Life-changing paperwork, even. When you adopt from another country you must get lots of paperwork notarized, then the notarized copies must be certified or authenticated, which means that the Secretary of State where you live certifies that the notary in question is a notary in good standing and the notarial seal is proper. When you get all your paperwork back from the Sec. of State it looks like this, particularly if your paperwork is Texan! ;-)
I sent all of this paperwork to the Chinese Consulate--well, actually to a courier who rushed it through the Chinese Consulate--because the consulate adds another piece of paper to each of these documents that says the Secretary of State's piece of paper is authentic. Once that is done, the paperwork is added to some pictures and sent, by the adoption agency, for translation into Chinese, assuming you are adopting from China. The translator then sends it all on to CHINA!! Our dossier, as it is called, weighed 3.3 pounds according to the FedEx tracking information I received! That's a lot of paperwork! It arrived on 7/3 at the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs. Hopefully, we will soon hear that our dossier was logged in to their system, although families don't always hear about it when it happens. But in any event, now we WAIT. And WAIT. And WAIT. And watch the Olympics in China. And WAIT some more.