Cheryl Burke recently met the sister she’s never known

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I know who Cheryl Burke is but I don’t know much about her. I’m only qualifying that because I was just reading up on her for this story and oh my gosh, the poor woman has been through so much in the past year. It sounds like a real roller coaster, which made me appreciate this story even more. Last year, Cheryl was asked to replace Abby Lee Miller on Dance Moms after Abby walked off the set. Not only was Cheryl thrown into the situation, she had to undo all the emotional damage Abby had inflicted on the poor girls. In March, Cheryl announced she was going to take a hiatus from social media to deal with some “personal things.” Unfortunately, what she was dealing with was the death of her father, Stephen Burke. Cheryl and her father, who lived in Thailand, had only reconnected within the past decade. Cheryl, who was two years-old when he left, felt abandoned by Stephen. Very soon after he split from Cheryl’s mom, Stephen began a relationship and had another daughter, Ina. Cheryl knew Ina existed but did not meet her until after Stephen passed:

They really do resemble each other, don’t they? Cheryl told People how she finally met her sister. Although she was cautious at first, she sees the relationship only growing closer from here.

Although the passing of Cheryl Burke‘s father was heartbreaking for the professional dancer, his death led to an unexpected blessing: a sister she had never known.
But before meeting Ina in-person for the first time on July 3 in Los Angeles, Burke had some initial skepticism.

“With this business, at least for me, comes trust issues. Is she reaching out to me for something that she may need? We didn’t know each other. I didn’t know if she was actually my sister. Just because your last name is Burke doesn’t mean that you’re my sister,” she tells PEOPLE.

“I was a little nervous meeting face-to-face because you just never know. And then we met face-to-face and it’s like looking at yourself in the mirror,” she says of her younger sibling, who currently lives in Seattle. “When you see someone on social media, you wonder do they still look like that? When I saw her in person, it was like looking in the mirror, like the freckles. We definitely look like our father.”

“My dad always told me I had a sister,” Burke says. “He told me I have another sibling then I was a little caught off [guard]. It wasn’t jealousy, but I wished I was the only one, you know, that daddy-daughter feel. My father had a few different relationships and with that babies happen.”

Burke adds, “When my dad passed away, Ina couldn’t make it to my father’s wake in Thailand. But she reached out and wrote a long text message that was really sweet. I responded right away and said, ‘Thank you so much for reaching out. If there’s anything that I could do, I’m here for you.’ From then on, we’ve been texting and talking on the phone a lot.”

“My dad would be so happy. He really would be,” Burke says of her and Ina finally meeting.

[From People]

I get why Cheryl was cautious but I’m glad this has a happy ending. Losing a family member, even if it was a complicated relationship, can cause all sorts of emotions you didn’t expect. I imagine this connection allows them both to further reconcile the loss of their father.

Cheryl has another connection to her father as well. When Cheryl’s boyfriend, Matthew Lawrence, proposed, the engagement ring he had made included the diamond from the ring Stephen gave Cheryl’s mom, Sherri. Matthew proposed two months after Cheryl’s father died and both his mother and Sherri helped him design the ring. The ring also has a message engraved on it that only Cheryl can see. You know I don’t go for the romantic stuff too much but given everything Cheryl has been through, I’m impressed with the thought Matthew put into the ring. I like the significance that this ring could not belong to anyone other than Cheryl. So things were bleak for Cheryl for a bit there but now she has her new life with Matthew, who just moved in, and can get to know her sister.

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Photo credit: Instagram and WENN Photos

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7 Responses to “Cheryl Burke recently met the sister she’s never known”

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  1. Millenial says:

    I met my half brother when I was a teenager. Blessings to them both.

  2. HelloSunshine says:

    I have a much younger sister that doesn’t even know I exist. I’m sure at some point she’ll reach out and I’m not even sure where to begin if and when it happens.
    I’m sorry that Cheryl has been through so much but I’m glad that this awful time was able to be made positive with the engagement!

  3. smcollins says:

    That’s great that she’s been able to connect and have a relationship with her sister. My husband has a younger half-brother that he’s only met once, years ago. This was the same time that he also met his father for the first and only time. He’s was 30 years old at the time. His father has never been a part of his life, he doesn’t even have his name (he has his mother’s name). He came upon an opportunity to meet him so he figured why not. He said that he shook his hand and said “Hi, they tell me I’m your son.” Apparently he’s the spitting image of his father (he definitely doesn’t resemble his mother). He hung around for about an hour and then left. They didn’t exchange phone numbers or arrange to meet again, so that was that. He says that he found himself rather unimpressed with him and wasn’t interested in pursuing any kind of relationship. Sometimes that’s just how life goes, and sometimes it’s for the better.

  4. Valentina Tatton says:

    I have two much younger brothers that I’ve never met. Whenever people ask if I have siblings I feel incredibly awkward.

  5. Kitten says:

    Is Cheryl Burke morphing into Olivia Munn or is Olivia Munn morphing into Cheryl Burke?

  6. Miss M says:

    This is such a great story. I love it!
    My nephew who was parental alienated from my brother has finally reunited with him after 10 years of not seeing each other. My sister sent me the video of him arriving at the airport yesterday, both of them crying, and I held my tears to not cry at work. ❤️❤️❤️❤️