' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: A Call Kaepernick should make--to his birth mother

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Call Kaepernick should make--to his birth mother

Colin Kaepernick
AP Photo/Patrick Cummings 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick with his adoptive parents
When I hear anything about the Superbowl that will take over America this evening, my mind wonders over to Colin Kaepernick, and his flat out refusal to meet the mother who gave him life--as well as his athletic ability--Heidi Russo. Kaepernick, for those who haven't been following this sideline drama, is adopted. Heidi Russo has tried to meet him but he has refused to, even though he has the blessing of his adoptive parents, Rick and Rae Kaepernick, to do so.

She's tried. It was an open adoption in 1987 in Wisconsin, and Heidi Russo stayed in touch with his new parents until she couldn't stand the pain of hearing about him any longer. "I couldn't move forward with my life," she recently told a Denver TV station. [Note: does anybody know when this happened? How old Colin was at the time?] At 18 she sent him a letter, according to one report, but after reading it, he had no interest in contacting her. Another report states she found him on MySpace--he has been a star in football as he was coming up the ranks, and she always knew who his parents were--and they exchanged a few messages, as he wanted to know about his father, but he has refused to meet her to date, and has not responded to any of her messages since that lukewarm reception several years ago.

One of his teammates spoke to the press and said that meeting her would be "treasonous" to his adoptive parents; but they met Russo at one of his games this season when she was hoping to meet him.

Fellow blogger Jane and I wrote about Keapernick earlier (link below) and some of the comments we've received there are the negative kind: Russo only wants to meet him because he is famous. People who make comments like that certainly don't like birth mothers, and are looking for any reason they can to shoot them down. From the opposite angle, I've been there, especially after I wrote Birthmark and it caused quite a ruckus, to put it mildly. I only wrote Birthmark, some said to my face, to be rich and famous, which is kind of a scream. It gave me notoriety but certainly didn't make me rich. Others behind my back, I've been told, said nasty things, pounded on table, and called me names,--"What right does she have!?!"  People are always looking for ways to put birth mothers down, keep us in our place. In the closet. Out of sight. Gone.

But Russo is not a needy person looking for a handout. Today she is not broke or down on her luck: She is a 44-year-old nurse living in Thornton, Colo. She played volleyball, basketball, and track in high school. She's smart and attractive, and loving mother to an eight-year-old son, Kaepernick's half brother. Both of Kaepernick's natural parents, were 6"2', according to Wikipedia. Kaepernick is 6"4' or 6"5', depending on your source.

She only wants to meet her son.

He refuses.

She says she will understand if he never wants to meet her. “Yes, there’s always that, but I just stay positive for him,” Russo said in an interview with NBC. “That’s what is important. That’s what you’re supposed to do as a parent." Kaepernick has avoided commenting on his biological mother, although he avoids commenting too deeply on most things since becoming the 49ers starting quarterback.

Part of me totally understands that meeting his first mother, now, when the pressure is on his passing arm, is more than he can handle. Kaepernick ought to be left alone to play the game. From our experience, from all we have read and known ourselves, we understand that the emotional impact of coming face-to-face with the woman who bore you and gave you up is boundless, unsettling, a double whammy to the heart and the head. People have written that they feel as if they are practically coming apart. Okay, we get that. Not now. 

But I'm also sorry that this meeting didn't happen before. His refusal to meet her at least once seems cruel. Today I am not going to say that he "owes" her one meeting, but lord, wouldn't it be nice if Kaepernick could bring himself to meet her, if only once? Maybe after the lights go out, and the press isn't following him around, he will find the courage--for some adoptees it does take courage--and the forgiveness in his heart--for no matter the circumstances it does take forgiveness, understanding and acceptance--to pick up the phone and say, Let's meet. 

That's what will be on my mind as I'm watching the game today.  Downton Abbey will be recording on our DVR and I'll wonder if Ethel, who's given up her son to his wealthy grandparents, is going to make it with the good help of Mrs. Crawley. Or will the mores of the times and the unforgiving attitudes of the other servants kick her back out on the street? However, she does need a good cookbook.--lorraine
A call Kaepernick should make
 A sensitive commentary written by an adoptive father at ESPN
Adventures in Off-Sports Subjects: Rick Reilly, Colin Kaepernick, and Adoption
An angry response to the above ESPN column by an adoptee
Colin Kaepernick, birth mother remain strangers
A neutral story

From FMF
A son refuses to meet his birth/first mother

And the BOOK
Man and His Mother: An Adopted Son's Search 
I've raved about this memoir before, from a former pro football player Tim Green. A success in life, raised in a loving and supportive family, just like Kaepernick, Tim always longed to find his biological mother. After the mother of an ex-girlfriend confessed to him that she had given up a son who would have been about Tim's age he embarked on a journey to find his first mother, always empathizing with the feelings of loss and regret that a mother who had given up a child must feel. I read it in two sittings, and for my money it is one of the best adoptee memoirs out there, probably because Green comes across a kind and understanding person. You see Green on TV now and then--he's become an attorney, and sometime TV personality, and was a co-host of the short-lived show about reuniting adoptees and their first parents, Find My Family. Perhaps someone should send Green's memoir to Kaepernick. 


  1. Haven't studies shown that a high percentage of male adoptees refuse contact?
    Perhaps this is another thing women considering adoption should think about.
    And yes. While it would be nice for him to reciprocate his first mother's contact, he really is a big boy and can decide for himself.
    How about, just for today, we let him play football?

  2. You know, I am sorry to say, but she cut off the contact. And I am sure that he took that as a rejection. I know most first mothers don't want to hear this, but SHE was the adult and should of cared more about his pain losing her again and feeling rejected by her again then her own pain. I don't blame him for not wanting to meet her, he knows who she is and what she looks like. That maddening frustration of not knowing he doesn't have to deal with, so it is a lot easier for him to deny her contact this time. And that is exactly what he is doing. Maybe some first mothers just don't understand how much they do hurt adoptees sometimes.

  3. As a man that reached out to his own birth mother and had it go down hill after a few weeks...keep doing what you do, Colin. Handle your own business and don't get side-tracked. Just like she had to do what she did, you gotta do what you gotta do. It's an emotional rollercoaster that will serve nothing more than to fog up your mind when you need it clear to be a success in the NFL.

    And don't listen to anyone but yourself, including your own Mother's wishes and reporters that need to mind their own damn business. When it's time for you to come around to her, you will. If you never do, then that was your choice. Sometimes, that's the only control we have in a situation that was out of our control from the start.

    Great athlete and great family. I really think that meeting her is the last thing on his mind. His future is bright...today is his day. Mommy is just gonna have to suck it up.

  4. I don't think there is enough known about this story to know what variables may be causing Colin to not want to meet his first mother. I do become wary though reading, "Heidi Russo stayed in touch with his new parents until she couldn't stand the pain of hearing about him any longer. "I couldn't move forward with my life". If the arrangement was that Ms. Russo would have ongoing contact and then she reneged on her end, that would feel like another rejection to Colin. It could be the reason he is not interested in knowing her now. But, again, we just don't know enough about all that really happened. It's a shame that this story has become so public. This is such a personal/emotional issue and not something that a gazillion strangers should be commenting on, pro or con.

    I did read something that made some sense to me as to why an adoptee would not be interested in reconnecting with his or her first family. And that is because the adoptee wants to feel 'normal'. And 'normal' is having two parents, four grandparents and siblings that you grew up with. Not having a bio-family, an adoptive family, relatives who didn't even know you existed, and all the other complications of being adopted.

    "People are always looking for ways to put birth mothers down, keep us in our place. In the closet. Out of sight. Gone."

    Because people don't want to face the reality that sooo many mothers really didn't want to give their babies up. It was known, it has always been known by the adoption industry, but they do their damnedest to make the public believe that adoptive parents are doing a wonderful thing by providing homes for all of those 'unwanted' children.

  5. Agreed, anonymous. This is his decision. And any pressure to manipulate him to meet Ms. Russo makes it more likely that he won't. Bastards, if they want to meet a first parent (or more) should do it in their own time,, not because it's politically correct.

  6. She had an open adoption with him and SHE closed it. As an adoptee, I think that would send me one heck of a message. 2 rejections and then suddenly at age 18 she decides to "try" again. How long will she stay this time? JMO, but it might be how it feels to him. It sure would to me.

  7. Well, I'll have to disagree with "Haven't studies shown that a high percentage of male adoptees refuse contact?" My daughter doesn't want contact... for now... Seems to me, it's an equal percentage from I "got" on an adoption forum.

    Anyway - I agree with "Let him play football" - Yes! Go Niners!!!!

  8. Adoption reunion is a multi-layered experience. As in adoption, each member of the triad have many emotional dimensions to deal with in reunion. Anything any one of us says, this is only opinion. This may just not be the right time. I don't think we can judge either Colin or Heidi. I am saying this as a counselor as well as a first mother.

  9. It is not his or any other adult adoptee's responsibility to make his or her first parents feel better about the adoption. I think it's really important to think about all of the responsibility that is put on adoptees and be careful not to perpetuate that. They are supposedly responsible for making their adoptive parents feel validated and secure and now they're also responsible for their first parents to feel happy about things? Parents are supposed to do these things for their kids, not the other way around. Kids are not there to meet the emotional needs of the adults, even after they're grown men and women. While I love knowing of successful reunions and open adoptions, this article takes it to another level that actually puts all of the burden on the adoptee to make that happen. He has the right to make the decision that works for him - not his first mom and not his adoptive parents.

