Teresa Kaepernick is the woman everyone knows as the mother of controversial NFL star Colin Kaepernick. But someone who is at the center of his life and yet very far away is Heidi Russo, the birth mother of the former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers.
Since she was not in Colin’s life, she is not one of the people who were associated with him on his journey – neither privately nor publicly. Nevertheless, here are six important things you should know about her:
1. Personal Life
Not much is known about Heidi Russo’s private life, except that she is supposed to be 49 years old in 2018. She works as a nurse and according to her Twitter handle, she co-founded Linked Thru Love with Jami Marcantonio to fight against the stigmatization and stereotyping of women in childbirth and to make people understand the idea of adoption.
2. Heidi Russo is the Birth Mother of Colin Kaepernick
On November 3, 1987, Heidi Russo gave birth to Colin Kaepernick in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was then 19 years old and not yet married when she became involved with the father of the soccer player who left her after her pregnancy.
3. She gave her son up for adoption
Months before she gave birth to Kaepernick, Russo spent a lot of time wondering whether she should raise him or put him up for adoption. One of the things that made things a little more complicated for the teenager at the time was that the man responsible for her pregnancy only left a picture and left after he found out she was going to have a baby.
Weeks after the birth of her son, who was to become a face of resistance for 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 that they wanted the child.
By this time the Kaepernicks already had two children, a son and a daughter, Kyle and Deon Kaepernick, and they lost two more babies due to heart defects. This was six years before the couple who wanted more children decided to take Colin in.
Before Heidi Russo gave up her little boy for what she believed was a better life, her parents were willing to support her and if she decided to keep the baby, but she decided not to keep him.
4. She wants to have a relationship with Kaepernick
Since she gave up her son in 1987, she had been in contact with the adoptive family, and they kept sending photos of the little boy until he was about seven years old when they lost contact. Much later she tried to establish a relationship with him, but it was not an easy path for her, as the NFL player did not give in.
Nevertheless, she followed his sport while he was still playing and even made it to some of his games.
According to her, she always thought about him and always regretted giving him up for adoption, but she believes that this was the best decision she could have made for him since she was not able to give him the life she wanted for him.
5. Russo now has other children
Besides Colin, Heidi has other children: Michael, Ethan, and Alex. Although there is little information about the children, it is known that she is already married.
6. She took to Twitter to express her displeasure with Colin Kaepernick
In the heat of Kaepernick’s controversial kneeling during the national anthem in protest against the oppression of blacks and minorities, everyone wanted a say, including his birth mother. Russo went to Twitter to tell the NFL star that she believed there were many other ways to make changes without being disrespectful and bringing shame to his country and family, both of which had brought him great blessings. Finally, she advised him to be smarter and more respectful.
Of course, there were many who supported her, but there were also many others who criticized her for going 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 full support and went so far as to issue a statement saying that they were with him when reports came out claiming that they did not support his actions.