Reunited: A father's five-year battle
See photos of David and 9-year-old Sean Goldman's homecoming from Brazil, five years after the American dad’s international custody battle for his son began.
Joking on the plane
Five years after his battle to have his son back, David Goldman, right, plays with nine-year-old Sean on the Dec. 24, 2009 plane ride home from Brazil to New Jersey. Two hours before the end of the 9-hour flight, Sean woke up, and he was soon horsing around with his dad. After father and son held a bubble gum-blowing contest, Sean amused himself by turning the lights in the plane on and off, and even engaging in a food fight.
Two pairs of shoes seem to say it all: father and son, together again. David and Sean piled their shoes on top of each others just minutes after the plane was wheels up. The plane left at 11:53 a.m. Rio de Janeiro time, or 8:53 p.m. ET.
Sean holds up a travel pillow he refers to as his "arm" aboard his flight to the U.S. He was last in the U.S. in June of 2004.
During much of the flight, an exhausted Sean slept, as his dad kept a watchful eye on him. David told NBC it still felt surreal - he could hardly believe he was finally on his way home to New Jersey with his little boy.
As the plane flies at 40,000 feet above Brazil, heading north to the U.S., a still-dazed David Goldman kisses his sleeping son's head.
At 6:15 p.m. ET on Christmas Eve, in Orlando, Fla., father and son walk off the plane and onto U.S. soil. All David can think about is getting his tired son tucked safely into bed.
Christmas Eve was David and Sean's first night together since June 15, 2004. On the day that David Goldman calls a miracle, father and son spent a quiet night together watching movies, and as he fell asleep, David says Sean curled up peacefully with this giant stuffed dog.