  10. It may not be a very popular view, but Colin doesn't owe her anything. Never did, never will. I gave birth to my three boys, doesn't mean they owe me a darn thing. I want them to be happy, successful, and loved, and I will try to give them tools to find those things. However, at the end of the day, they don't owe me anything. If my eldest becomes a famous baseball star, it's not because of my genetics (total klutz) or his father's (also a total klutz). It's because we encouraged him, gave him the tools to find his own path. If my middle child finds the cure for cancer, it's not because of me. Or if my youngest is a mathematical genius, that's because he's found his own way.

    What Colin needs to do today is give his parents a real big hug, and forget about everything else but the game (go Niners!!). And tomorrow, win or lose, they will still be there for him, supporting him, helping him find his path.

    Heidi Russo made her bed, now let her lie in it.

    1. What a horrible thing to say. Shame on you Momof3. So happy life turned out all roses for you!

  11. This story is actually a good cautionary tale for expectant mothers considering adoption. It doesn't sound as if Ms. Russo has moved on the way the agency probably told her she would. And if a social worker or adoption attorney tells you that you can develop a relationship when your relinquished child turns 18, don't count on it.

    I wonder if the Kool-Aid has worn off for Heidi?

  12. Robin wrote:"This is such a personal/emotional issue and not something that a gazillion strangers should be commenting on, pro or con."
    Fully agree. It is their own issue to work out, just as each of us has our own issues. Just because it is public person does not mean any of us knows the real story or motivation.

  13. Robin--I agree completely about this story being a good cautionary tale for expectant mothers considering adoption for their children. Do not think that you are going to have a good relationship some day--or any at all--with the child you are giving up.

    I hate to hear stories about either side--mothers or the children--rejecting at least one meeting when it is desired by the other side.

    And Copperjil, you are right too, about the timing. I can see the reason for it not happening during football season, and especially now. And of course we don't know the whole story.

  14. Interesting post and comments.

    I am always amazed how Mothers - yes, with a capital M - are judged so very differently than fathers...by BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, maybe even tougher by women.

    Phyllis Chesler wrote about the "good mother" and how we hold her to a higher standard of expectation than fathers.

    Nother gets Nancy Grace's neck veins bulge as when she has the opportunity to rip into a mother who doesn't live up to her standards, especially if they abuse a child! A father leaves a child in the heat and the kid dies, it's well...he forgot the kid was there. A mother does the same and it's let's tar and feather in public and take away her other kids.

    Yet, many TV shows like Dr. Phil etc. feature people seeking out fathers who abandoned their mothers - and them - when they were very young and making no effort whatsoever to contact them. But if a mother did that we'd all be asking "what kind of mother does that?"

    It seems ok or at least acceptable and forgiveable for a father to walk away and never look back. I have many times seen their adult children forgive them....or at least want to meet them.

    But...maybe as I think of it, most if not all, who are seeking and able to forgive fathers are DAUGHTERS, not sons. Maybe it is just the gender thing: men wear their hurt more easily in anger.

    Every adoptee feels abandoned and rejected to some degree not just those whose open adoption closed. Some are willing to forgive and feel empathy and compassion and some can only feel anger and it cuts pretty much as a male/female thing, with excpetions of course.

    One can only feel sorry for Kaepernick in his inability to forgive because his lack of ability to do so and his choosing instead to hold onto anger only hurts and eats away at him. We can only hope that he gets help and learns that forgiving is not absolving.

  15. Who broke this story to the press?

  16. I don't know who broke this story to the press. Interesting question, for it does seem that it need not, should not, have been played out this way.

  17. Isn't it time mothers and others stopped passing judgement on adult adoptees for their decisions? Also on the books they write about their experiences which are judged as 'good' or otherwise just like adoption really!

  18. @Momof3-YOU gave birth to three children and speak of a natural mother like that? No way in hell do I believe you are not an adopter or someone with some other vested interest in adoption to spew such vitriol "she made her bed, now lie in it".

    To any young woman out there thinking of adoption because you are scared; don't listen to the baby brokers, prospective adopters, social wreckers and the like, who are telling you what a "wonderful, selfless" person you are. You see above what is going to happen if you go though with an adoption. Let THIS woman's comment above be all the verification you need...

  19. Mirah,
    Who says Colin is unforgiving? He just has no interest in meeting Heidi at this time. He is a little busy right now after all.. How does that make him unforgiving? Perhaps he simply is not interested. Perhaps he feels there is nothing to forgive.
    Do you know him?
    I am surmised you feel so comfortable speaking for adoptees especially when we all concede we do not know the whole story.

  20. The very title of this post indicates to me that the blog authors really don't yet understand the adoptee experience. How many times have we adoptees been told we should feel or think or act a certain way? Everyone seems to know what we need...

  21. I don't claim to know what adoptees need, nor does this post. This post is about Colin Kaepernick's natural mother who would like to meet her son. For at least seven years he has refused to. His choice. Can not another mother feel for the women he won't even meet? This blog is after all, First Mother Forum. It is read by a lot of adopted people. I am expressing my opinion.

    How many times have we read on adoptees blogs who are upset with the mothers who don't want to meet their children? I have read it many times and I am very critical of those women, even though we can try to understand them.

    I write as a mother who relinquished a child and it would have killed me if she had even refused to meet me. I feel for Heidi Russo; I am sorry her son won't meet her.

  22. Ah...we are also entitled to talk about the books we like, are we not, at a blog directed to other mothers? First Mother Forum expresses our opinions; it does not try to be all things to all people.

  23. Many birth mothers put the birth fathers in a "closed chapter" of their life. Many adoptees do the same with their birth parents, except it's how we've grown up. I can see Colin's point of view. It doesn't have the same meaning for him as it does for his birth mother.

    I was told from a young age that I was adopted, but shrugged it off because I already had my adoptive family around me. It wasn't until I met a relative of my dad, after searching, that it really hit home. And it hit me like a ton of bricks, as the fairy tale became reality.

    Unless he has an overriding desire to meet her, it'll most likely never happen. It aint just about her now. He has bonded with his family since infancy, taken their name...to him, he is one of them.

    Sad (to some), but true.

  24. Wow, go the nasty comments! Just shows how people view first mothers... She gave him use of her uterus and now she can just suck it up. You know for all those commenting without a hint of empathy, you are narrow minded and cannot see the end of your nose. All I ever see is how first mothers don't do enough but adoptees are people too with just as much responsibility in relationships. You can't have it both ways. If its not first moms don't do enough then it it's they need to back off. We are human beings too and deserve just as much respect as you. You want to talk about being the child who had no voice? Well that's true but now you do and some choose to make the most cruel choice.

    Yeah it's his choice to not meet her but to tell his mom to suck it up or lie in the bed she made, heartless. All it says to me is look how adoption taught these people to have no hearts. Gross.

  25. OK, so let me get this right....

    Anonymous 2/3 1:37pm) said:

    "... she cut off the contact. And I am sure that he took that as a rejection. I know most first mothers don't want to hear this, but ...."

    So, I assume tghuis was not written by a birth mother. Perhsps by an adoptee? And he or she can ASSUME how Kaepernick feels, and th eguess is that he feels rejected. And he or she can also ASSUME what birthmother are Ok hearing and not.

    Robin (2:03pm)said:

    "...she reneged on her end, that would feel like another rejection to Colin. It could be the reason he is not interested in knowing her now....."

    BOTH of these commenters assumed Colin felt rejected.

    Robin akso said: "did read something that made some sense to me as to why an adoptee would not be interested in reconnecting with his or her first family. And that is because the adoptee wants to feel 'normal'."

    Another assumption by a non-adoptee as to how adoptees feel, or simply a conclusion that was read.

    So to Anon who posted 2/3 at 8:28 PM I would like to ask: Is the rule that anyone can make assumptions but me?

    Just checking.

  26. @Anonymous 8:28 PM said...

    "The very title of this post indicates to me that the blog authors really don't yet understand the adoptee experience. How many times have we adoptees been told we should feel or think or act a certain way? Everyone seems to know what we need..."

    Not that anyone EVER tells natural mothers how they should feel, act and share their own experiences, huh? The double standard in adoption is sickening.

    I have read some of the disgusting comments directed toward this woman. For him to allow that and treat her the way he has speaks volumes. I wouldn't want to meet anyone who treated me this way, so perhaps she is better off.

    For those who keep saying she "walked away" twice, do you know exactly what took place? Did his adoptive parents allow her in his life, or did they treat her like a walking incubator, like so many other ap's do? If they were anything like the control freaks who adopted my child, I would be willing to bet there is much more to it than her "walking away" twice.

    So many people can offer their hateful comments toward HER, but how dare anyone suggest he is acting cold toward the woman who is responsible for him even being here in the first place. My god I am so sick of hypocrites and adoption...

  27. Game over, the Baltimore Ravens won by a hair's breadth but Kaepernick played well and did some amazing plays, especially that one when he looked around, couldn't find anybody to pass to and made the 15-yard himself. He will be back in the Superbowl arena.

    As for the comments directed at his mother, I am going to let them speak for themselves. In fact, the reason I wrote this post tonight was because people were beginning to leave nasty comments about her at the earlier blog Jane and I wrote at the end of December, saying that Russo only wanted to know him because he was famous. I'm guessing that was written by someone not involved in adoption personally, but just someone who was angry and it reflects a general feeling in society towards birth mothers.

    Good night from the East Coast!

  28. According to a recent article in the Daily Mail contact between Heidi and Colin was discontinued in 1994, when Colin was seven.

  29. @Mirah

    "One can only feel sorry for Kaepernick in his inability to forgive because his lack of ability to do so and his choosing instead to hold onto anger only hurts and eats away at him."

