Crystal Champ’s life hasn’t gone the way she planned. Having become addicted to crystal meth and heroin, she lives homeless on the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Day-in and day-out, Crystal’s life is controlled by the needle.
“It’s everything,” she says.
On an afternoon like any other in September, Crystal and her companion, Tom, were shooting up behind a convenience store when they caught the attention of Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets.
A father of four, Ryan was heartbroken to discover an eight-month pregnant Crystal preparing her next dose of meth.
“It’s not every day that I see a sight like that,” he explains.
Concerned with the well-being of the unborn baby, Ryan tried to reason with Crystal. The more they talked, the stronger Ryan felt God telling him to adopt Crystal’s baby.
“Tell her that you will do it,” he recalls “because you can.”
Three weeks later, Ryan and his wife became parents for the fifth time, when Crystal gave birth to a baby girl.
The couple named her Hope.
Like thousands of other babies born addicted to opiates, Hope suffered through weeks of withdrawals and treatment before finally being able to go home to her new family.
“I am so thankful, and humble and blessed and humbled that we are allowed to have Hope in our family,” Ryan says.
The couple plans to maintain a relationship with Crystal, who says she loves her daughter “very, very much.” They hope to be there for her in whatever struggles the future may bring.