(Topeka, KA) – Carmen Johnson had a rather normal upbringing. She was born on September 4th, 1974, and adopted by Grace, and Gary Johnson in Topeka, Kansas shortly thereafter. The liberal couple soon learned that their son was indeed their daughter after she reached an age where she was able to express her preferred gender identity.
“We simply went with it. Although the name we had chosen for her as a baby was Carl, she quickly expressed interest in the name Carmen, and it just stuck. She’s been our Carmen ever since.” Carmen had a lot of support coming to terms with being transgender throughout her teenage years. “My family has been unbelievably supportive. I am very grateful to have been adopted by such an amazing, loving family. I know many trans-people are not so fortunate. I count my blessings every day.”
It was not until Carmen reached adulthood that she became curious about her origins. “I really wanted to explore my roots. Although I love my family deeply, and sincerely consider them to be my true family, I had a overwhelming curiosity to know about my biological parents. Who they were, where they came from, and the circumstances that led them to giving me up.”
After obtaining her birth records and contacting the adoption agency that dealt with her case, it didn’t take Carmen long to find out who her birth mother was, and the answer left the young adult flabbergasted.
“When I found out that my mother was none other than THE Shirley Phelps, I was astounded, to say the least. Sad, shocked, and grateful all at the same time. I am her first-born child. I chose not to make contact for the obvious reasons, but I understand that I have a lot of siblings out there as well. Family members who I will never meet, but I am okay with this considering the circumstances. I feel extremely blessed that I was adopted by such an awesome, loving family. I just see no point in trying to contact my birth mother now that I know the truth.”
As for Carmen’s father, the truth remains a mystery. “Evidently, as I understand it, my father could be one of nearly half a dozen individuals. My mother was a busy girl in her youth and I am the result of that! (laughs) It kind of flies in the face of everything she claims to represent these days, but I guess I am proof that anything is possible.”
Jane M. Agni (2015, January 9)
Originally Published On National Report