18-month-old Wil Lawrence was born with Down Syndrome, but that’s not what makes him special. What makes Wil Lawrence special is that he can fly.
Alan Lawrence and his wife Nikki are the loving parents to five children, with another on the way. On his blog, That Dad, Alan says that one night before Wil had even been conceived, while playing a game with his four children, he was overcome with the thought that one of his children was not there, though he could clearly see they all were. This thought persisted for some time, and eventually his wife began to feel it as well. A year and a half later, Nikki was pregnant again.
Three weeks prior to Nikki’s delivery, Alan says thoughts of Down Syndrome kept creeping into his mind, though he continuously told himself he was overreacting.
“While working on my computer one night I paused to think about Wil. While I was thinking I had a very strong impression that Wil would be very different from our other kids. I couldn’t pin point exactly what that difference would be at the time, but in the coming days the thought of Down Syndrome came into my head. I thought I was overreacting. A week later I had the same impression.”
When Wil was born, Alan knew almost instantly that his newborn baby boy had Down Syndrome, and he was filled with panic, pride, and shame. Shame at how prideful he was being, worrying about how different his life would be with a child with Down Syndrome, about how others would judge him, and at how he couldn’t bring himself to immediately find the joy the blessing of Wil could bring into his life. He didn’t instantly send out pictures to his family and friends, or post them on social media, as he had with his other children, and he felt shame about that, too.
After a pep talk from his wife, which included telling him to get over himself, “I am so grateful to have a son, I don’t care what other people may think. You need to get over yourself,” Alan, too, finally started to see Wil’s Down Syndrome as a blessing, rather than a burden.
Today, Alan is a staunch advocate for informing others about Down Syndrome. After learning the startling statistic that 90 percent of pregnant women who learn they’re carrying a child with Down Syndrome choose to abort, Alan has made it his life’s goal to educate the world that having a beautiful child with Down Syndrome isn’t a burden. It may be difficult at times, but it is a blessing, “my son has become a light and not a burden to our family.”
The beautiful photos of Wil flying are a part of that. They are Alan’s contribution to the world, and to Wil, to show him, and everyone around him that different means special, and that Down Syndrome doesn’t define who he is, it’s simply a part of him. He, too, can do anything he wants to do. Even if he wants to fly.
Little Boy With Down Syndrome Can Fly In Beautiful Photographs, Thanks To Photographer Dad
To see more stunning pictures of Wil the flying baby check out the blog, or follow Alan’s Instagram @thatdadblog, or to help the Lawrence’s spread awareness about Down Syndrome, visit their Kickstater campaign, which is set up to donate funds to two charities that help those with Down Syndrome.
[Image Credits: ThatDadBlog]