Albuquerque, NM – President Trump has invited Albuquerque Police Officer Ryan Holets to be his guest at his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Officer Holets’s story went viral after he and his wife adopted the newborn baby of a woman addicted to heroin and crystal meth after meeting her on a routine call.
President Trump wants to highlight Officer Holet’s story to bring attention to efforts in fighting opioid addiction.
The officer gained national attention after, on September 23, Officer Holets responded to a possible theft call at a convenience store.
As Officer Holets was leaving the store, he noticed out of the corner of his eye a couple sitting on the grass against a cement wall, according to CNN. He said that it appeared to him that the man and woman were shooting up heroin in broad daylight behind the convenience store.
Officer Holets turned on his bodycam and approached the couple, and saw the woman injecting a needle into the man’s arm. He then noticed that she was pregnant.
According to CNN, he said, “It’s not every day I see a sight like that and it just made me really sad.”
The woman, later identified as Crystal Champ, 35, told Officer Holets that she was almost eight months pregnant and an addict.
Officer Holets told her, “You’re going to kill your baby. Why do you have to be doing that stuff? It’s going to ruin your baby,” and Champ began crying.
Champ later told CNN that Officer Holet’s words cut deeply, because she had never considered an abortion even though she’s pro-choice. She said, “I was like how dare you judge me. You have no idea how hard this is. I know what a horrible person I am and what a horrible situation I’m in.”
During an interview with CNN, Champ said that she had been an addict since she was a teenager, and that she had been homeless for two years. She said that the drugs control her life, and that she spends up to $50 a day on hits of heroin simply so she can “get well.”
Champ told CNN she had tried repeatedly to get clean but had failed. She said, “I did give up. I just decided this was going to be my life. It just keeps coming back and ruining my life.”
During an almost 11-minute conversation between Officer Holets and Champ, which was captured on bodycam, the officer asked Champ if she fully understood the danger her drug use was inflicting on her unborn child, according to WXIN.
Champ told Officer Holets that she desperately wanted someone to adopt her baby, and that the officer’s demeanor changed. She said, “He became a human being instead of a police officer.”
Officer Holets did not charge the pair with drug possession, and showed Champ a picture of his wife and four children, which included a 10-month-old baby. He then offered to adopt her baby. He said, “I was led by God to take the chance. God brought us all together. I really don’t have any other way to explain it.”
He left and talked with his wife Rebecca, who agreed. The couple had been talking about adopting a child but wanted to wait until their 10-month-old baby was older.
Rebecca Holets said, “He already knew my heart on the issue and he knew that I would be totally onboard with it… We feel God has called us to do that. It’s been on our hearts for a while,” according to WXIN.
On October 12, Champ gave birth to the baby girl, which Officer Holet and his wife named Hope.
The Holets said that baby Hope suffered the painful process of detoxing from the drugs her mother used, including withdrawals and the methadone treatment, according to CNN.
Baby Hope is now home with the Holets, who said they realize their new baby will likely face “trials and troubles” in the future.
Rebecca Holet said that they will tell baby Hope about her adoption when she is older and the time is right. She said that they also want Champ and the baby’s father, Tom Key, to have a part in her life.
Champ said that she was also adopted. She said that the baby “needs to have a safe environment and a stable life and be able to grow and be nurtured and be safe and secure and all of these things I can’t give her right now.”
According to WXIN, Champ is still addicted to drugs and is homeless.