    Yes it appears you are allowed to make giant assumptions too!

    You have no idea if he hasn't forgiven or if he is angry.

    It never says his reasons. In this article we aren't given any b/c he hasn't spoken out so we don't know.


    According to the what Lorraine wrote it states she said she left b/c she couldn't take it and needed to move forward with her life.

    It also states that the adoptive parents have encouraged the meeting.

    Most of the knowledge seems to be coming from 2 media interviews his mother did.

    That could have something to do with it.

    She went public.

    But to condemn Colin. A man that we have not heard say anything and come up reasons why he is doing this or why he is doing that is unfair to him.

    We know what she has to say. She spoke publicly.

    Until he does so, he deserves a little respect. After all it is his personal life that got thrown into the spotlight.

    Another choice he didn't make.

  30. Here's the link to the Daily Mail article in which Heidi says when the updates stopped and explains why:


    " 'He was born in 1987 and I took care of him for six weeks and I was fortunate enough and blessed with Rick and Teresa who adopted him.'
    Explaining that Colin never left her thoughts, Heidi says that updates from the Kaepernicks, including photos and letters about Colin's progress had to stop when he was seven as they were affecting her ability to move on with her own life.
    'I couldn't move forward with my life - I would wait for her letters, I would wait for pictures. It was really hard.'
    'His whole life I have thought about him, every birthday. You think about him, you don't just forget.' "

  31. Adoptee here...I can't imagine not wanting to meet my mother but that is my personal opinion. Personally, I wish that Colin wouldn't have to be dealing with this in a public way- its a very private matter & decision. But I will not hazaard to make a comment on his or his firstmom's story because I just don't know enough about it.

    In an ideal world, all parties would be open to contact or at least one meeting and neither would feel the sting of rejection. I do not owe my birth or adoptive parents anything; but as a fellow human being I'd like to think that I would always treat another person with respect and kindness. I have been in reunion for 20 yrs with my mom and her family. Contrarily, I have met my birthfather and he did not want further contact and I have respected that; but have felt conflicted by the desire to contact my paternal siblings.

    Reunion is such a complicated, personal issue that I find it sad for both Colin and his mom that they have to deal with this and public censure.

  32. After reading some of the comments here, I'd say that not a whole lot has changed towards a mother who gives up a child since the days of Downton Abbey, 150+ years go. The servants don't want their reputations sullied by having to work side by side with a woman who had a baby outside of marriage and couldn't find employment other than as a prostitute. With a baby, and no husband, who would hire a woman of such low character? No one. Now that she's "done the right thing," and given her son to his horrible grandparents--who will not let her see him--and trying to do respectable work, the righteousness servants won't accept her--or even work with her. God Bless Mrs. Crawley. But what about you ladies? Can you "forgive" your mothers? From the comments here, about a modern woman who gave up her child because she didn't feel she could care for him, doubtful.

    My daughter does, for a while. And then she doesn't. Adoption, as Lorraine has said before, is the pain that goes on giving.

    For everyone involved. Or at least, two of the parties.

  33. By the way, I was referring to the comments in the dailymail UK article.

  34. @Sarah, in my understanding of the story, it was a young woman talked into abandoning her son by some Lutherans.

  35. This post got me thinking back to my own reunion with my son a few years ago He was a very handsome 20-something man who I had last seen when he was a baby. A line from a Bruce Springsteen song keeps going through my head "Is that you babe or just a brilliant disguise?"

  36. It seems like a different standard is being applied to mothers than to adoptees in this post.

    When the mother felt she needed to discontinue contact, the author acknowledges that it was unfortunate, but there were probably reasons behind it, and of course she was in pain - but when the adoptee decides not to resume contact for unknown reasons he is being "cruel"?

    What about the circumstances in [i]his[/i] life, or the pain [i]he[/i] may be feeling? Do feelings and needs only count when they belong to a mother or benefit a mother? Because that's the impression I'm getting here.

    Ideally, adoptees and first mothers who want to meet would find a willing recipient for contact on the other end. Sadly, that is not always reality. And yes, that causes a whole lot of pain and heartache for the rejected person, and we should all feel sympathy and compassion for that pain.

    Sympathy and compassion are different than finger-pointing and fault-finding, though. I think we can acknowledge how sad that is for this mother, without setting up a standard where whatever the mother wants at the time in terms of contact or no contact is assumed to be the right thing (even when it changes,) regardless of what's happening on the adoptee's end.

  37. This site seems to only want it one way...their way. If the adoptee is troubled and acts out and creates disruptions in the birth mother's life, then you did all you could and the adoptee is responsible for his actions.

    But only if it goes your way. Seems to me that Colin is being incredibly responsible in his actions by keeping her at bay. And he's vilified for it. Can't have it both ways.

    What does he owe her? No. The question is what did she owe him?

  38. Heidi(mother) to Colin(son):"I'm sorry" Colin to Heidi:"Bad mommy,bad mommy-you have to pay for what you did"

  39. And it's only going to get worse for her. He is a phenom and his celebrity status will only grow. She will be seeing him on tv for the next 15-20 years if he stays healthy. In that way, I can sympathize with it always being in her face and cutting that much more. She is going to have to accept that she will only get what she gets and have to swallow a bitter pill.

    He's young, he doesn't have that gnawing feeling that something is missing and something needs filled in his life. Fame, money, and women will fill it all for a while. Eventually, he may have a change of heart. But things like that only happen with maturity and after the excitement dies down and those feelings creep in (if he even lets himself feel it...lots of adoptees don't and it's not a big deal to them).

  40. "vilify"?

    this is what the post says
    Part of me totally understands that meeting his first mother, now, when the pressure is on his passing arm, is more than he can handle. Kaepernick ought to be left alone to play the game. From our experience, from all we have read and known ourselves, we understand that the emotional impact of coming face-to-face with the woman who bore you and gave you up is boundless, unsettling, a double whammy to the heart and the head. People have written that they feel as if they are practically coming apart. Okay, we get that. Not now.

    "But I'm also sorry that this meeting didn't happen before. His refusal to meet her at least once seems cruel. Today I am not going to say that he "owes" her one meeting, but lord, wouldn't it be nice if Kaepernick could bring himself to meet her, if only once? Maybe after the lights go out, and the press isn't following him around, he will find the courage--for some adoptees it does take courage--and the forgiveness in his heart--for no matter the circumstances it does take forgiveness, understanding and acceptance--to pick up the phone and say, Let's meet."

    Vilify: to make malicious and abusive statements about somebody

    If those words above about CK are malicious and abusive, rather than plaintive, we have a different interpretation of language. But then, I'm just a bad first mother reading a site called FIRST MOTHER FORUM.

    Doesn't First Mother Lorraine have a right to an opinion on Colin's refusal? Apparently not, according to adoptees. Lorraine doesn't try to interpret his action and she even says maybe now is not the right time.

    I'd like to see an adoptee blog where FMs attack adoptees like people attack mothers here. There aren't any. We suck it up, to paraphrase someone.

  41. Chill baby...he doesn't hate her, he's simply happy with his life and she doesn't add much to the equation right now. If I'm happy in my life, I'm not going to go look for something to throw a wrench in it.

  42. Mirah, I am not going to screw with you because you are the most traumatized of "birthmothers". Your child took her life and due to that, even though I don't like what you said to me (Anon 1:37) I understand where your head is at and I will have respect for that. BUT, I don't understand how you could not understand that Colin would not feel rejected when his mother cut off contact wen he was 7 because it was to painful for her. You know, ANY child, adopted or not would feel rejected, hurt, scared and angry if their mother left their life. Who knows how Colin felt before she did this anyway, but what if he felt not as devastated as adoptees raised in closed adoption are and then due to what she did, and her selfishness, yes. Her selfishness, he is now as traumatized as adoptees who don't even know who their parents are. I don't understand either how any first mother can not understand how adoptees would not feel rejected in Colin's situation and why they are ignoring his mother's immaturity and melodramatics. The bottom is all adoptees and all other children would think and feel if she REALLY LOVED ME, she would never not want to know how I am, what I am doing and watch me grow up. An let me know THAT SHE IS STILL THERE. And btw, Robin is an adoptee. A rocking awesome adoptee imo.

  43. I also want to say to, that Colin may be very afraid of seeing his mother, and end up getting close to her, just to have her leave his life again. I know men who are not adopted, who have commitment phobia because their parents got divorced. And being adopted is a whole lot more complicated emotionally then kids whose families broke up due to a failed marriage. I don't see how anyone, even first mothers can criticize Colin for his possible lack of distrust concerning his mom. know, people just get sick of the excuses. Especially adoptees who are some of the most emotionally vulnerable kids in the world.

  44. Anon, I can understand your feelings about this situation. However, what we don't know is if Russo was really in contact with her son or as I think is the case, only received some information about him. I don't know when everybody moved away from Wisconsin--the Kaepernick's to CA, Russo to CO. Not exactly next door. It may be that Russo only got photographs and sporadic information, without actually having a relationship with CK, which is what I think (but am not sure) was the case. That could be unbearable and keep a person from continuing on in a healthy manner. Claud just posted a research paper on her blog that says open adoptions may be no more satisfying, or healthy, for the first mother, than closed adoptions.

    That said, I can also get the trauma of having your birth mother--if she was in your life and knew she was--just drop off the face of the earth. That would be terrible. I think we need to stop assuming anything about any relationship they might have had.

    I know, as friends, IRL, adopted people who have never completed their own search. I doubt they ever will. I don't judge their motives or talk to them about their first mothers. I have sympathy for Russo simply as another first mother, just as adoptees can sympathize and understand CK's refusal to meet her.

