Rick and Teresa Kaepernick have clearly done a tremendous job raising their son, Colin Kaepernick, and giving him the tools he needed in life to become a successful young adult. Colin is the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers and has a degree in business management from the University of Nevada, so it’s safe to say he’s doing just fine. What you may not know is that Rick and Teresa are not his biological parents.
Kaepernick’s biological mother, Heidi Russo, gave him up for adoption after personally choosing Rick and Teresa when she gave birth to him at age 19. Russo has watched some of Colin’s games and followed his career closely, and she continues to hold out hope that she may one day reconnect with her son. She saw him play in person for the first time in 2010 when Nevada traveled to Colorado State. Russo described what it is like to watch Kaepernick from the stands.
“Then the other half of me calms me down and I just sit there and cheer like the rest of the people,” the 44-year-old Russo told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports. “I kept looking at him, thinking our eyes might meet. He might finally see me. I kept thinking it happened, but he never came to see me after the game.”
Russo’s Twitter account says she has “a very special place in my heart for Colin Kaepernick.” She said Kaepernick has exchanged a few messages with her over the years but that most of her tweets go unreturned. She first contacted him years ago via MySpace, and Colin responded after six weeks with questions about his birth father. Russo attempted to contact Kaerpernick’s biological father but her calls weren’t returned.
While she repeatedly praised the Kaepernicks for being wonderful people and treating her like “old friends,” Russo admits there were many times she thought about trying to get her son back.
“But that wasn’t about doing what was best for him, it was about healing the wound I had,” she explained. “That wouldn’t have been the right thing for him.”
Heidi, who is now a registered nurse living in Denver, is 6-feet-tall and played volleyball, basketball and ran track in high school — in case you were curious where Kaepernick may have gotten his athletic ability from. While it’s understandable that she would have some regret and hope to be able to establish a relationship with her son, it’s obvious Russo made the right choice in selecting Rick and Teresa Kaepernick to raise Colin. Despite what this moron may believe, Kaepernick seems to be a stand-up person who has made the most of life.
Photo via Heido Russo’s Twitter account