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After Police Officer Adopts Baby of Drug Addicted Mom, She Does Inspiring 180 and Gets Clean

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“This is life or death.”

The broken woman at the rehab center knew the therapist was telling her the truth. She’d spent a long time on the streets, doing whatever it took to access the heroin and crystal meth she’d sold her soul for.

“That really like hit me hard. My therapist wouldn’t work with me if I wasn’t going to take it seriously,” Crystal Champ said.

Her turnaround began last year, when she was on the streets in New Mexico. She was in a bad place, a dark place, when Officer Ryan Holet stumbled across her and her partner getting ready to shoot up.

But something about the situation was even more pressing to Holet than the ruined lives of the two people in front of him: the woman, Champ, was heavily pregnant.

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That baby was born in October, and by some miracle Ryan and his wife adopted the little baby girl that was born. They named her Hope, but they weren’t done with Champ yet.

A drug treatment center knew how to best reach Champ. They sent a former addict, Kat McLaughlin, to make an appeal to Champ, who claimed she was content being a homeless drug addict in Albuquerque.

“She was completely hopeless,” McLaughlin said. “She was at the deep end of the spectrum. Using the hardest drugs in the most extreme ways.”

After one failed attempt to get to the center, Champ tried again. And this time, she got help.



Now, seven months later, Champ is a different person. But she’s put in a lot of work to get where she is, and she knows how easily it could slip away.

“There is no burning desire for me to even, like, romanticize about going back to that place, because I know I am powerless over my addiction,” she said.

She now helps others at Mending Fences, the center that helped her, where addicts work with horses — and, in the process, themselves.

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The Holets and Champ keep in touch, and hope for more future contact as well. Holet is thrilled that this story, which had such a rough start, looks like it will turn out well.

“I, deep down, kind of wished upon a star that something like this could happen,” he said. “But this kind of stuff only happens in movies and books with happy endings. Usually, in real life, you don’t see stuff like this.”

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