Welcome to the Republic Wireless community where users are here to help each other.
Google as it seems decided to retire the blob emoji with a more standard set. I’m one of the users (along with you) that is saddened and will miss it.
Since it is built into the “font” of the system, there is no easy way to keep them. To really make the change, you have to go and mess with the system (via administrative / root)
On the other hand, news from earlier this year say that while the emoji may be gone, Google has made available sticker packs within the Google Keyboard and Messages app. Instead of emoji, you can use images which isn’t quite the same but will have to make due I suppose. See if you can find them and if they can work for what you want them to be.