Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke has had a very emotional past few after losing her father, becoming engaged to boyfriend Matthew Lawrence and now finding a long-lost sibling she never knew she had.
The 34-year-old took to her Instagram on Monday, July 9 to share a very emotional message alongside a selfie of herself with her new found sister.
“With my father’s passing came a lot of darkness but there was also a lot of light – I found my sister who I had never known,” she began her note.
She continued, “We recently met for the first time and it was such a surreal experience to walk into a room to meet and walk out feeling like we had known each other forever. In her I see the same drive and passion that our dad had and there’s clearly a major family resemblance.”
Burke concluded with, “It may have taken 30 years to find each other, but I am so excited to have another sister for life.”
Finding her sister has come less than four months after the dancer opened up after losing her father on March 9, 2018. ““Dad, if I had one more chance to have you here with me today, I would do things differently. Every day I would tell you how much I love you. I miss you so much already,” she captioned a throwback pic of a sweet moment between the two. “Rest In Peace Stephen Louis Burke April 13, 1950 – March 9, 2018.”
Burke admitted to PEOPLE that while she couldn’t be happier that she met her sister, she was initially skeptical. “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 admitted.
“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 said. “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.”
She added, “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.”