TODAY   |  July 14, 2013

Mother, daughter return after Brazilian custody battle

It’s a big welcome home for Shauna Hadden and her daughter Ava, who are back in the U.S. after being stranded in Brazil for nearly two months, fighting an international custody dispute. NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

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>>> we have an update now to a story we told you about last week. an american woman and her 6-year-old daughter are back home in the u.s. after being stuck in brazil for nearly two months caught up in a custody battle with the girl's brazilian father. michelle franzen has their story.

>> reporter: a big welcome home for shauna hadden and daughter ava . back if the u.s. after being stra stranded in brazil for nearly two months fighting an international custody dispute until a judge ruled earlier this week that mom and daughter were free to leave.

>> i was so nervous that i was going to be there forever and i was going to lose my job, i was going to lose my education.

>> reporter: the massachusetts mother and daughter traveled to brazil in may for a planned visit with the girl's father, the first visit in nearly four years.

>> i crossed all my ts and dotted all my is and still it happened, which it's still a little bit of a shock to me.

>> reporter: despite having full custody herself, hadden said it wasn't until she learned in brazil ava 's father was also now seeking custody.

>> and that's when he said to me, you're in my place now. things are going to change. it's my way now.

>> reporter: when staying with friends hadden says brazilian authorities acting on a judge's orders came and seized the mother and daughter's passports.

>> they demanded i get my pass passports immediately and hand it over .

>> reporter: but hadden went public with her fight creating a facebook page and seeking advice from david goldman, the new jersey father who battled brazilian courts to bring his own son, shawn, back to the u.s.

>> with the world coming to be such a global community with international relationships and marriages, we really all need to be very mindful when traveling with children outside of our own country.

>> reporter: nbc news reached out to attorneys representing ava 's father but have not yet received any response. now, back at home, hadden says she is just grateful the long ordeal is finally over.

>> because of my family, because of david goldman -- if i didn't get him involved, i'd still be in brazil right now.

>> reporter: for "today," michelle franzen , nbc news, new york.