First Lady Melania Trump has invited a New Mexico police officer and his family to attend President Donald Trump's first official State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
Ryan Holets, an Albuquerque, New Mexico police officer, first made headlines when CNN reported last month that he and his wife had chosen to adopt a baby born to a homeless woman battling heroin addiction. Holets, a father of four, first encountered the mother in September, when she was eight months pregnant, while investigating a case of possible theft at a convenience store.
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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Monday that Holets and his family will be Trump's special guests at the State of the Union, along with about a dozen others, because they "represent the unbreakable American spirit."
Holets' story received national attention after the CNN report and body-camera footage from the scene went viral. The footage shows Holets approaching the pregnant mother, Crystal Champ, and a friend while they appear to be injecting heroin behind the same convenience store that Holets was investigating. On the video footage, Holets can be heard trying to reason with Champ that her actions are not only detrimental to herself, but also to her baby.
"You're going to kill your baby," Holets can be heard saying. "Why do you have to be doing that stuff? It's going to ruin your baby."
"It's not every day I see a sight like that and it just made me really sad," Holets told CNN in December.
In the middle of the conversation, Champ breaks down crying, admitting that although she is pro-choice, the idea of having an abortion, even while homeless and suffering from addiction, was never an option. During an emotional back and forth, Champ confesses to Holets that she had given up on herself but still had hope that a family would adopt her child.
As Holets told CNN, those words struck a chord. Holets made two decisions after the interaction with Champ. First, he decided not to charge Champ and her friend with drug possession. Second, he decided without even speaking to his own wife, who had just given birth to a boy 10 months prior, to adopt Champ's baby.
"I was led by God to take the chance," Holets said. "God brought us all together. I really don't have any other way to explain it."
Holets' wife, Rebecca, enthusiastically agreed to adopt the baby.
"He already knew my heart on the issue and he knew that I would be totally onboard with it," she said.