A Utah dad’s creative photo series displaying his 18-month-old son, Wil, “flying” has gone viral. Father Alan Lawrence, who created the images, said he launched the series to raise awareness for Down syndrome, noting that “a child with Down syndrome can be a blessing to your family.”
Titled “Wil Can Fly,” the photos showcase the preciousness of individuals with Down syndrome, and the truth that disabilities do not hinder an individual’s potential to pursue their dreams.
Lawrence told Buzzfeed that he did not know that his son had Down syndrome while in the womb. When doctors informed Lawrence and his wife, his wife handled the news “really, really well.” However, Lawrence struggled with it: “I was a little more selfish about it.”
The idea for the photo series sparked after the couple noticed that Wil’s crawl looked as if he would take off in flight. Lawrence said he saw the empowering and life-affirming message that the images could present: “Wil is going to be able to do anything he [puts] his mind to.”
Preborn children prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are tragically aborted at an extremely high rate. These heartwarming images, however, affirm the dignity of human life, proving that all individuals, regardless of disability, are precious.
Took Wil running for the first time this weekend. He’s not the best pacer but it definitely beats pushing a stroller. #downsyndrome #downsyndromeawareness #wilcanfly A photo posted by Alan Lawrence (@thatdadblog) on
Wil and I have perfected the Alley-oop. #wilcanfly #downsyndromeawareness #downsyndrome #dreamteam A photo posted by Alan Lawrence (@thatdadblog) on
Caught Wil flying in front of the bathroom mirror this morning. Wonder if he realizes who that little dude in the mirror is. #superwil A photo posted by Alan Lawrence (@thatdadblog) on
He usually sticks around for the sweet stuff but when the veggies start he is outta there. #wilcanfly #superwil #downsyndrome #downsyndromeawareness A photo posted by Alan Lawrence (@thatdadblog) on
Found Wil in the forest behind our house today when he should have been napping. #flyingbaby A photo posted by Alan Lawrence (@thatdadblog) on
Yesterday we found Wil flying through the grain fields. #flyingbaby #wilsnotnapping A photo posted by Alan Lawrence (@thatdadblog) on