No one would have bothered about Heidi Russo had American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick not staged a bold protest against black oppression, earning himself widespread popularity. That was in 2016, following U.S policemen’s brutal shooting of two African Americans on 16th and 20th September respectively.
Colin who was then playing for the San Francisco 49ers opted to sit and subsequently kneeling during when the American National Anthem was sung as a form of protest against the ruthless killings. For Kaepernick, he would be a hypocrite to stand up in respect of the flag of a country that tolerates racial discrimination.
In reaction to her son’s actions, Heidi Russo had taken to Twitter to express her displeasure. According her tweets, Colin should have used other means to express his opinion instead of disrespecting his country and family. But Heidi received massive backlash for her comments, especially when Twitter users got to know that she was Colin’s biological mother.
Meanwhile, Colin’s foster parents have a completely different view of their son’s controversial behavior. They rather supported him, saying that they understand what he is going through and the course he is fighting for.
Now on Heidi Russo: who exactly is she, how is she just Colin Kaepernick‘s birth mom and what is she doing right now? We have all the questions answered right here.
Meet Heidi Russo – Colin Kaepernick’s Birth Mother
Many may be wondering why Heidi goes as Colin Kaepernick‘s “birth mother” instead of just his mother. Moreover, why does she have a surname different from that of her son? Well, Colin Kaepernick has got two parents – the biological and the foster parents.
While Heidi Russo was still carrying Colin, her boyfriend, Colin’s biological father abandoned them without looking back. Immediately he learned that Heidi was pregnant, he no longer wanted anything to do with her including her unborn child. Traumatized by the heartbreaking rejection, Heidi who was just 18 then, was not prepared to become a single mum. Although she loved her son dearly and wanted to raise him, she wasn’t fit to give him a quality life. Heidi therefore, placed him under adoption before he was born. And it was with Teresa and Rick Kaepernick, a nurse and a company worker respectively. The couple needed a sort of replacement for their two sons whom they both lost at birth to heart failure.
Heidi gave birth to Colin on November 3, 1987. The Kaepernick couple who has two other older children (a boy and a girl), adopted him five weeks later and gave him their last name, ‘Kaepernick’. After taking over Colin’s custody, Teresa made it an obligation to send updates on the boy in the form of letters and photos to his biological mother, Heidi. This, however, stopped a few years before Colin became a teenager.
Heidi Russo was born in 1969 to Phyllis and James Zabransky in the United States. Heidi is 6 feet 2 inches tall, a height that one could describe as “too tall” for a woman. She had the same height as her former boyfriend, Colin’s biological father who has ever remained at large.
Heidi Russo however, only came to widespread public notice during Superbowl L in 2016 when she opened up as Colin Kaepernick‘s biological mother as well as revealed her desire to strike a relationship with him.
However, Colin is yet to re-establish a relationship with his birth mom, one that Heidi is passionately longing for. She has so far made several attempts to meet with him but Colin has not considered it appropriate or necessary. Heidi however, takes solace is being her son’s distant fan. She often comments on issues that concern him on social media and also watches his matches.
Where Is She Now?
Heidi later got married to a loving and very supportive man, Heath Russo. She already has three kids with him – Michael, Ethan, and Alex.
Heidi Russo currently lives with her family in Denver, Colorado in the United States. In addition, she is doing well in her over three-decade-old nursing career.
In order to help those going through what she went through, Heidi Russo co-founded Three Strands, a humanitarian organization that focuses on empowering birth moms. Russo worked as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse for 17 years, and subsequently as a hospital supervisor before creating Three Strands. She is currently the charity’s vice president and has been using the platform to share her pathetic story as well as give a voice to the shy birth mothers across the globe.