Thanks for sharing that and for being so patient pattymac!
When we adopted (passed away a few years ago) Zak, it took him about 2 years before he would snuggle up to us. I could not pick him up for more than 5 seconds at the beginning - but after a few months I was able to pick up and cuddle that fluffball bigtime.
My current cat Twiggy will snuggle up next to an ax murderer, she's so affectionate -
Like us, cats have personalities. But UNlike us, their personalities seem to change for the better when they live in a warm, loving home (with people that take an active interest in their well being).
In my experience most shy cats become less shy and more affectionate/friendly over time.