After five long years since his then-wife Bruna Bianchi left Newark airport for a supposed two-week vacation, David Goldman has finally recovered his son Sean, who had been unlawfully kept in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by his Brazilian relatives.
This last week was like a legal roller coaster, with different judges giving conflicting rulings until Supreme Court president Gilmar Mendes finally restored the father’s right to have his son with him last Tuesday evening.
Over the last two days, the reaction has been mixed. While those who believed Sean belonged with his father (myself included), those who disagreed – including the Brazilian grandmother, Silvana Bianchi – accused the Supreme Court president of “selling Sean out” in order to avoid economical sanctions against Brazil.
Many in the country – mostly biased influence of the powerful Globo TV, who initially sided with the Bianchi family – made the entire thing a national issue, as if the ‘imperialist’ United States were forcing Brazil’s hand in turning the boy to his rightful parent. Even today’s edition of Jornal Hoje kept a sympathetic tone to the Bianchis in spite of the letter of the law.
Of course, this story is not over yet. Father and son will have to go through a long process of healing and re-adaptation. In addition, Goldman still faces court battles in New Jersey, since the Brazilian family (who has a house there) has vowed to fight for their alleged visitation rights – and aware of how they play the game, make sure that they will try to make David look like an unfit parent.
In the end, I believe that this is a lesson in perseverance. David Goldman bravely fought for half a decade, and never gave up in spite of all the power, money and political connections that the Brazilian family had there.
Throughout most of his campaign to recover his child, David had only the letter of the law by his side and the support of those who had heard of the case mostly by word of mouth.
Only recently did people like NJ congressman Chris Smith (who traveled with Goldman last week), Secretary Clinton and President Obama get behind him.
For most of it, he was pretty much on his own. He fought the good fight, and now he will spend the Holidays with his son by his side
Ernest Barteldes is a freelance writer based on Staten Island, New York. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.