White UAB professor writes children’s book based on African-American son

Bernie Goes Up, Up, Up!

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - An assistant professor at UAB knew she probably would’t be able to have children biologically because of a medical condition, but that didn’t stop her from wanting to be a parent.

Looking for other options, Brynn Welch found an adoption agency that didn’t disqualify her because she was not married. And instead of taking 3-6 years for adopt, it took 9 months from the time she started her search.

What’s more, Welch says she was in the delivery room when her son Bennie was born.

“As soon as they were done checking him out they let me do skin-to-skin contact with him so that it was my smell. That was really special - holding your baby and snuggling up and when he would cry, I would hold him and he would calm down, which made everybody in the room to feel better. It felt very much like we were meant to be family," Welch says.

In that moment, Bennie became the center of her world and really started to change her perspective and she created a world for him.

“I am white and my son is black and I am so excited about children’s books. I just loaded my house with them,” Welch says.

An assistant professor at UAB wrote a children's book about her African-American son. (Source: WBRC Video)
An assistant professor at UAB wrote a children's book about her African-American son. (Source: WBRC Video) ((Source: WBRC Video))

Welch says she never noticed before the limited images of African-American children just having fun or interracial families in children’s books. So with the urging and help from a friend, she wrote “Bennie Goes Up, Up, Up.”

“We wanted a book about a little kid who is just reaching for the stars. It’s kind of half real and half imaginary. It’s about from the time that he’s a baby, him going up, up, up and reaching for the stars that are above his crib,” Welch says.

Bennie’s fascination with elevators inspired the book. Welch says they travel to different elevators and read about elevators. But “Bennie Goes Up, Up, Up” will always be a testament of a mother’s love for her son.

An assistant professor at UAB wrote a children's book about her African-American son. (Source: WBRC Video)
An assistant professor at UAB wrote a children's book about her African-American son. (Source: WBRC Video) ((Source: WBRC Video))

Bennie is 5 now.

“He’s old enough now he gets really excited to see people who look like him. He got really excited about this book because it’s us and he sees both of us and we don’t have ... we have loads of books that look like him and we have loads of books that look like me, but we don’t have books with a family like ours, That was really exciting," Welch says.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.