Those who have seen Heidi Russo cheering for her birth son Colin Kaepernick or heard about her many twitter messages to him may wonder why she gave him up for adoption.
Heidi Russo has been very candid in her explanation of her decision. The Daily Mail reported that Heidi was 19 at the time that Colin was born, the pregnancy was unplanned and she and Colin’s birth father were not married. In fact, Colin’s birth father has never had any contact with him. As a teenager living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Heidi says she certainly wasn’t in a position to give Colin the life she wanted him to have.
So Heidi Russo made the difficult decision to give up her son.
According to Yahoo News, Heidi interviewed three prospective couples, but none of them were right. Then a family friend introduced Heidi to the Kaepernicks. “I knew they were the right people immediately,” said Russo. “The first thing Teresa did when she met me was give me a hug. They were such giving, wonderful people from the moment I met them.”
At the time Colin was born (1987), Wisconsin law mandated a 6 week waiting period before an adoption would be finalized. Ordinarily a baby would go into foster care for that time, but Heidi Russo elected to care for Colin herself, the only time she’s had with her son. But when the 6 weeks were over, it was time to give him up.
“It was an excruciatingly painful time,” The Mercury News quoted her saying of that decision.
According to Yahoo News, Heidi’s conflicts did not end with the adoption. “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?’ ”
Heidi Russo may never know the answer to that question, but as fans prepare to watch Colin Kaepernick play in the Super Bowl, it seems obvious to even the casual observer that Heidi’s decision 25 years ago gave Colin a good start in life.