A Dossier is your application to adopt from China.  It is a culmination of about 6-12 months worth of work.  Your Dossier contains everything from your birth certificates, to your family photo's.  This Dossier goes to China and gets logged in.  Then it gets reviewed and then you are approved.

A Dossier is hours and hours worth of paperwork.  Medical exams, police checks, homestudy, employment verification, basically your life history.  

Your Dossier follows many steps to get to completion.  An example would be my medical exam.  I take that sheet of paper and then I have it notarized locally.  It then goes to the state it was issued, in this case it goes to Tallahassee where it gets a state seal.  It then goes to the state department for another seal, and finally to the Chinese Embassy to get another seal.  It is then a complete document.  It becomes involved when you have documents from other places.  Carl's employment verification came from Kentucky.  It has to get notarized there and then it has to go to the state capitol, then onto the next step.  

Below is an example of a Dossier.
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This is our completed Dossier
It can seem overwhelming to go through this paper pregnancy, but if you take it one document at a time, it makes it easier.

We are only halfway done at this point, but it is a huge step to get all of these documents to China.