Heidi Russo is an American registered nurse and philanthropist who is best known as the birth mother of Colin Kaepernick, a former National Football League (NFL) player.
The spotlight shone on Heidi when she tried to establish a relationship with her son years after she gave him up for adoption six weeks after she gave birth to him because she was broke. However, her efforts have been futile as her biological son does not wish to associate with her. Below is all that you need to know about Colin Kaepernick’s biological mother.
Heidi Russo was Born in the United States of America in 1969
Heidi Russo was born in the United States in 1969 to James and Phyllis Zabransky. Though she has succeeded in being in the public eye, much is not known about her early years. Her parents got separated when she was still a teenager, and this didn’t go down well with her. This exposed her to the hard part of life as she was close to her father, but her mother got custody of them, making it hard to be close to her father.
Reaching out to her father wasn’t an easy one at this time, and this exposed her to the wrong path of life as a teenager. Pieces of information about her siblings, high school, and what her parents did for a living are unknown. According to her LinkedIn profile, she obtained a bachelor of nursing science from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.
She Gave Birth to Colin Kaepernick at 18 Years Old
As a teenager, Heidi Russo had a tough time as she got into a toxic relationship with an African-American man who left her when he found out that she was with their child. This left her traumatized as she was not ready to become a mother at 18 because she couldn’t give her child the best at that time. In order to give him a better life, she placed him for adoption before he was born, though her parents promised to support her.
Teresa and Rick Kaepernick, a nurse and a company worker, both showed interest in the adoption. Though they had two older children; a boy and a girl, they still needed to fill the vacuum left by their two sons who died at birth due to heart failure. Colin was born on November 3, 1987, and was given to his adoptive parents six weeks later. After gaining custody of the baby, the couple gave him their last name.
Though they had taken full rights over the child, Teresa kept in close contact with his biological mother. She sent photos of the boy and messages about him to his biological mother until they lost contact before he became a teenager. Irrespective of this challenge, she still loved and wished for the best for him.
Heidi Russo Gained Fame Trying To Establish a Relationship With Her Son
The Colorado nurse gained fame when she started making attempts to reach out to Colin after he came to the spotlight as an NLF player. Colin, on his part, ignored all her advances to become close to him as he saw it as an avenue of betrayal to his foster parents. Despite this, Heidi Russo kept on pushing and even sent messages to him through his Twitter account.
She often shows her regrets for giving him up but has the conviction that it was the best thing for him at the time. To date, though she has met with her son’s foster parents, she has yet to meet her son, though they have communicated once through email.
She Has Received Lots of Backlash for Trying to Reconnect With Her Son
@Kaepernick7 There's ways to make change w/o disrespecting & bringing shame to the very country & family who afforded you so many blessings.
— Heidi Russo-Allen (@Heidirn1) August 27, 2016
Heidi Russo hasn’t had it easy trying to contact Colin since giving him up as she has received backlash on various occasions because of him. She was highly criticized the first time she wanted to contact him after he became famous. Many tagged it that she was coming to partake in his fame, but she stated that she needed nothing from him but to establish a relationship.
In 2016, she made headlines for speaking out against his action of kneeling during the national anthem protest of police brutality and systemic racism against blacks in one of his games. Colin, who was against police brutality against black people, refused to stand for the national anthem when it was played. This act was supported by his foster parents but wasn’t funny to Heidi though she supported the cause. She took to her Twitter page to pour out her heart following this act of her son.
She stated that he would have found other ways to express his anger and not by disrespecting the national anthem. Heidi further stated that he should be smarter in dealing with such issues in the future. Heidi received lots of backlash from her followers and fans of Colin, while some supported her.
Heidi is a Registered Nurse and a Philanthropist
Heidi Russo is a registered nurse by profession with many years of experience in various health sectors. She worked as a hospital supervisor before working in the Intensive Care Unit for more than 15 years at SCL Health, Colorado. Recently, she worked as a cardiac nurse in the Cardiovascular Lab of SCL Health in Lafayette, Colorado.
Apart from being on the health front line, she is also a philanthropist. Heidi co-founded an advocacy group with Jami Marcantonio known as Linked Thru Love. The group is bent on sensitizing the masses about the theory of adoption and putting a stop to stereotypes connected to birth mothers. She also co-founded a non-profit organization known as Three Strands that aims to empower birth mothers. The philanthropist always takes to her social media accounts to create awareness concerning the aim of her organizations.
She is Married to Heath Russo and Has Three Sons
Heidi Russo also has a happy family of her own, with whom she resides in Denver, Colorado. She is married to Heath Russo and has welcomed three children with him; Michael, Ethan, and Jett Russo. Her three sons have also taken the path of their half-brother and are active in the youth setup of their various teams. Micheal, the eldest son of the couple, plays baseball with the Bandits team.
Heidi has been supportive of her first son and other sons’ activities on the sports team and is always sharing their victories from the sidelines or on her social media handles.