned in the TRASH to a wonderful TREASURE," Amisial added.
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