It wasn’t the first time during our four-year marriage that Bruna had visited her homeland. She and I had traveled to Brazil before Sean was born. Bruna took great pleasure in spending time with her friends in her old stomping grounds. I enjoyed surfing off the beautiful beaches of Barra, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro. We both savored Brazil’s barbecues and delicious mangoes. Bruna took Sean to visit our extended family a few months after his birth, and had made the trip by herself for her grandmother’s funeral a few years earlier. More recently, in March 2004, she and a friend and fellow teacher at the school where Bruna taught went to Brazil during the school’s spring break. So it didn’t strike me as unusual for us to plan a trip during the summer, after Bruna completed her teaching responsibilities for the 2004 spring semester. We usually traveled as a family to Brazil twice a year, once during Bruna’s winter break and once during the summer. Just as any couple whose family members live in different locations, we made special efforts to enjoy time together with all of our relatives, especially after Sean was born. Although Rio was a dangerous place, as Bruna and her parents often reminded me, it was still her hometown in her native land and it was beautiful. We wanted Sean to be familiar with both cultures, and to know that he was part of something much bigger than himself.
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.