TRENTON - A man who brought his son home to the United States from Brazil after winning a bitter custody battle said in an interview aired yesterday that he's thrilled that they have been reunited but that he is still waiting to be called "Dad."
"I said, 'You can call me Dad,' " David Goldman said on NBC's "Today" show. "And he didn't say anything."
Goldman brought 9-year-old Sean back from Brazil on Christmas Eve after a five-year international custody dispute. The boy's mother, Bruna Bianchi, took Sean to her native Brazil in 2004, divorced Goldman and remarried. Goldman began legal efforts to get his son back.
After Bianchi died last year in childbirth, her husband, Paulo Lins e Silva, continued the legal fight and won temporary custody. A ruling last week by the chief justice of the Brazilian Supreme Court finally cleared the way for the boy's return.
NBC paid for Goldman's charter plane from Rio de Janeiro back to the U.S. The father and son have been staying with relatives in Orlando, Fla.
Goldman has not said when he'll bring Sean back home to Tinton Falls, N.J. He says that the boy is happy to be with him but needs time to adjust.
"I missed five previous years of my son's life," Goldman said. "That's a big scar. Now we're together, and we'll heal."