The last time Robin West saw her son, she was 15 and he was given up for adoption. On Thursday, she and Andre 'Dre' Knight met for the first time in decades (ANDREW FORD/FLORIDA TODAY)
(FLORIDA TODAY) -- Giving up her baby hurt so much that she forced herself to forget most of that day. Robin West does remember she was 15 and, with no way to care for a child, in big trouble with her mom. She brought her boy into the world and held him for just a moment before he was taken away for adoption.
Little did she know that the boy she let go would follow in her footsteps as a musician. Separated by almost 36 years and thousands of miles, mother and child were reunited Thursday at Orlando International Airport when West's son, Andre "Dre" Knight, flew in to meet her for the first time.
"I thank God," West said. "There is a God, because this is really kind of like a miracle in my life."
Knight came to Florida on a one-way ticket, saying he'll go back when he feels like it. The reunion is meaningful for Knight's 15-year-old son, as well.
"I think what it does is allow me to give him a heritage and answer the questions he's always asked me."
Knight and his mother embraced outside baggage claim.
"I'm speechless," Knight said. "This is the best day of my life."
When they reconnected by phone about a month ago, they realized that they had both builtcareers in the music industry. Both are pianists and producers. West, who recently moved to Malabar from Atlanta, runs a talent showcase called "Small Town, Big Stars" that gives up-and-coming artists a chance to perform in clubs and on an Atlanta TV show. Knight produces artists in Los Angeles - he said his job is similar to being a movie director, and he has worked with artists such as Nicki Minaj and LL Cool J.
Knight said he searched for his mother fordecades, but within an hour, his girlfriend, Andrea Bennett, found her on the Internet. They had been debating Knight's heritage. She tried the names on Knight's birth certificate - his mother was listed as Robin Mullen a.k.a. Robin Booe. Neither name drew a match, but they did find a site for RW Productions and its CEO, Robin West.
He went to West's Facebook page - the woman in the photograph had eyes just like his. Knight became cautiously excited. He noticed the name listed as West's mother matched the grandmother on Knight's birth certificate.
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