Houston dad tries to bring son back from Brazil
HOUSTON The story is getting a lot of media play in Brazil, but not as much here until now. And even though the American father is boarding a plane Wednesday to bring his 4-year-old son home to Houston, there is still yet another twist in what has been a very convoluted story. Kelvin Birotte Senior gets tears in his eyes, looking at pictures of his young son Kelvin Birotte Junior, from a visit to Brazil in 2008. Years of fighting the Brazilian government to bring his son, an American citizen home were almost over, as of Wednesday. But then the shocker. The boy's mother, Hilma Aparicida Caldeira, and Birotte Junior are missing. "You think after four years, it's coming to an end," Birotte Senior said. "I was so hysterical when I got that phone call." The story begins in 2006 when Birotte's wife, Caldeira, took the then six-month-old home to her country of citizenship, Brazil. "I signed the paperwork for my son to go for three months, and she decided not to come back," he said. And that's when Birotte Senior began his expensive international legal quest to bring the boy home again. "Basically, I had to prove to my government and her government the type of person that I am," he said. Finally Monday, Birotte Senior got a phone call out of the blue. It was about a decision that had been made in the 19th district court in far-away Bellarizante, Brazil. "The Department Of Children's Issues in Washington DC notified me that I have won my case for my son to be returned to the United States," Birotte Senior said. On Tuesday afternoon, the Brazilian consulate in Houston expedited his visa, and on Wednesday, he plans to be on a plane to Rio De Janeiro. But it wasn't the moment of victory he had hoped for. Instead, there was yet another loop in Birotte Senior's emotional rollercoaster. "Interpol just contacted the Dept. of Children's Issues in Washington to say she's not at the residence she's supposed to be at, and they can't find her," he said. ABC13's phone calls to local legislators went unanswered because it was after business hours, but Birotte Senior says congressmen John Culberson and Al Green have helped. One reason Birotte Senior thinks the story has gotten a lot of play in Brazil is because his wife is actually a member of the 1996 bronze medal volleyball team from Brazil.