Momma had a lot of earrings. A lot of earrings. As a little girl, I remember wistfully sorting through her jewelry box, holding up her sparkly earrings up to my bitty ears, hoping one day I'd be old enough to wear them to a dance or on a date with a handsome young man.
One pair of earrings I inherited after Momma died were these:
The story, I think, was that she bought them in Japan. I think they are the symbol for happiness, or some happy word, and women would wear this symbol when they were pregnant.
I've looked around online, though, and I'm fairly certain this isn't the kanji for happiness. But, as far as I can tell, it's also not the kanji for mother, motherhood, baby, pregnant, expecting, future, offspring, progeny, or child(ren). So I can't think what it might be.
Do you know what it means? If you figure it out, let me know! :)
In the meantime, assuming they are, in fact, the symbol that women wear when they're expecting, I've been wearing them! We are, after all, starting the adoption process. And that means that we are, in the most appropriate sense of the term, parents-to-be (because really, if you're pregnant, you're a mother already. (You don't have to wait until you deliver)) :)