She moved an entire continent just to be by the side of her husband, a man who was convicted of crimes worthy of putting him on death row. And she's more than happy to raise their son.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on February 14, 2021. It has since been updated.
Love can surpass any boundaries but some people are wondering just how one woman, who moved 4,000 miles to have a baby with a man on death row for a double murder, can call it love. But just as people might be forming their opinions, she defends her decision.
39-year-old Sigrid from France traveled all the way from her home country to Florida to marry Alan Wade. The latter had been convicted in 2005 following the robbery, kidnapping, and first-degree murders of Reggie and Carol Sumner, a retired couple living in Jacksonville, whom he buried alive, according to the Daily Mail. He was convicted alongside Tiffany Ann Cole, Michael James Jackson, and Bruce Kent Nixon on 8 July 2005 for the crime. Placed on death row, it didn't seem likely that he might find love, especially from someone on the other side of the bars.
However, Alan and Sigrid met after she began writing to prisoners because she's against the death penalty. Soon, their love blossomed. But it wasn't very easy initially. Sigrid, who didn't want to reveal how she got pregnant with him behind bars, said, “I started writing to death row inmates because I was against the death penalty," according to Mirror UK. “I believe in second chances and rehabilitation. When I started to realize I was having feelings for him and him for me, we both got scared. We took a step back and we tried to stop writing to each other and we were both miserable. And after six weeks he wrote back - his first words were I love you.”
As for how others reacted to her unconventional love story, she said, “When people learn about my relationship, most of the comments I have is that I don’t care about the victims. It’s hard to be in a relationship that is based on something that is so tragic. My family was not happy, they were really scared for me. They thought he was the worst person ever. I think it’s important that we can sit and explain to my son how he was conceived before someone else does it for us. I like to respond ‘he is in prison, but I’m not.'" She continued, “I would just like a few people to really understand me. He makes me happy and I don’t get why it bothers people so much."
Now, she's raising their son while she lives one hour away from the 33-year-old inmate at Union Correctional Institution in Florida. With regards to him being brought up without his father, she said, “Everybody who has a baby knows how much they grow in such a short amount of time. I try to send short videos, but it’s not the same. I will tell him that his dad is not who people are going to tell him he is. He is an amazing person who is really caring and sweet and that he loves him very very much.”
In addition to that, Sigrid, with the help of a friend organized a penpal site so that other people can write to those condemned to death row. She said: “We really truly believe that people are more than the worst action of their life. Being with Alan has changed everything in my life because I’ve really embraced who I am completely. I’m loved unconditionally by someone who I love the same way. This is something that I would have never wanted with anyone else.” Looks like love really can transcend anything.