NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s birth mother, Heidi Russo, knew that if she kept her baby son she would have to raise him alone. She loved him enough to make the choice to give him a life she couldn’t offer. Heidi spent a little time alone with Colin before handing him to the social worker who would place him with the couple that Heidi chose.

Heidi didn’t just throw a dart to choose Colin’s parents. She actually interviewed a few couples before deciding upon the Kaepernicks. This was a semi-open adoption, with letters from the adoptive parents for the first few months of life. Heidi will always love her son. She says that when placing your child for adoption you relinquish your rights to parent, but you do not relinquish your right to love and to think about your child.