BASSFIELD, MS (WDAM) - Eighteen years ago Shervontee Brown of Vallejo, California gave birth to her daughter Taylor McLaurin, but at the age of two McLaurin went to live with her father's family in Mississippi.
"Sometimes as a mother we have to do what's best for our children," Brown said.
"At that particular time I was not financially able to take care of Taylor. So that's when her dad and his family stepped up."
McLaurin graduated from Bassfield High School on Friday.
For graduation, she asked her grandmother for two things.
"She wished that her great-grandmother, my mother, would have been able to see her graduate and for her mom to come to graduation," Grandmother Shirley Dampeer said.
"We started working on that."
Brown flew from California to reunite with her daughter at graduation. At the end of the ceremony, the school surprised McLaurin by announcing Brown's attendance.
McLaurin said the moment was overwhelming.
"I'm still shocked," McLaurin said.
"I'm just blessed for my mother to be able to be here."
"She thought I wasn't coming, but there's no way I would have missed this," Brown said.
"There's no way. I wouldn't have missed this for the world."
Brown said she has spoken with her daughter over the phone throughout the years.
McLaurin will attend Jackson State University in the fall.