Silvana Bianchi, the grandmother of Sean Goldman, the 9-year-old American boy who was taken to Brazil by his mother when he was 4 and who was returned to the United States, this Christmas Eve, met the press in Rio, on Christmas day, to talk about the departure of her grandson.
Bianchi, who had sent an open letter to Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva asking that Sean be heard by the courts so that he could tell the judge if he wished to stay in Brazil or live with his father in the US, once again criticized the decision of the Supreme Court that ordered the immediate handover of the boy to his American father.
"It was one of the saddest things in my life, because to me Sean was a younger son," the grandmother stated. "I had already lost my daughter, I kept Sean, my son Luca and the little girl. But to give up a child is a very painful thing."
She recalled how painful it was to have to say goodbye to the boy at Rio's US Consulate:
"I gave Sean a kiss and said, 'Sean, my heart and yours are going to be together forever, nobody can separate us.' What's inside my heart and what's inside Sean's heart no one will separate, no one will censor, no one will pull out as they did. After that we parted and so far I haven't had news of him."
She cried a lot and seemed outraged. "What they've done to my grandson is such a coward act, that sentence by Minister Gilmar Mendes is inhumane. He separated two siblings. I'm with a baby girl of 1 year and 5 months in my house who is asking me all the time where is her brother. To exchange my grandson for an economic agreement between two countries is an act with a child that has no adjective to describe it."
Sean's uncle, Luca Bianchi, who also participated in the press conference, commented that David Goldman, Sean's father, showed no interest in seeing the child before the death of Bruna Bianchi, the boy's mother and his sister, who died while giving birth to daughter Chiara, a little over one year ago.
"The first time he requested to visit Sean was a week after the death of my sister. Before that, I believe that for 4 years and 8 months, he never asked to visit the son," said Luca, who also told reporters how the boy acted upon learning he would have to go back to the US.
"There are two things he said the day he got the news that stuck in my head. The first was when we said, 'Look, Sean, we lost, we did everything we could, but now there's nothing else we can do, you will have to go back to the United States'. He said: 'But how? But I don't want. I don't want.' We told him, 'But it's the law.' He then said: 'Damn, I lost my mother and now am I going to lose my whole family?"
The Bianchis say they want to go as soon as they can to the United States, but they want to be sure that they will be allowed to seeÂ Sean.
"We will ask for visitation rights, through the Brazilian embassy in Washington and this visit will happen as soon as possible," said the grandmother.
Sergio Tostes, the family's lawyer, showed the press the Christmas card made by Sean and sent to him and his wife.
"I want to show the card he sent us: 'Sergio and Etilene, thanks for the help and three million things more. I write little because this can't be explained with words. Merry Christmas, a kiss, Sean. Don't throw this away. I made it myself,'" read Tostes.
"This was a lovely boy, this boy who they said was not mature enough to express his opinion," the lawyer added.
In the Attorney General's Office, no one was found to talk about the Bianchis interview. The Supreme Court and the Planalto Palace, Lula's office, declined to comment on their statements.