Will Sean Goldman Be Home For Christmas?
When I first heard the news last week, my first instincts were to rush to my computer and hurriedly put together a joyful post that justice had finally been done.
However, after a series of events where hopes were raised only to be heartbreakingly and repeatedly dashed, something told me not to rush on this one.
I am talking about the five-year rollercoaster of emotions and heartbreaks for David Goldman, the father of 9-year-old Sean Goldman, abducted by his Brazilian mother more than five years ago when Sean was only four years old and taken to Brazil.
I have only been reporting on this tragedy for about one year. (My last post was in September). David Goldman, however, has been living it for more than five years, bravely and relentlessly fighting a system that, up to now, has violated all international norms.
A week ago Wednesday, a Brazilian lower court ordered that David Goldman be given custody of his son. David Goldman accompanied by New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith—who has been valiantly fighting the Brazilian bureaucracy alongside David Goldman—arrived in Brazil the next day for what was supposed to be a joyful reunion with his son, the end of the nightmare.
However, as has happened all too often in this case, the next day Brazil’s Supreme Court delayed the return of Sean Goldman to his biological dad.
The powerful Brazilian family that has kept Sean away from his father for five long years had struck again and a Brazilian Justice suspended the lower court judgment and agreed with the Brazilian family’s petition that Sean should remain in Brazil until the court decides whether they should hear the child’s own testimony.
Yesterday, however, the Brazil Supreme Court Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes ruled that Sean Goldman must be returned to his father and delivered to him by the boy’s Brazilian relatives.
Of course, David Goldman is overjoyed. However, he has “been there before,” and won’t believe it until he is on an airplane, “wheels up,” with Sean on the way back to New Jersey.
Even with this latest ruling the Brazilian family lawyers may still appeal to Brazil’s highest appeals court.
There are reports that the Brazilian family has decided that there will be no more appeals and that they are making preparations for a peaceful handover of Sean to his father.
This would be the greatest Christmas present any father can ever hope for.
CNN has just reported that a regional court in Brazil has ordered that the Sean Goldman’s “handover” must take place by 9 a.m. (Rio de Janeiro time) tomorrow, Christmas Eve.