updated 11/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST
Having spent three years of his neglected childhood in state custody, Shawn (he picked the new name) enjoyed fame's perks, which included two European trips with George. But now the eighth grader relishes the chance just to take guitar lessons, study science and hang out with his boisterous new family (there are eight Russ kids, ranging in age from 6 to 23, plus Shawn and Paul, a 10-year-old foster child). Shawn's biological mother has reached out to him with letters on his birthday and at Christmas, which doesn't bother the Russes—"I would do the same if I was in her situation," says homemaker Lizabeth—but so far he has not answered. "Right now, I don't want to see her," he says. "I just want to live my normal life." There's that n word again.