San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick's popularity in the NFL has risen since taking over as the starter. His birth mother, Heidi Russo, who Kaepernick has never met, is a big fan of the young man. Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports spoke to Russo, who hopes to meet Kaepernick one day. Russo, 44, is a registered nurse living in a suburb of Denver. With no father around, Russo gave Colin up for adoption when she was 19 because she had wanted a better life for him. She selected Rick and Teresa Kaepernick to adopt him. "I know I couldn't have given Colin everything he needed growing up," Russo said. "But I ask myself a lot of the time, 'Would loving him have been enough?' " Russo went to see Colin play in person for the first time in 2010 when he was in college. Nevada played Colorado State in Fort Collins that year and Russo said she hoped Colin would see her. "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." On Aug. 26, Russo reunited with Rick and Teresa Kaepernick at the 49ers' preseason game in Denver. "It was like meeting old friends after 25 years," she said. "You couldn't ask for better people than Rick and Teresa, how they have loved him and taken care of him. As a parent, you never think that anyone could love your child as much as you do, but they have." Russo said she will continue to be one of Colin's biggest fans and is joyed to see how happy he is. "Until he tells me otherwise, I'll continue supporting him," said Russo, who watches or records every game Kaepernick plays. "It's very emotional for me to watch him, especially [when he played against New Orleans] and you could see how happy he was. I just hope and pray for him."