    As for Mirah being the most traumatized of mothers, that seems an unnecessary dig to diminish what she has to say. Who knows who is the "most traumatized?" My daughter had epilepsy. She was adopted. She was on anti-depressants as well as anti-seizure meds. She committed suicide in 2007.

    AND Unless there are two Robins commenting, I certainly know she is an adoptee. I find Robin one of the most understanding adopted persons who comment here, and though we sometimes don't agree, it's usually minor and I for one always value seeing her POV. I am saying this without checking what the above comment refers to, but based on her long-time commenting here.

  45. This is an interesting post, as it highlights to me the differences between the BM viewpoint and the adoptee experience, as well as how male and female adoptees deal.

    All the male adoptees I know did not search, nor did they (or do they) particularly want to find. Sometimes, even when 'found', they are antagonistic and resentful. Even when you can see that it would put a lot of their angst to rest, they refuse to search or want to know. In fact, I cannot even think of one male adoptee I know who has initiated a search, even when (imo) they should. Some of the men have gone on to marry and father children, but I would say most of them (maybe 2/3rds) do not trust women nor do they want kids. I would really like to learn more about why men and women react differently to relinquishment ... if you have links/info, please post.

    Regarding the birthmother and adoptee pain, I think, ultimately, it is worse for the adoptee. For the birthmother, she was always post-puberty in age, by definition, and so there was conscious thinking involved the whole time. For the adoptee, it is pre-verbal in most cases, and since it happens during critical periods of development, it is hard-wired (encoded) in the body and mind. Therefore, it is such a SYSTEMIC upheaval, that it is more traumatic.

    I think men are expected to be 'strong', to deny/repress their feelings, and therefore don't have as many tools to deal with deep, moving emotions as women - who talk with their friends/family and ruminate - do.

    Look at how something as seemingly "simple" and inevitable as the discovery of Tiger Woods' infidelities caused his game to suffer for a couple of years (when, really, he should have seen that coming). I can understand why adoptees don't search or contact. It is way too disruptive, and disruptive for too long. In fact, that is one reason I do not contact my birth-father, who by all accounts, is sick/aging and wants to reconnect. Having worked hard for inner peace, I don't want to be thrown into emotional turmoil. Even though he is a self-made multi-millionaire (just never 'wanted' kids), all the money in the world isn't worth sacrificing your inner peace (or ability to 'play ball' if you are a professional!).

    I say let's give Colin a break ... time has a tendency to soften people and make them realize that relationships are more important than money. Additionally, he may just be protecting his livelihood at the moment.

    Would love to see more info on how men and women deal with relinquishment though!

  46. Lorraine, I think you have totally misunderstood what I said to Mirah, and I am so sorry. I was NOT trying to dig into her. AT ALL. And yes, I do feel that first mothers whose child committed suicide are the most traumatized, including you, but I am not saying that in any way that means you or Mirah are not logical or do not have valid points due to that. I feel very sorry for you and Mirah, and when I said I wasn't going to screw with Mirah, I meant, I did not want to start an argument with her because I know she has been through so much. I think Mirah is very bitter and I think she has every right to be. That's NORMAL. As far as this Colin situation goes, I just don't have respect for his mother because some contact or info about her child is better than nothing and I don't understand how she could forgo that, especially after all the hell first mothers and adoptees have gone through because there was never any contact or information for years and years. I want you to know that I am adopted btw so maybe you can better understand where I am coming from.

  47. Rocking Awesome RobinFebruary 4, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Mirah wrote:"Another assumption by a non-adoptee as to how adoptees feel, or simply a conclusion that was read."

    I am an adoptee and feel that I am qualified to speak from my experience as to how another adoptee might feel.

    Thanks, Anon 2:48pm :)

  48. I lost my previous comment and apologize if its a duplicate.

    I simply don't see this as a who owes who situation. How sad it has turned into that type of discussion.

    I see that Ms. Russo is perpetuating this story by cooperating with media, creating a public forum for something that ideally would happen privately.

    One can wonder what her motivations are - to shame Collin into contact? To garner sympathy or attention for herself?

    Regardless of her intentions, her methods are suspect and thus such, not an ideal way to reopen communication in an already stressful and incredibly personal situation. I too would wish to distance myself from that in those shoes.

    Additionally, I noted several instances were the blog author makes some inferences from which conclusions are drawn. Ms. Russo is charcterized on this blog as attractive, smart, athletic, successful ~ a mother to a child she currently parents. Is this the basis then that this young man "owes" her a phone call. You seem to later say that a phone should be founded on human compassion but your intentional portrayal of this woman whom you believe to be these qualities implies that due to her many gifts, a phone call is her right. If she was short, weak, uneducated or ugly, would she be underserving of such compassion?

    Also how interesting the timing. He should call now because he has reached a pinnacle of personal/professional success....thereby owing his Bio. Mom credit and courtesy?

    You also seem to infer that he "owes" her that contact/call because she too was athletic & tall.....should he also thank her for his successes then? And again, because he is a professional ball player and she too carries genetic athleticism, a bond should exist were one currently doesn't? Why else would you include her physical descriptions in this post & stress those parralels?

    I think your better argument was one based on goodwill, which whether we like it or not, is up to Collin. Basing your criteria loosely on their common genetic traits or her intrinsic & socioeconomic values lessens your position and turns it more into a phone call agenda based on gratitude and owing someone.


    I say leave him in peace to his decisions; they may change one day or they may not. Such is human will and even adoptees are due that!


  49. Adult Adoptee commenting. I just have a general thought in regards to male adoptees and not specific to Colin and Heidi's situation but to this thought in the post.

    "His refusal to meet her at least once seems cruel. Today I am not going to say that he "owes" her one meeting, but lord, wouldn't it be nice if Kaepernick could bring himself to meet her, if only once?"

    IMO the decision to meet the b-mother is not a simple once and over type thing as suggested:
    'to meet her, if only once' for male adoptees. Males tend to compartmentalize, and strategize where they either fully commit or fully deny. There is no middle of the road halfway meeting point for them emotionally because they know there is no going back. They are on board to fully take the risks or it's a unwavering NO from the getgo.

  50. Awesome Rockin Robin:

    Thanks for the lift in the middle of this discussion.

    Anonymous: I was pretty sure you were adopted; except for a few early comments, I think most commenting are, except for the few first mothers.

    And ommasthirdchild: I think you have said something important here that we all have ignored, including me. And the same can be said about mothers being asked to meet their children "one time." It's never that simple, but it does seem that it would be healthy, if it could happen. But maybe "one time" is the Pandora's Box that people cannot open.

    We don't really know how this story broke, and it may have seemed quite innocent when Russo talked to the press at first; she probably never imagined it would become the human interest story it has. From what I can tell, she has not spoken to anyone recently.

    I would not characterize Mirah as bitter, unless you characterize all first mothers who search that way. Includes me, then.

    And it would certainly make it easier for all if this discussion continues if folks assume some kind of moniker for themselves. Just click on "name"--you don't need a url. Thanks.

  51. @Mirah Riben

    You made an interesting point about adoptee women, forgiving their natural fathers who abandoned their mothers, rather than forgiving their mothers. It seems women tend to go against women, we see the same attitudes in adoptive mothers. And how women in general are vilified more than men.

    I also been hearing stories about jury statistics in rape cases. That when the majority of the jury is female, the rapist is more likely to get off. I read a story from a prosecutor who trialed a number of rape cases. And says, when selecting a jury, he tries to fill the jury box with men, preferably with daughters. And that the defense would try to fill the jury box with women. He claimed that women try to find some way, to blame the victim more often than men.

    Actress Helen Mirren who was once a rape victim herself said, that female jurors tend to try to blame the victims and that's how a lot of rapist get off. She claimed it was "sexual jealousy". But as for my opinion, I don't know what it is. I'm just seeing this pattern of women going against women. Rather it be adoption, rape etc.

    So are my eyes deceiving me, or do women really tend to go against women more?

    If it's true, then it doesn't surprise me that the commentors in all those news articles, vilifying Heidi Russo, appear to be women. (Since there screen names appear to be female names)

    Not saying any of this is accurate, it's just something I thought I should put out there.

  52. After the game, I'm sure Colin Kaepernick was downhearted, sad, disappointed, angry, yet he was man enough to shake hands with the winning quarterback, Joe Flacko. It was a gesture expected of all athletes from their first days in Little League.

    Yet, he's not a good enough sport to meet the woman who gave him life and the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl.

    It's not asking him to feel one way or another. It's asking him to act like a decent human being instead of a jerk.

  53. I worked as a search assistant in the 90's for the LI branch of ALMA. I knew several adult male adoptees who initiated their searches; although not nearly as many as female adoptees. They also tend to wait until later in life. I am married to one of those men that did search early, and his perspective is certainly different than mine. I wanted a relationship- not a replacement mother but a familial relationship. My husband wanted answers and medical information. Luckily, he has a wonderful relationship with his birthmom, and separately, his birthfather.

    While I would love to see all adoptees and birthparents agree to at least one meeting, I have certainly seen many different situations-both good and bad. We can all have our own opinions about what we think is right- but the parties involved in each individual situation has to make their own choices. I wish them both the best-it must be so much more difficult facing these decisions in a more public way.

