Albuquerque police officer adopts mother’s opioid-addicted baby

By  | 

(CNN) – An Albuquerque police officer’s encounter with a heroin-addicted woman affected him so much, he was compelled to help in an extraordinary way.

Heroin and crystal meth control Crystal Champ’s life. The strangling grip of addiction has left her homeless on the streets of Albuquerque.

“I did give up, I just decided that this was going to be my life,” Champ said.

Living in a tent, in the brush alongside a highway. For Champ, the thought of a guardian angel walking into her life was unimaginable, but that’s what happened when Albuquerque Police Officer Ryan Holets found Crystal Champ and her companion, Tom, shooting up heroin behind a convenience store in September.

“Looks like you guys are getting ready to shoot up over here,” Holets is heard saying on police video.

Ryan Holets, a father of four, wasn’t ready for what he noticed next.

“Are you pregnant?” Holets asked Champ. “How far along are you?”

“Seven or eight months,” Champ answered.

“Oh my gosh,” Holets said. “Why are you doing that stuff? It’s going to ruin your baby. You’re going to kill your baby.”

His words brought Crystal Champ to tears.

“How dare you judge me, you have no idea how hard this is. You have no idea. I know what a horrible person I am, what a horrible situation I’m in,” Champ said.

In that instant, the moment changed. A crazy, overwhelming idea crept into Ryan’s mind.

“Realizing that she was desperately wanting someone to adopt the baby, I just felt God telling me, ‘Tell her that you will do it because you can. You can,'” Holets recalled.

Three weeks later, Crystal Champ gave birth and Ryan Holets and his wife agreed to adopt the baby. They named her “Hope.”

“I’ve gotten tired of seeing so many situations where I wanted to help but can’t and in that moment I realized that I had a chance to help,” Holets said.

Hope suffered through withdrawals during weeks of medical treatment, but she’s gaining weight and doing well.

“Her father and me love her very much. We did not give her up because we did not want her,” Champ explained.

However, Champ remains an addict and admits she’s in no place to care for a baby.

“I just want her to be safe and secure and be in a family and be loved and have a chance,” she said.

“I am so thankful and blessed and humbled that we are allowed to have Hope in our family,” Holets said.

“No coincidence. It’s like providence. We’ll be there for her and whatever struggles that she has, we’ll be there and we’ll work through it. And that’s what makes me happy, that we’ll be there for her,” he said.

For Officer Ryan Holets, it’s proof that even in the darkest moments, you never know when love and hope will reveal itself.