News Tech: Jimmy Amisial saw a sizable throng and went over to it as he was strolling through Gonaives, Haiti, on his way to a New Year’s Eve celebration to ring in 2018.
Amisial stated he anxiously picked up the infant while the villagers were frightened to touch him because they thought the youngster was either cursed or wicked.
Amisial, who was 22 at the time and on vacation from his Texas schooling, claimed, “When I came to the spot where the people were making commotion, I saw a baby.” There wasn’t a single person who wanted to intervene as the animal was whimpering in a mound of trash, according to the story.
“He was unclothed. He’d been there for a couple of hours, and fire ants were swarming all over him. He stopped crying as soon as I picked him up.”
“While cleaning him we noticed he had some fire ant bites and an allergic reaction so we used some lotion to help stop the pain,” Amisial said.
Amisial called police to report what he had found and kept the baby overnight while police investigated the case, as suggested by the authorities, he said. The next day a judge showed up to his mother’s house to ask him if he wanted temporary custody of the child since no one had come forward to claim him, Amisial said.
“After he asked me that question, I had a lot of sleepless nights. I tossed and turned but my mother reminded me things happen for a reason,” Amisial told CNN. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of something great and to me, that was the moment.” Tens of thousands raised for adoption
After the holiday break, Amisial returned to Texas as required by his student visa program but left the child in the care of his mother while he continued to financially support them.
A year later, in 2019, Amisial decided to start the process to formally adopt the child he had named Emilio Angel Jeremiah but he quickly ran into obstacles as the process turned out to be costly. “It wasn’t that easy,” Amisial said. “In Haiti it’s hard to do government stuff. When I started the process it seemed fine but then they asked me for a lot of money but I didn’t have the funds.”
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. So, in 2020 Amisial decided to take a break from school, where he studied communications, to focus on working so he could save up money to adopt Emilio and support his family in Haiti. He works as a part-time landscaper and delivery assistant.
“What I know for sure (is) adoption is very expensive,” Chery said. Esther Chery, his lawyer in Haiti, told CNN she has been working with Amisial on the adoption process since 2019.