  54. No Lorraine. I meant bitter because her child is dead. And because of the attitudes towards first mothers in general and the adoption industry itself. I was not trying to use the term bitter as an insult. If my child killed herself, I'd be bitter to. Again it is normal to be. I am sorry again if you think what I said was insulting, I am not trying to do that! I must relay though that I think Mirah and you both do so much good with your hurt from losing your daughters and I admire both of you so much for that. Damn internet causes so much confusion about a subject that is so confusing to begin with because no one can hear anyone's tone of voice. My apologies to anyone I may have offended and did not mean to. And Rocking Awesome Robin, lol.. like I said you rock. :)

  55. Heidi Russo said she cut off contact because it was too painful to continue. She may have had no idea how that impacted her son. She may have thought she was doing him a favor by getting out of the way.

    We don't know if Colin's adoptive parents told Russo that she was important to Colin and should continue contact. I haven't read anything to suggest this was the case.

    Mothers are often sucked into giving up their children on promises of openness. It should not be surprising that they believe that they are the only intended beneficiaries of openness.

    By analogy, some divorced fathers whose ex-wives re-marry believe that it's better if they are out of the picture. The ex-wives and their new husbands are happy to see them disappear. The fathers are stunned to learn years later that their children missed them.

    Birth mothers are made to feel inadequate to nurture their own children; it's not surprising that birth mothers think they don't matter.

  56. 'Betty' said "Yet, he's not a good enough sport to meet the woman who gave him life and the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl.
    It's not asking him to feel one way or another. It's asking him to act like a decent human being instead of a jerk."

    Now, that's just nasty.

  57. "but it does seem that it would be healthy"

    I respect this blog as your perspective as a first mother. Having said that I also thought(past tense) it was healthier to deal with the reality of pre-adoption life, but as a reunited adoptee I can say the trauma and grieving and turmoil that I've suffered since meeting my b-family is so great that I understand first hand why some adoptees choose or are unable to even go there. My male adopted brother sees himself as a white man and has no interest in his birth country or searching for his bparents. Is that abnormal? I thought so, but having been adopted and raised by a white couple how could it be anything but otherwise. He is the result of how he was raised unconsciously and involuntarily, and it's the same story for the hundreds of other TRA adoptees. It's our 'adopted reality' and crossing over into the pre-adoption world means losing the foundational beam to our entire sense of self that has been erected since babyhood. I used to think my brother was unhealthy for not doing what I did, but it's actually the ones who risk search and reunion that are pushing beyond what they are told to believe and that takes detoxing/distancing oneself from our adopters. I don't judge anyone for their decision even if I find it leaning towards unhealthy or abnormal because the truth is there is nothing normal about adoption. Adoption is a false reality.

  58. ommasthirdchild:

    Having seen the difficulties my daughter faced with fewer problems with her parents than I read about here, I appreciate what you have to say. This is the kind of information that the "happy and proud" birth mothers need to read. It is painful to read it here on a blog that I wrote not having any idea of the river of feelings it would let loose, but it needs to be said. I keep learning every day from you, even if I get upset sometimes. As I have said many times:
    Adoption is the pain that goes on giving. So much hurt, if expectant mothers knew, if they were read some of these comments, more might be inspired to hold their children to their breast and never let them go.

  59. One interesting aspect to this story is it was not the frequently vilified adoptive parents (aka adopters) who closed the adoption or discouraged a reunion.

    They seem like decent enough people but I suspect that some adoptees cannot handle the concept of multiple mothers (or alternatively, that the woman who raised them is not their mother).

  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

  61. @anonymous 10:34 PM

    "One interesting aspect to this story is it was not the frequently vilified adoptive parents (aka adopters) who closed the adoption or discouraged a reunion."

    You know this to be a fact? Adoptive parents can be as nice as can be to one's face, but we don't know what happened behind the scenes, or what was said about this woman behind closed doors.

    My own son was very standoffish after I found him, even in what was supposed to be an "open" adoption and I was subsequently cut off after only a few years. I came to learn that his adoptive parents did in fact badmouth myself and his father, when they gushed at how much "respect and admiration" they had for "birth" parents before they got my child. Very interesting how things changes once adopters procure an infant from another woman.

    We know, natural mothers are never "vilified, dehumanized and degraded", much like this woman has been. It is always the poor adoptive parents who are such "decent people" who don't deserve such vitriol. All the vitriol needs to be saved for the natural mother, as we are finding out. Leave the poor adopters who never do anything wrong out of it, right? They are not all as innocent as they make themselves out to be. This I know.

  62. (had to make a few corrections lol) A few things...as a first-mom from 1985 (semi open to fully open when 'birth' daughter was 9yrs. old) I can easily understand why a first-mom would feel the need to cut off contact. Open adoptions were presented as a "favor" to us...you can keep up with your child's growth, achievements, etc. and if your child has any questions, you will be available to answer them as they come up. In the mid-80's when Colin was relinquished, "open adoption" was new territory and honestly, there was no help or support for those of us in the trenches. I can tell you from a "been there, done that" open adoption first-mom, that there were more times than I can even count that I wanted to walk away due to the INTENSE pain, confusion, and general torment of seeing your flesh-and-blood child being raised by someone else...calling someone else "mom." Almost 28 years later, there are times I STILL want to cut off contact with my (birth) daughter! Sound cold, heart-less, or selfish?? Sometimes, I just don't know how to deal with the overwhelming LOSS that continues to slap me in the face, year after year after year. No one ever told me I was important to my daughter. Even though her aparents were inclusive of us for the most part, there were still jabs taken at me for not being the "real" mother (by amom). Saying good-bye repeatedly becomes too much to bear. Then comes the day that your child struggles with everything and you wonder if your presence has caused more trauma and hurt. Perhaps everyone would be better off if I simply wasn't around? The tactics used on "closed" adoption birthmoms were still the same ones being used on us in the 80's, 90's, and maybe even today. "you're not good enough and don't have anything to offer the child" and "it would be selfish to keep this child being unmarried and unstable" etc. "Open" adoption left us a little window to see what we were missing. My (birth) daugter has a mother. WHO AM I and DO I MATTER? "Who am I" is still undefined, and "do I matter" is still in question in my mind. For the better part of 25 years, I have been in and out of counseling with different people. Only one has come close to being able to help me because my situation is so unique. The reason I never did walk away? Because it would have definitely hurt my younger children...the full-blooded sibs of my lost daughter. THEY would have noticed and THEY would have been hurt. My mistake already cost them enough. I wasn't going to lose the opportunity for them to at least partly grow up with their sister.

    And for whatever the reason, my birth-daughter always gives my husband (her bfather) a pass on things but will get mad at me and hold me the most responsible.

    I think if everyone would treat each other with the "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" philosophy, the world would be a better place in general. Empathy seems to be falling by the wayside.

  63. From above commenter: "One can wonder what her motivations are - to shame Collin into contact? To garner sympathy or attention for herself"?

    Or she might just be incredibly proud of him and wishes to congratulate him on his success. As to why she went public, I think the world has become publlic by default due to talk shows, internet, iphones, etc. It's just where we are at in the 21st century.

    1. I think your comment is very fair.

  64. Here's a thoughtful and intelligent response to the Rick Reilly article, written by a male adoptee:

    "As sportswriters and bloggers, fans and the commenting public, and even as legitimate journalists, we all have the right to a story. It does not, however, give us the right to tell someone how to make their own decisions, especially when it has to do with a topic this complex and diverse. I think deep down Reilly was trying to help Colin, but the only way he could have done that is if he would have just left it at, "Colin, it's your call buddy." After all, it really is his call."

  65. Real Betty:

    Actually, I had linked to that column at the end of the piece, under sources. I did not find it wonderfully thoughtful; I found that column (written by a Korean adoptee) rather pissed off that anyone would have the temerity to even comment on the subject. The column that writer objected to was written by an adoptive father who encouraged his daughter to find and reconnect with her natural birth mother, and found the reunion a good thing. It carried a picture of his daughter with her natural mother. He urged CK to meet his other mother.

    Commentators do have the right to comment on issues that are in the public eye. That is their role. Other people have criticized the amount of tattoos CK has.

    I missed it, but apparently at the beginning of the game, when Kaepernick was introduced, his brief bio included that fact that he is adopted. Someone who has not been following FMF, or the story, emailed me. Like it or hate it, CK's adoption is part of his story.

  66. "Commentators do have the right to comment on issues that are in the public eye. "

    Does that include, in your opinion, telling other people what they *should* or should not do - especially, as the writer of this article says, when it has to do with a topic this complex and diverse? I am sure it was not intended, but the "should" in this context sounds reproachful and even close to scolding - which is almost invariably counterproductive.

    "Like it or hate it, CK's adoption is part of his story."
    Exactly. *HIS* story. Not Rick Reilly's, not his daughter's nor his daughter's first mother's.
    CK has always known who his first mother is. His adoptive parents apparently have no problem with them getting together. He's a grown man and it's his mind, his choice. Of course he may change his mind in the future and I hope he does. But in the meantime it's his business.

    The fact that he is adopted and was reported in his pre-game bio is just that, a biographical fact. It's not there to invite unsolicited advice.

  67. @Amy,

    Kaepernick seems to be treating Russo the way he has been treated by her.
    A bit of empathy towards him seems fitting.

  68. @Theodore~ while she gets none, right?

  69. Real Betty:
    Jesse Collins, in his response piece, is full of advice to Reilly. Maybe Collins "shouldn't" have done that, and by doing so, continue to keep the story alive in the media? It might have quieted down if he hadn't responded on an issue as "complex and diverse."

    And did your read the first piece as a "scold?" Wow. I read it as a sensitive piece from an adoptive father, writing more about his own daughter than CK and extending sympathy to CK's natural mother. Is that what everybody is objecting to?

    When the story is in the media, is part of his bio, has this other human interest story, commentators, uh, will comment. On issues that are as "complex and diverse" as this one is.

