I remember thinking, What is this? Where is this coming from? The person I loved, and envisioned loving for the rest of my life, until death do us part, had suddenly become as cold as ice.It got worse. Bruna had a list of demands. “You need to come here immediately,” she said. I want you to sign over the full rights of Sean to me. If you ever want to see Sean again, you need to fly to Rio de Janeiro immediately. I have a document my lawyer has drawn up, and you need to sign it.”
Lawyer? What lawyer? And how could she have secured such a document? She had been gone only a few days! It never occurred to me that this might have been a meticulously devised plan by Bruna and her parents in collusion with a Brazilian attorney. According to Bruna, the document she wanted me to sign was ten pages in length and spelled out several demands, including that Sean remain with Bruna and her family in Brazil, and that I surrender my legal role as Sean’s parent, in addition to giving full custody to Bruna. “And you need to agree never to press any criminal charges. Never to go to the police in the U.S. to file kidnapping charges, never file any custody papers in the U.S. courts, never file for separation or divorce in the United States, and you must do nothing that will interfere with my plans to obtain U.S. citizenship.”
My brain was reeling, my body convulsing; I felt nauseated. Bruna, what is going on here? I was shocked and devastated at the same time. “David, if you do any of those things and go against what I want — if you hire a lawyer — you will never see your son again, and you will spend all your money trying.”
From "A Father's Love: One Man’s Unrelenting Battle to Bring His Abducted Son Home" by David Goldman. Copyright © 2011. Reprinted by permission of Viking, part of the Penguin Group.
A bittersweet reunion»