Nadia was born on August 5th 2008 in North Carolina and almost immediately her mother, Larissa threatened to leave the US with our baby to her home country, the state of Brazil which has been receiving so much international attention for its outlaw behavior with respect to David Goldman and his son, Sean.
I was in a state of constant anxiety with the threats to take Nadia and feared the court here in North Carolina would not take strong enough measures to protect her and keep her here with her family and her home. Court orders already filed with respect to visitation with Nadia were constantly ignored by her mother; Larissa Drummond.
It was and is deeply frustrating navigating the legal process here in the United States but in comparison to what I have experienced in Brazil, it was a step in the right direction.
Or at least, that is what I thought a year ago.
By October 2008, District Court Judge Walcyk ordered Nadia was not to be removed from the State of North Carolina and also earlier in August, had ordered the confiscation of Nadia’s passport to prevent her being taken overseas. Larissa denied our little baby had got a passport and nothing more was done. Custody was awarded to Larissa and I was to have regular visitation which I used to its fullest extent when Larissa would comply with the order.
So it was that on February 7th, earlier this year I was at my home in Cary waiting for Nadia to be brought for our time together. I waited and waited only to realize as time dragged by that something was wrong so I called Larissa and when I got no answer, I called her mother, Mara Bell only to get the same silence.
I knew something was wrong so I called the local police here in Cary; the police officer was cooperative and helpful even going so far as traveling with me to Larissa’s home, however, when we arrived it was to find an empty home and my little baby girl had disappeared.
My worst fears concerning Baby Nadia being taken overseas had come true.
We immediately contacted the State Department with my concerns over Nadia being abducted to Brazil but it was not until the following Monday I received a call back from Daisy Cardiel at the Office of Childrens Issues. She confirmed that Nadia had indeed been abducted to Brazil but how did Larissa manage to get a passport for baby Nadia?
It quickly became apparent that Larissa had lied about Nadia having a passport and had procured one for her in August 2008 and this was done in direct contravention of the court orders issued. I cannot believe a passport can be issued without both parents knowing and agreeing to it and so it is supposed to be but in Nadia’s case something had gone horribly wrong with the administration and I would like to know what that is but for now there are more important issues to deal with such as finding my baby girl.
The court quickly granted a custody order in my favor and I also obtained an order for Nadia to be immediately returned but this is all closing the stable door after the horse has bolted – Baby Nadia is gone, somewhere in Brazil and while this is treated as a kidnapping case here in the US, Brazil takes a different view.
I activated the Hague Convention very quickly and my application was filed and accepted by the Brazilian authorities on March 12th this year. This is meaningless at this time as we simply do not know where Baby Nadia and her mother are hiding and I must play a waiting game in the hope they are found soon. For the very first time in the history of the Brazilian Central Authority, they have filed the Hague application with the AGU (Brazil’s Attorney-General) for consideration and assessment before locating Baby Nadia. This means by the time they are located, and hopefully it will be sooner and not several years away, they shall be ready for court and able to expedite the notoriously slow legal process in Brazil.For now, I have to content myself with doing what I can from so far away and working with a system I find very slow and very worrying – Larissa’s own mother claims she herself abducted Larissa here to the United States from Brazil and did so legally resulting in Larissa never knowing her father in Brazil. I can only hope and pray Baby Nadia will not suffer the same and not only comes to know her Daddy but also comes home to North Carolina and her family here.