Lopez was Miss Teen USA in 1993.
She was placed in care by her mentally ill mother as a baby (with her brother and sister) and lived in foster homes in Vermont state for 15 years; by the time she was three she had been in four placements. In her mid teens she left her long-term fifth foster family, the Wensleys, for a group home and then a new family, and was formally adopted by them in 1993, just before she turned 18, and just after she won Miss Teen Vermont and then Miss Teen USA.
She has had no contact with her birth mother since infancy but is close to her sister, who was in the same foster families but stayed with the Wensleys, and has contact with her brother.
She has changed her name to Charlotte Ayanna.