  70. Theodore:

    "Kaepernick seems to be treating Russo the way he has been treated by her.
    A bit of empathy towards him seems fitting."

    We don't know his reasons. Are they out of hurt, like a birthmother's response would be? Or is it a bit of revenge? Which, if I had ever chosen to walk away, would NOT have been the reason. Not out of revenge, but out of self-preservation. Is that how he feels? Deeply hurt, or is he just indifferent? This doesn't need to be a "tit for tat."

    And as far as having empathy? Please. I have plenty. My Mother is adopted. I have listened to my "birth" daughter cry over her confusion and longing. Many first mothers were just as victimized and still basically children ourselves when we were torn away from each other. Placing blame or measuring who hurts the worst isn't going to solve anything. There's more than enough suffering to go around.

    I guess this has come down to "turn about is fair play" which, in the long run, won't heal anybody...IF CK even needs to heal. He may be completely fine and simply indifferent to his first-mom. And yes, he has the right, for whatever his reasons, to never speak to Heidi ever again. But if it is such a big, painful issue for him, it won't get better until he faces her and gets it all out. Holding on to negativity is damaging. Perhaps he will come to that conclusion in his own time.

    Adoption agency social workers do the damage and we all have to be here to clean up their mess. Nice.

  71. There is a little bit of a difference. Reilly is a sportswriter. When an athlete is being interviewed by a sportswriter it is supposed to be about the game...now if Colin had gone on Oprah than one would expect more personal questions.

    As far as his mother, adoptive parents, and himself...there is just too much speculation going on and not enough facts...

    But at the end of the day it still remains his decision...he finally gets to hold the ball and maybe he's not ready to pass it....

    Just a little football analogy for an amazing football player!

  72. @ Theodore
    and how has she "treated" him? I have read nothing but how she has been supportive and encouraging towards him. Your comment is bizarre, considering you have been here for the past few years making very different types of comments. Interesting...

  73. @ Tara, I thought I was reacting to a comment overflowing with understanding for Russo and Russo alone. On this board the empathy with her is pretty high. On the other hand, American Football sites do not give her a grain of sympathy, and that's mean. Is it really that hard to feel sympathy for both of them?

  74. I recently learned that my own boss is adopted. I had no idea! I asked him what he knows about his first mother and he just said "she was 15. I don't know much. Never really felt compelled to meet her. Don't feel a need to".

    I wanted to say a LOT but in that moment I just said "yeah, yeah. many people in your situation feel that way". Because they do. I just didn't go on to explain why he should feel differently or that there's a good chance his mother has been dying and aching to meet him over the past 40+ years. I wanted to tell him that just because she was 15 doesn't mean she didn't want you or doesn't feel anything towards him! I wanted to tell him that he could be giving someone a wish they've been dying for since he was born. Or maybe she's "in the closet" and could leave him feeling stupid and like he shouldn't have tried. But the fact that there's a chance he could help the person who gave him life... I think it's worth a shot. But I didn't know how to say that to him. I've never encountered someone say they're adopted and it's closed and they wanna keep it that way. I didn't think it was appropriate to tell him what I think he SHOULD do, but I wanted to. I still want to. I don't think he understands that his mother could be dying to hear from him. He also said that his sister had found her first parents but "she was going through a rebellious teenage thing". So he probably feels like he would betray his a parents... this article reminded me of this situation.

  75. Anonymous:

    Obviously you should to send out a list of requirements to all columnists in different fields, sports writers, fashion commentators, political pundits, TV and theater critics, Bill Moyers, etc and let them know what they can and cannot write, talk or ask about! Only Oprah is allowed to ask or comment on issues outside one's supposed area?

    Then how come Oprah was there asking Lance Armstrong about doping in his sport of cycling?

    This is a side issue anyway, and your sports analogy is apt. A sports analogy is why I used the head that it has on this piece, borrowing I admit from the first column by Reilly. Who was obviously using a football analogy.

  76. As an adoptee, I would much prefer the headline of this blog post to be "A Call Kaepernick should make."

    None of us know why he has opted at this time to not deal with this stuff. What I do know is that, personally, if both my natural mother and adoptive parents were speaking with the media about me, I wouldn't want to deal with any of them. Because this would be something I'd consider to be a personal and private matter that is not for public consumption. Kaepernick's natural mother and adoptive parents took the private aspect of this personal matter and made it public. Perhaps if his natural mother wanted to be welcomed back into his life, she should have left the media out of it.

    For all we know, he is really pissed off at his natural mother engaged with the media regarding him. If so, I wouldn't blame him one bit.

  77. @Tara. He was adopted, with the consent of his mother, and after about seven years she walked away, no longer interested in his fate, and suddenly when he is just 18 she tries to restore contact. I consider his behaviour towards her as possibly just mirroring, imitating hers when he was a young child. Not really taking revenge, but following the example given by his mother, not unakin to many adoptee-birth mothers.

  78. The other anonymous:

    In real life, I have run into the same situation as you have, even though a whole lot of people know my stance, knew my daughter, see me as a spokeswoman on all matters of adoption.

    In those situations, when someone tells me that he is adopted and not curious--I usually hear about the searches that went half way--I try to say a few non-threatening words--as,You never know, your mother may be...but I really do back off and do not push...because I really do not know how his or her mother might feel and would react, and I recognize the decision to search or not search is complicated, to say the least. I am not their therapist.

    I agree, I can see how this story related to what your boss told you, but in this case, we do have a mother who would like to connect with her son. In response to what some have said here, Jane wrote at an earlier blog that Heido Russo used to drive around her son's neighborhood hoping to get a glimpse of him; that indicates to me that there was not physical contact with him, and that the "open" part of the adoption was relegated to whatever written or photographic communication the Kaepernick's determined.

    from Jane's earlier post (12/278/12. scroll down you can still find it easily): "The Kaepernicks sent letters and pictures for the first six or seven years. "'I would find myself waiting and waiting for the letters and the pictures, so much so that I wasn't moving on with my life,' Russo said. 'I was depressed and anxious.' ...There were 'many times' that she wanted to go get Colin back from the Kaepernicks.'" When he was four, the family moved to California. He was a star football player in high school, and later at the University of Nevada...."

    As a first mother, I can understand how that would be emotionally wrenching and keep one mired in fresh grief, constantly thinking: I should have kept him. This situation is different because she obviously would like to meet him. I don't condemn Colin K for his refusal, but I can and do sympathize and empathize with Russo's heart.

  79. @ Theo:

    "I thought I was reacting to a comment overflowing with understanding for Russo and Russo alone."

    Duh. We are among many natural mothers who know how she feels. What is wrong with "understanding" her? You yourself have read the dehumanizing statements towards her on other boards. What's wrong, not enough dehumanization of her here?

    I, for one do think that her son is being cold towards her when she has been nothing but supportive of him. It seems to be the norm; to be socially accepting of treating natural mothers as incubator broodmares who deserve nothing.

    Don't even go there...

  80. @Theodor

    No longer interested in his fate? How the hell do you know this? Since you yourself have never lost a child to adoption and you yourself do not know that she just walked away and did not care about him, I take your comments with a grain of salt.

    Moreover, all of your pandering to natural mothers over the last few years on this site is now lost on me, as you now seem to have an axe to grind with the natural mothers of the world and make statements based on pure speculation. You are a fraud. Thanks for clarifying that.

  81. @Amy, there are different mechanisms possible, he may have "inherited" in some way, his mother's way for dealing with the problem their relationship is, he may not know how to deal with her, he may think her scary or confusing, revenge may be somewhat possible, though in this situation not likely as an important component, or an unconscious desire to consolidate his own base first, for instance.

    HE is a SON. Mother-Son and Mother-Daughter relationships just aren't the same thing. In a way sons are more fragile, often more vulerable, especially if you try to reconnect with them when they are very young men. I just hope they will manage to work something out.

  82. Lorraine

    Really I didn't mean it to be about telling people what to write and I gave Oprah as an example...to demonstrate about the difference in interviews.

    Reilly can write whatever he wants on his blog and he did but when he is hired to cover the game and interview players about the game, it should be about the game and any athlete the doesn't divulge personal info to a sports writer has every right to. Which you can tell by Reilly's post where he quotes asking Colin questions about his adoption. His response are quick and "let's move on" b/c he was there under the premise to be questioned about the game.

    So the point I was making with the two examples isn't who can write what but when you sit down for an interview about your football season you aren't expecting (and really you shouldn't get bombarded with) questions on your personal life.

    And most athletes, celebrities, etc have interview stipulations which he might end up imposing b/c he is being questioned about personal matters during NFL game time interviews.

  83. Here's my thinking. If Heidi really means so little to Colin, and he really feels so secure and settled in his adoptive family, then why not meet her once? I think he doesn't want to meet her because it's TOO profound, it's TOO overwhelming, and it's TOO emotional, not because his natural mother doesn't mean anything to him.

    I agree with iAdoptee. My understanding of this story is that Colin refused contact with Heidi so she decided to go public with the story. If that is the case, that's a major mistake in my book.

    One part of Ms. Russo's story that I find so sad is that even though she knew she couldn't give him the lifestyle the Kaepernicks could, she always wondered if her love would have been enough. I wish she had asked me. I would have said YES! YES! YES!

    Oh, and after looking at pictures of both of them, he has her nose.

