gerund or present participle: cocooning
         1. envelop or surround in a protective or comforting way.
2. retreat from the stressful conditions of public life into the cozy private world of the family. 
I may not have been noticeably absent from your life lately, but I haven’t been there.  I haven’t been at the grocery store, or the gym, or the studio, or behind the camera, or at the computer. I’ve been missing from the blogosphere, the workshops, the meetups, the networking events.
I’ve been home. I’ve been surrounding my family with my arms, my heart, my soul, my sanity, and all I have.
This season of my life – our life as a family – is a wild, not generally fun ride. It takes everything I have and then a whole lot more just to hang on hard enough to not fall. chattanooga lifestyle photographer-9
In December, we said goodbye to two vital, beloved members of our family – our foster daughter and her 2 year old daughter. As a foster family, we don’t have the power to make the really important decisions for our foster children; an impersonal state system chooses what’s best. We’re not the only people who know what it feels like to have family members ripped from the daily fabric of your lives. The grief is overwhelming, and it hits at the strangest moments. I spent my entire eleventh wedding anniversary dinner, dressed to the nines at a ridiculously fancy restaurant, just sobbing with my husband. I am constantly finding myself saying “I’m just not fit for public consumption right now,” and that is an understatement.
In the midst of our grief, we got a call. You know, one of Those calls. “There are two little girls who desperately need a forever family. Not a temporary one, a Forever one.” Everything in me said no. No more. Uncle; I give; enough; I have no more fight in me. And then they sent the picture. And I burst into tears, overwhelmed by the same emotion I had when the doctor handed me my squalling red-faced babies at birth. “There you are. I see you. I know you. You are mine. You always have been, and always will be.”
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And now our lives are chaos. There’s no other word for it. Grafting two new people into a preexisting family with the intention of forever is  h a r d. Close to impossible. I’ve dropped everything, mid-sentence as it were, and am cocooning around my tribe. My new littles with the broken, abused hearts. My bio littles who are grieving for the sisters they’ve just so recently lost. To be honest, most days I’m flailing, hiding in the bathroom or the basement for 2 seconds at a time to sob and wipe my tears and hit the pavement again. I’m tired, used up, split too many directions; I miss my work, and structure, and knowing what’s coming next. BUT. I see hope. It’s faint some days, but it’s there. It’s the bulbs coming up through the snow.
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So what does this mean for you? It means I may be harder to reach and turnaround time may be a little longer. It means that with great sadness (and also some relief) I will be stepping down as Area Coordinator for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. It means that some restructuring of the business will be taking place soon – simplifying things for both me and you as the client. It also means I (we) covet your prayers. I’m planning on coming back to work in a more full-time capacity the first week of March, and hopefully will be back up to full speed sooner than later.
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Emily Lapish

Emily Lapish is a full-time photographer, wife, mom, foster mom, and crazy person. She likes long walks through Target while cradling a latte. She is fueled by passion for restoration, grace, and also by obscene amounts of coffee. 

To book a free consultation or inquire about a session, click here. 




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