When Ryan Holets, a police officer, approached a homeless couple injecting heroin behind a convenience store in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he had no idea that his life was about to change.
Officer Holets body cam recorded the whole encounter as he approached and confronted 35 year old Crystal Champ and Tom Key. After a moment, Holets notices that Champ is pregnant. She tells Holets that she is seven or eight months along.
Speaking to CNN, Holets said, “It’s not everyday that I see a sight like that. It just made me really sad.” In a separate interview with CNN, Champ tells her story. She revealed that she has been homeless for more than 2 years, and says her life is controlled by heroin and crystal meth.
She has tried multiple times to get off the drugs, but always circled back to spending $50 for heroin every day just so she can “get well.” She now lives in a tent with Tom Key next to a highway. She said, “I did give up. I just decided that this was gonna be my life. It just keeps coming back and ruining my life.”
During the couple’s encounter with Officer Holets, Champ became emotional when he asked about her baby. She said, “He just became a human being instead of a police officer.” Champs then revealed that she was hoping someone would adopt her baby. Before the officer could give it a second thought, he offered to give the child a home.
“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,” said Officer Holets, who was already a father of four, including an infant who was just 10 months old.
Officer Holets let the couple go and hurried home to tell his wife Rebecca. “He already knew my heart on the issue and he knew that I would be totally onboard with it,” she said. According to CNN, the couple had been planning to adopt at some point in their lives. “We feel God has called us to do that. It’s been on our hearts for a while.”
Crystal Champ gave birth to Hope Holets on October 12. Hope was born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a result of her mother’s addictions. Hope had to undergo detox and withdrawal, which is just as painful for infants, before she was placed on a methadone treatment.
Her condition puts her at a higher risk for developmental issues, but she already has a better chance at living a healthy life thanks to her new family. CNN notes that skin-to-skin touch is “crucial in lowering stress levels and ensuring the most nurturing development.”
“Whatever struggles she has, we’ll be there and we’ll work through it, and that makes me happy.” said Officer Holets. The family plans to tell Hope about her birth parents when she’s older. They want Crystal and Tom to be involved in her life too.
Crystal said, “She 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. “There needs to be more people like Ryan and his wife and their family in this world.”