    Sign me,
    Rockin' Awesome (anon 6:44pm) :D

  84. @Lorraine

    Thanks for the reply. I am anon 2:10 PM

    Yeah you're right... my personal situation with my boss is very different from this. Colin K is well aware that his mother is ready, willing, and eager to meet him and he is refusing. That's very different. My boss has no idea if his mother has attempted contact, if she'd want contact, or really... if she's even alive. I appreciate the advice and glad my first instinct felt right. Not my place to tell anyone what to do or not do. I don't know what it feels like to be adopted but many people say it's hard and by some of the things he said it sounds like there's some things he's struggling with underneath and it's not my place to meddle.

  85. These types of discussions always seem to go nowhere. Its the perpetual who hurts worse, who is the bad guy, who is calling who...whatever and it goes on and on.

    what would happen if we had an in the closet first mother who had a child that plastered all over the media that she didn't want to meet her child. Had HER story blasted over the airways and had blogs and newspaper articles written about her, her history, how she got pregnant and judgements abound. I mean her name, where she lives, what she does for a living...what would the comments be with that? You would all be appalled and right so, I would too. Its HER story to tell.. So why the judgments for this young man. Why can't he just live his life as it was given to him without the judgments and "bad Adoptee" comments? It IS HIS story to tell, not either of his mothers and certainly not the media! I would be livid if someone thought they could decide and ponder about my live, my decisions when i had NOTHING to do with what happened to begin with! The lack of empathy shown to this adoptee is appalling and the undercurrent of first mother anger towards adoptees is frustrating.

    WE have all been affected by adoption in very different ways. I personally have empathy and feel for the first mothers that suffer so much...UNTIL the idea thats its up to the one that really had no say and CONTINUES to have no control over their beginnings and who they want to have a relationship with.

    what I see time and time again is the lack of understand, of others(not just bmothers but most in society) not really getting how an adoptee may react and the why's of it. We have bee so brainwashed and manipulated most of our lives that it may take YEARS to see what is best for THEM. Unfortunately some people may get hurt along the way and I can say with fair certainty that it is not intentional. Its an added growth phase we as adoptees have to go through. It may or may not be anyones fault, thats not the point. the point is they have to go through it before they can come to some sort of peace. We learned at a young age, for some(like myself) we learned at the earliest age possible how to SURVIVE and hopefully flourish in a world that started as very confusing!

    The more i read the more I can see that the attmept is not to try to understand each other but to fight. the adoptee just may be angry, the bmother just may be too ashamed to give the adoptee what they need alittle understanding on the whys of it instead of trying to degrade just might work better. Or it might not work at all...the joys,realities and "miracle" of adoption.

  86. @Tara, what's wrong here is not enough compassion with a real mother's child. Let's assume that he has been hurt by the relinquishment, that he is really a good boy, who has a sporting carreer, an adoptive family he loves and a mother who has never been able to learn how to deal with the man he is and to teach him how to deal with the woman she is. I guess his mother does not like it much when her son gets bashed.

    @Stephanie, "No longer interested in his fate? How the hell do you know this?"

    Read the text.About 7 years of updates and then she stops them, we all understand why, but I was merely describing how Colin could have perceived it, to indicate that that may have worsened her situation again.
    Why she did so, does not matter if we try to understand the behaviour of her firstborn son.

    I may never have lost a child to adoption, but I've always been rather familiar with a non-recovering mother-son relationship, destroyed by adoption lies, thank you.

    Could you explain your queer statement about the "natural mothers of the world"?

  87. I think the situation is far more complicated than we know. None of us knows all the facts. All we do know is that Kaepernick is not interested in speaking with Russo *at this time.* And we should respect that.

    As far as adoptees pulling back or not wanting contact in order to "punish" our mothers, that may be the case in some circumstances, but not all. I would not presume to say that Kaepernick is doing this. As I said above, it's complicated.

    I have been accused by my mother of being "punishing" for pulling back when I have done so not to hurt her specifically, and not because I am raging about being left at the hospital, and not because I have a subconscious desire to be cruel, but because I have needed to take care of *myself* in light of some other very, very complicated, troubling circumstances involving extended family. I know it's easy to place blame when expectations aren't met, or to think what the other person is doing is about punishment for long-ago ills (or imagined ones), but that is not always the case.

    The most important thing when you love someone is to communicate, when possible, about feelings; and to be honest and polite. Taking space is not the biggest crime in the world, on either side, if you're honest about why you're doing it, and can do it in a non-judgmental way.

    I hope that when the limelight is off Kaepernick, and he has more room to think, that there will be resolution of this matter out of the public eye. It's a private matter, or should be.

  88. Theodore: You are correct in that the mother/son dynamic is completely different from the mother/daughter one. I know this from the sons/daughters I have parented. So it's true, I don't have any experience with losing a son. My Mother was adopted, so again, another female's side. I was simply trying to explain the perspective of a first mother in an open adoption...like Heidi was. There aren't many of us out there from the 80's, and definitely no one to counsel us on WHY cutting off contact isn't a good idea. It is probably a pretty safe assumption that Heidi had nowhere to turn when things got painful, and she couldn't move on. Shoot, we don't know if a social worker at the adoption agency may have told her backing off might be a good idea...try again when he's older. We do what we can to survive, and burying our hurts where we can no longer see them is sometimes the only way.

    I have tried and tried to get my birth-daughter to open up and talk to me about her issues. She is for the most part, non-communicative about it. There were times in the past when the flood gates would open, and she would talk to me, but mostly she keeps it inside. She is definitely NOT an open book. She doesn't open up to her aparents either. I would LOVE to get everything out on the table and communicate with her! Even if it hurts me to hear it, I WANT to know how she is feeling. Believe me, it has caused major problems because assumptions are made and conclusions drawn by lack of communicating...that's not good. But you can't force someone to talk. Things are very "on the surface" with my daughter. I can only guess that going deeper hurts too much. Then again, I could be wrong. You can't help heal someone who doesn't let you in.

    When Heidi cut off communication, I would hope his aparents reassured him that it wasn't his fault...that she loved him but had to go away for awhile. Something to help him not to feel rejected again. I would venture to guess there was no counseling for children like him either. My other guess would be that when she returned, it was because he was an adult. She could deal with him as an "equal." Maybe her expectations were too high, but again, these are basically unchartered waters.

    I was simply stating my side, because it's the only side I know first-hand.

  89. Sarah wrote, "Maybe Collin's "shouldn't" have done that, and by doing so, keeping the story alive in the media?"
    Fancy that now. An adoptee having the nerve to respond to an adoptive father, no less - who, because he has a daughter adopted under rather different circumstances from Kaepernick, has the ineffable wisdom to pontificate on the matter. How dare Collins disagree with him and thereby "keep the story alive in the media". Maybe he should have sucked up and shut up, like a good little adoptee.

    "And did you read the first piece as a scold?"
    What I actually said was that it sounds reproachful and "close to scolding". But since you ask, I think it's paternalistic manipulative moralizing.

    "I read it as a sensitive piece from an adoptive father, writing more about his own daughter than CK"
    He is projecting his his daughters experience (or rather his interpretation of her experience) onto Kaepernick and his situation. I don't think that's "sensitive".

    "When the story is in the media, is part of his bio, has this other human interest story, commentators, uh, will comment."
    What's in the bio is that he is an adoptee. that's all. It doesn't give commentators carte blanche to give unsolicited advice masquerading as opinion.

    "On issues that are as "complex and diverse" as this one is.""
    On any personal issues. Not their beeswax. Agreeing with the Anon who wrote "It's a private matter, or should be."

  90. After I found my son, it wasn't until a few months later that he made some comment"It wasn't my fault" he said, I'm so clueless that I didn't realize until several months later in a therapy group of adoptees and birthmothers that he thought that it(my giving him up) had been his fault- that he had been a bad baby or done something wrong Now I understand-and I assured him that nothing could be further from the truth He was the cutest baby ever and very good The problem was with me I had lots of problems, but what none of those social workers told me was that the stress of giving up my baby would make everything so much worse. Maybe Colin thinks he did something wrong to make his mother leave, and yes, it would be only natural to be angry,too. Anyway, he has a busy life right now and probably just needs more time.

  91. @Theodore Your comment about being more understanding of Colin's not wanting to meet Russo at this time and saying maybe he was just doing what was done to him got me thinking. Yeah, when someone hurts me my reaction is to want to hurt them or reject them or maybe just ignore them if they've ignored me Sometimes, I become aware of why I'm reacting like that and then I can rise above it and turn a negative into a positive, and sometimes I can't I'm not adopted, so I don't really understand. I'm just one of those"birthmothers" that the world seems to despise so much.

  92. I don't know if it's been answered, but he was 7 when Heidi Russo decided to break contact.

    Also, Colin in 6'5", 3 inches taller than his biological father.

  93. Thanks, sports fan for the correction on Kaepernick's height. Here is what I changed the post to:

    Both of Kaepernick's natural parents, were 6"2', according to Wikipedia. Kaepernick is 6"4' or 6"5', depending on your source.

  94. "Mirah, I am not going to screw with you because you are the most traumatized of "birthmothers".

    I know the anonymous who said this came back to explain herself. I also would like to say:

    As a mother to my bio daughter at the age of 17 out of an abusive adoptive family, I could have been a mother of loss and so could many other women who dodged a bullet. You know who you are. Statistics have shown many female adoptees become pregnant teens and give up their child. I know of a few and they are courageous adoptee women who have the strength to speak publicly about this. One even wrote a book that is a triumph of the human spirit. She could have stayed in the closet because of the shame of abandoning her child when she herself was abandoned and repeating that cycle on to her child. But she had the courage to write her story which helped people to understand who she is, and why she relinquished her daughter. In reading the book to the end, there is no judgment to be thrown at her, but tears of joy for reuniting with both her birth family and bio daughter. While I am thankful I didn't lose my precious daughter to adoption, I do know the insurmountable pain of losing my mother and family.

