Washington, D.C., Police Officer Ryan Holets shared a heartwarming and unlikely story. In 2017, his family adopted a child born to a homeless woman who is addicted to heroin and unknowingly captured the attention of the White House.
The Holets family has been invited to be first lady Melania Trump's guests at the State of the Union address on the evening of Jan. 30, reports WGHP.
According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, the Holets family “represent the unbreakable American spirit.”
Ryan is reportedly still trying to wrap his head around the opportunity he and his family has been given by being invited to the White House. "We have entered the twilight zone for sure," he said.
Ryan says he has always worked toward the goal of improving the nation’s view of those who are stuck in cycles of addiction and homelessness.
“It’s changed my perspective forever,” the officer said. “I can’t drive anywhere without noticing people that are homeless. I can’t help but notice people that are panhandling. Then I think about everything they’ve gone through.”
On Sept. 23, 2017, while Officer Holets was training a young officer in Albuquerque, they responded to a call of a possible theft at a general convenience store. Although this turned out to be a false alarm, Ryan spoke with a homeless couple who were injecting themselves drugs.
The officer says he was shocked and heartbroken when he found out that the woman, known only as Champ, was eight months pregnant.
“Why do you have to be doing that stuff?” he can be heard saying in the body camera footage. “It’s going to ruin your baby. You’re going to kill your baby.”
The heavily intoxicated Champ responded with tears in her eyes. She said that at that point in her life, it was only heroin and crystal meth which held the absolute control over her.
“I’m the first one to know how bad my situation is,” Champ said. “I know what a horrible person I am.”
Ryan then says crazy idea popped into his mind, and he remembers that "a voice" told him to adopt the unborn child. And that is just what the officer did.
“I’ve gotten so tired of seeing so many situations where I want to help but can’t,” he said. “And in that moment, I realized I had a chance to help and to heck with the risks.”
“We feel God has called us to do that,” Rebecca Holets, Ryan’s wife, said. “It’s been on our hearts for a while.”
Ryan didn’t stop his journey after adopting his daughter, Hope. He went on to help her birth parents find a way into a rehab center so that they might keep their heroin addictions in check.
Both of them left their homeless and intoxicated lives and checked into Mending Forces, a rehabilitation center in Florida.
Ryan says that he and his family are always available for the birth parents of Hope should they ever need their support.
According to WGHP, the White House hopes that by showcasing the story of Ryan and his daughter, another step will be made in the war against opioid abuse.