Teresa Kaepernick is the woman who is known by everyone as the mother of controversial NFL star, Colin Kaepernick. However, someone who is at the center of his life and yet very far away is Heidi Russo, the birth mother of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
Because she has not been in the life of Colin, she is not among the people who have been associated with him in his journey – either privately or publicly. Nonetheless, here are six important things that you should know about her:
1. Personal Life
There is not so much that is known about the personal life of Heidi Russo, except that as at 2018, she was said to be 49 years old. She works as a nurse and according to her Twitter handle, she co-founded Linked Thru Love alongside Jami Marcantonio in order to advocate against the stigmatization and stereotyping of birthmothers and to make people understand the idea of adoption.
2. Heidi Russo is the Birth Mother of Colin Kaepernick
On 3 November 1987, Heidi Russo gave birth to Colin Kaepernick in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 19 years old at the time, she was not yet married when she got involved with the father of the football player who abandoned her after she got pregnant.
3. She gave her son up for adoption
Months before she gave birth to Kaepernick, Russo spent a lot of time wondering whether to raise him or give him up for adoption. One of the things that made it a little more complex for the then-teenager was that the man who was responsible for her pregnancy only left a picture and walked away after finding out she was having a baby.
Weeks after giving birth to her son who would grow to be the face of resistance to so many, Heidi decided to give him up for adoption. She was introduced to Teresa Kaepernick and her husband, Rick by a mutual friend and they decided they wanted to have the child.
At the time, the Kaepernicks already had two children, a son and a daughter; Kyle and Deon Kaepernick and they lost two more babies as a result of heart defects. That was six years before the couple who wanted to have more kids decided to take Colin in.
Before Heidi Russo gave up her young son up for what she felt would be a better life, her parents were ready to support her and if she decided to keep the baby, but she decided against keeping him.
4. She wants to have a relationship with Kaepernick
Since giving up her son in 1987, she was in contact with the adopted family and they kept sending pictures of the young boy until he was around seven when they lost contact. Much later, she would make efforts to have a relationship with him, but that has not been an easy path for her as the NFL player has not yielded.
Nevertheless, she still followed his sports while he was still playing and even made it to some of his games.
According to her, she has always had him on her mind and always regretted giving him up for adoption, but she believes it was the best decision she could have made for him because she was not in a position to give him the kind of life she wanted him to have.
5. Russo now has other children
Apart from Colin, Heidi also has other children; Michael, Ethan, and Alex. Even though there is little information about the kids, it is known that she is already married.
6. She took to Twitter to express her displeasure with Colin Kaepernick
During the heat of Kaepernick’s controversial kneeling down during the national anthem in protest for the oppression of blacks and minorities, everyone wanted to have a say, so also did his birth mother. Russo took to Twitter to tell the NFL star that she believed there are many other ways that one could make changes without disrespecting and bringing shame to his country and family, both of which had afforded him many blessings. She ended by advising him to be smarter and respectful.
Of course, while there were many that supported her, there were many more that criticized her as well for taking to a public platform to talk to him.
What makes this even more interesting is that while she decided to scold him, his parents gave him their complete support and went as far as releasing a statement, stating they were with him when reports came out to claim they were not in support of his actions.