    With that said, I think it's too easy to throw out words like 'bitter' and judge who is the 'most traumatized'. I know as an abused adoptee we are unanimously and regularly dismissed because we are thought to be too maladjusted, damaged and mentally unstable to have valid opinions. This is another form of silencing and censoring. The APs and others who do this seem to think only healthy and stable adoptees should be heard from. In church this is like asking for all the perfect and sinless people to stand up and cast a stone at the others, so only the people who are deemed acceptable are allowed to be heard from. No one qualifies. Anyone (who is human) that has suffered the loss of their loved ones in adoption will be traumatized and emotionally wounded for life. We all try to manage it the best we can. Adoption IS about trauma, not a fairytale. Stop expecting all people affected by adoption to be healthy and well adjusted out of the most damaging wound of their life. Everyone's voice counts in being heard. Every. Single. One. The 'most traumatized' to the 'most stable'. When I hear from an adoptee friend who has been diagnosed as psychotic from a childhood of abuse, racism and trauma, his voice is necessary, even compelling. Why? Because he is living proof of how horribly wrong adoption can go. That's not censoring the adoption dialogue to those who are deemed normal and stable through the lens of those who never suffered adoption loss. That's opening the discussion to hearing the full spectrum of good, bad and horrific that resulted in the experiment called adoption, allowing for all the people who lived through it to be heard.

  95. @Theodore:

    "I may never have lost a child to adoption, but I've always been rather familiar with a non-recovering mother-son relationship, destroyed by adoption lies, thank you."

    So now you are so concerned about non recovering mother son relationships "destroyed by adoption lies"; while you make sure you take a dig at this woman by the making the "queer" statements that she basically got what she was coming to her; in a situation you yourself were not there but feel the need to cast stones at her, (yet recognize that these relationships are "destroyed by adoption lies")

    Aren't you contradictory.

    "Could you explain your queer statement about the "natural mothers of the world"?"

    It was a figure of speech; obviously lost on you. THANKS.


  96. @Stephanie,

    No reason to try and burn me down with false accusations, just because I tend to take the side of the child who has lost his mother, rather than the mother who has lost her child, if his side seems to be underrepresented. They are both victims of the same crime.

  97. My apologies if I incorrectly labeled an adoptee not adopted.

    And thank you Lorraine; I hav eno desire to be called "most traumatized."

    For the record, I have been an outspoken adoption reformist and author long before my duaghter's untimely death in 1995, and as Lorraine points out it makes me no more or less traunatized than she or any number of other first mothers who have lost their child twice or found abused children.
    My opinion that adoption sucks would be the same if she were alive.

    As for this issue, yes, it is entirely every individual's option whether to have or not have a relationship with any other individual.

    For me, the best summary of the situation is this:

    Anonymous said...
    Heidi(mother) to Colin(son):"I'm sorry" Colin to Heidi:"Bad mommy,bad mommy-you have to pay for what you did"

    February 4, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    She is reaching out to him and he is turning his back on her in a kinda "unforgiving" manner IMO. Does he have a RIGHT to? Of course he does! that is not the issue. Does his right to ignore her make it NICE or RIGHT? Not in my book, but it's not my life.

    And I cannopt help but wonder if he had an opportunity to meet his natural father who never was there for the get go -- as far as we know -- would he meet him or ignore his as well?

  98. They both lost and they are both underrepresented. We all know who the most representes party is. That is the problem, people “taking sides“ when they have not walked in eithers shoes...

  99. I believe that Kaepernick is completely justified in not responding to pressure from his mother *and* media to initiate contact in the public eye. It's inappropriate to expect him to do it *now* because we believe he should, or because it would make a great human interest story for TV or magazines. We are not in full possession of all the facts. We do not know how or when Russo contacted him, what she asked of him, etc. He clearly wants privacy *at this time*.

    Reunion is best handled as a private matter and will probably come about when the furor dies down, IMO. He is also pretty young and may need to be married, or have children to be ready. Who knows?

    I hope mother and son will get their chance to communicate one day, when they are *both* prepared.

  100. I keep forgetting to come back and comment, especially since it was so long. As an adoptee, I think people often overlook the love and respect we have for our birth mothers. We don't want to complicate their lives with our mere curiosity. I think that might be in play here. Like I said, long comment, so I wrote it all up here: http://www.anamericanhousewifeintexas.com/2013/02/05/between-adoptees-and-their-birthmothers/

  101. AHLondon:

    It would have been bold for you to state, as you do in that link, that you are an adoptee who does not want to search because you respect your first mother too much. Bold but courageous.

    Sorry but your rationale is a bit too pat; sounds nice but falls apart upon inspection. You are making assumptions based on nothing. Your mother may be praying you contact her, and she is not searching for you because of how much she "respects you." Sound like a crazy idea for keeping people apart, doesn't it? You never know what you might find, you might find more love than you can allow yourself to dream of.

  102. Rick Reilly recently asked Colin about his birth mother and the responses were not exactly the story book variety that some had been hoping for.

    Russo sent Colin one last letter, for him to open at 18. Even after reading it, he had no interest in contact with her. A lot of adopted kids think if they so much as talk to their birth parents, it’s a slap in the face to their adopted ones. They refuse out of a vague notion of respect.

    “Is that how you feel?” I [Reilly] asked Kaepernick at Super Bowl media day [before the game]. “That it would be disrespectful to meet with your birth mother?”

    “No,” Kaepernick said. “It’s not really a respect thing. It’s just — that’s my family. That’s it.”

    “But aren’t you curious?”


  103. I don't know, it seems a little unrealistic to expect someone to reveal his innermost feelings to the media, and to take what's said to cameras and interviewers at face value.

    I would probably claim I didn't care about a lot of deeply personal things that actually mean a lot to me, if my response was going to be on television. Reason being, I simply don't want to share those things with the whole world. Private life is private.

    He may be saying what he's actually feeling, but to me the simple "No" without elaboration reads more like "I just don't want to talk about this" than any sort of accurate portrait of how he feels about his two families.

  104. This is a blog about first mothers. The adoptee experience IS important, but this blog is about first mothers. People coming here to take potshots at first mothers need to go find an adoptee blog and do that. We hear enough garbage about ourselves everywhere we turn. We've already been through and are still facing so much. We don't need the additional abuse in a space that is supposed to be supportive.

    We can all talk about the primary trauma that an infant adoptee experiences but at the end of the day, guess who remembers the trauma more clearly? Guess who has to think about it each and every day long after the adoptee has forgotten? Lose a child and then come back to me and tell me how little you feel. Tell me how it was exactly like being given to strangers as a newborn. And good luck with that because I will just laugh at you.

    And to anyone out there who has adopted a child in an open-adoption arrangement? YOU are the ones with the final say in whether an adoption closes. Even if the mother backs away, as long as you stay at the same address, she can always come back and find you. And maybe you should tell her that from day one, so she knows she can come back. And yes, her coming and going will be hard on the adoptee. But even harder is Mom disappearing forever and the adoptee never knowing why.

    I do get it, you know. But the abuse is going to have to STOP. Because I read this garbage and I want to get angry and say, "No wonder you keep being rejected, and you deserve it, too." And that's not fair either.

    Hope Heidi's still interested in a reunion when Sonny Boy finally gets over himself. I'm guessing she will be, but who can say?

  105. Wow lorraine, I'm surprised you let that last comment go. And you know what as much as I try to understand birth mothers, it seems like they don't want to even try to understand how we feel
    ""No wonder you keep being rejected, and you deserve it, too"

    and to try to say the birth mother experice is worse that being an adoptee isn't constructive either,

  106. I think the fact that Colin's adoptive mother told him to watch the interview on ESPN and then call her back..which he did..then adoptive Mom started crying..making him feel bad ..like it had hurt her so bad..that he didn't want to see his birth Mom for fear of hurting adoptive Mom even more..and she played the big girl part ..like I will go with you..or set it up for you..but all the while knowing she wanted to be a part of it..not letting him go on his own..and feel free to feel his Own feelings in stead of how to worry about how Adoptive Mom was going to feel about it...He's grown now..let him go..he also has a younger brother that hasn't done anything to adoptive Mom..that might like to meet older brother..maybe ..just maybe ..he might have room in his heart for everyone...without having to feel guilty about it..What is adoptive Mom afraid of? She Might say something different than what she has told him..How can she feel like she said something untrue and tell Colin that, if she Really wants him to meet his mother..She knew it would make him mad at her..Adoptive Mom needs to get over her own insecurities and let Colin be the man she raised him to be.

  107. We posted this comment (above) because it is not just a screed against us or Colin, but because it has information that we were not aware of. Anon, could you tell us where you heard that his mother called him after watching the Russo interview?

    If it is true that Kaepernick's adoptive mother cried, I am sorry because I know how that makes adoptees feel--they don't want to hurt their adoptive parents, mothers especially, and so the tears make them stop dead in their tracks. I know that my daughter's mother cried deeply when I called--my daughter told me, she was crying when her parents came to tell her I was on the phone, and Jane (my daughter) thought someone had died. "I've never seen my mother cry like that before," she said.

    But Jane's parents had been trying to get in touch with me. The whole subject of the "other" mother is deeply emotional, and tears from the adoptive parents are to be expected. But that doesn't mean that they don't want adoptees to do what they need and want to do--meet the natural mother. If what the last (above) comment says is true, I am sorry that it led to Kaepernick's rejection of his other mother, Heidi Russo.

    I may write more on this today, but at a new post. Time for coffee and reflection this morning.



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