May 10, 2019
Boua XiongStaff Writer
When Kate Hobbins was a little girl and people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she’d tell them, “I want to be a regular mom.”
She laughs about it now — and this Mother’s Day, she’ll laugh even harder with 4-year-old daughter, Emilia, and 4-month-old son, Robert, in her arms. That’s because this year, with some help from Best Buy’s newly enhanced adoption-assistance program, she’s finally that “regular mom” she almost didn’t get to be.
“Sometimes I’ll text my husband that I just can’t believe that I can add the ‘s’ at the end of kid,” Kate said.
A senior marketing manager for Best Buy, Kate thought kids would come a year after being married. But the couple struggled with infertility. Four years ago, they turned to adoption.
She and her husband Brian were barely finished with their mountain of adoption paperwork when the call came in: A baby was coming. When Emilia was born and placed into their arms Kate knew this child was meant to be their daughter.
“She looked at us with these big eyes and it was amazing,” Kate said. “Seeing her was incredible.”
‘Many ways to become a family’
They wanted another child, but adoption is as expensive as it is emotional. So Kate rallied other employees to start a conversation about increasing the adoption reimbursement benefit offered by the company. That’s when she met Becky Porspakka, a human resources manager, who was also going through the adoption process.
“There are many ways to become a family, and I wanted to make sure that we support everyone’s choice and everyone’s journey,” Becky said.
Together, they developed the proposal and presented it to company leaders in December, thinking that it would take some time before changes were made. However, within a few short months, the idea was approved, and Best Buy’s adoption assistance benefit increased to $14,080 — more than four times the previous amount for one adoption.
“One of our guiding behaviors is ‘Be Human,’ and nothing says that more than helping families in this way,” said Michelle Olson, manager of the program.
Kate will be the first employee to use the increased assistance. Baby Robert was born right after Christmas, a sweet gift that Kate and her family get to celebrate on Mother’s Day — and every day.
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