In my post last Friday, I promised that I would begin telling the story of how the Blume family ended up in Brazil. I have to admit that today when I realized it was Friday, I got kind of panicky knowing that I had to do it today. So here goes.....
To begin this story, I'm going to have to give a little background information first. Not to bore you with the uninteresting details of life, but I think to really understand our story, you have to know where we came from.
Kevin and I met at Harding University. I was in graduate school getting my master's in elementary education. He was a junior business major. He had put a lot of thought into that major. It went kind of like this in his brain: My dad is in business, so I will be a business major. "Hey, Jeff (his brother-in-law), which major is easier? Marketing or Management? Marketing? Oh, OK. I'll be a marketing major." So he graduated from Harding with a degree in Marketing.
After several extremely unfulfilling years working in business, he decided that he absolutely could not do this for the rest of his life. He began to research other options, really considering (this time) what he enjoyed doing and what he was interested in. He decided on physical therapy. Becoming a physical therapist would involve going back to school to take some science prerequisites and then getting into physical therapy school. He began this process in 1991 - the year Bronwyn, our first child, was born. I was teaching school.
After finishing all of his prerequisite science classes, and getting pretty good grades, it was time to try to get in PT school. We began to find out that this was going to be rather difficult. PT school is very competitive. Since Kevin's overall GPA was not that great (due to the Harding years), he needed to consider only schools in our state of Tennessee. There were three schools - 2 in Nashville and one in Memphis. The first year that he applied, he got 2 rejection letters and one "waiting list" letter from UT Memphis - which ended up being a rejection also. He was never called up from the waiting list.
That meant another year of volunteer work and re-applying to PT schools while working night jobs to help make ends meet. By now, we had 2 cute little girls. Our whole focus was on him getting in PT school the next year. We prayed about it and hoped for it all the time. I don't think I had ever prayed for something as much in my life.
During the summertime of that second year, a group from our home church was planning to take a mission trip to Ukraine. I wanted to go and told Kevin that he should go, also. His dad had gone before, and said it was a life-changing experience. We decided that we would go - depending on two things. If I got a summer job working for the state of TN evaluating textbooks, then I would not go. We needed the extra money. If he got in one of the Nashville PT schools, he would not go, because school would be starting soon. Well, I did get the job, and he didn't get in the school.
So, that meant that he would go to Ukraine with our church on the mission trip. He was actually mad about this turn of events, thinking that a 3 week trip would have been fun with his wife along, but alone.... no way. Not to mention the disappointment in receiving another rejection letter after trying for two years to get into school. I remember him going out on our back patio and kind of just sitting in a chair, pouting. I remember us having a conversation about how he should go on the trip, that it would do him good. He must have heard some truth in my words because he reluctantly agreed to go.
That would be the beginning of the road that would lead us to Brazil.