Each day, a parent gives up or abandons a child for different reasons, whether selfishly or unselfishly. And depending on the circumstances, it’s always great for a child and their birth parent to develop a relationship. However, when a child becomes a public figure, due to his or her success, later in life, the perception of a sudden reunite often creates negative thoughts from the public and questions the intent of the parent who wants a relationship. Heidi Russo, the birth mother of San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Keapernick, exposed her situation the wrong way and picked the wrong time to play the mommy card.
25-years ago, Russo gave birth to the Super Bowl quarterback, who will take on the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on Feb. 3. She cared for Keapernick for six-weeks before she set him up with a good family for adoption. Russo was able to meet Rick and Teresa Keapernick through a family friend who works for the Lutheran Social Services in Wisconsin.
“I knew they were the right people immediately,' said Russo in an exclusive interview with FOX 31 in Denver. “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…I refused to have him in foster care, there was no way. I raised him for the first six weeks.”
The Keapernicks had two kids of their own, but lost two others to heart defects
Russo believed that she could not have given Keapernick the life he deserved, and that’s why she gave her, now, star athletic son up for adoption.
“It is the toughest decision that I have ever made. But, for him, it was the right decision,” said Russo. “For me personally, I was in a situation that wasn't planned, certainly wasn't in a position to give Colin the life that I wanted him to have.”
Now, if this was Keapernick’s birth father coming out with this story, he would be hammered by the public and media. In additional, he definitely would have been labeled as a dead-beat dad who wanted to capitalize on the young quarterback’s fame.
The role has switched this time around.
Obviously, Russo, 44, wanted a career and felt Keapernick would have been in her way to pursue her dreams. Russo currently lives in Colorado with her eight-year old son, and is a working in the medical field. It appears she has gotten what she wanted.
Russo communicated with the Keapernicks to follow on her son’s progress. The Keapernicks are champions as they kept the lines of communication open by sending letters and pictures of Colin to her, but the birth mother requested them to stop updating her about him because the situation was getting to her and she could not move on with her life.
“I couldn't move forward with my life - I would wait for her letters, I would wait for pictures. It was really hard,” said Russo.
Again with the ‘I’ stuff.
Would Russo have gone public with her story if Keapernick was not Keapernick, the Super Bowl quarterback? Why didn’t she reveal this news publicly last season when Keapernick was on the bench?
Whether with Russo has a motive or not, this is the type of perception she has laid out, despite appearing to be sincere.
Honestly, Russo is completely selfishness for exposing her story through the media and her timing is completely off – but for her, this was the perfect opportunity when the world literally will pay attention.
Russo should have approached this situation the same way Patricia did.
Patricia (last name never given) sought out, privately, her sister, Oprah Winfrey. After months of investigation on Winfrey’s behave, she discovered that she had a sister and the well-established; talk show icon went public about the exciting news – even though she did not have to.
Patricia’s approach was perfect, and if she had a motive, her intent was and will never be questioned because she reached out to Winfrey the right way, privately.
Unlike Patricia, Russo had the perfect connection as she could have directly contacted the Keapernicks, like she once did, and arranged a visit with her son, privately. If Keapernick wanted to reveal his personal situation about his birth mother publicly, it would have been his decision.
The timing of revealing this situation publicly was totally off.
Keapernick is about to play in the biggest game of his life, and the distraction of his birth mother going to the media about the starting quarterback could affect his play come Sunday evening.
Hey, this news probably won’t affect Keapernick mentality and he maybe focus. But in the game of football, opponents will look for any edge to disrupt an opposing individual. This is the Super Bowl, a once in a lifetime opportunity for countless players who will do anything to gain an advantage for a victory – legal or illegally. And talking about someone’s mother is an advantage, and it’s legal.
If Russo truly wanted to meet Keapernick face to face, she should have arranged the meeting privately. Better yet, she should have waited on Keapernick to reach out to her on his time. Yes, Keapernick knows of Russo and he has been cordial, like his adoptive parents, to his biological mother. According to the Mercury News, Russo has attempted to reach out to Keapernick’s biological father and found no success.
Russo probably would have eventually been able to provide a solid life for Keapernick. Yes, it would have been a struggle. Nevertheless, a mother's love can't be replaced. And just because Keapernick's biological father did not want to marry Russo, that was not a good excuse to divorce her child. There are countless, countless parents who struggled to raise their child or children and managed to guide them towards the right direction for success.
Suppose if the Keapernicks didn't guide Keapernick towards a path of success? If so, Russo would not have came out or sought out Keapernick. Again, Russo is completely selfish and because she is a female, she should not receive any slack.
Her coming out party, publicly, about Keapernick puts pressure on him to make a decision and probably puts the Keapernicks in an uncomfortable position – a family that did everything they could to keep Russo in the loop, but she wanted to move on with - her life.