Got our birth certificates back from the Chinese Consulate in New York yesterday - hooray! We've always had to deal with two Consulates, the one in Chicago for most of our documents, and then the one in New York for our birth certificates, since it's New York that serves Rhode Island and Maine. I can't imagine what folks who were born outside the United States have to deal with!
I am often asked if the paperwork is easier the second, third, fourth time around. My reply is usually this: "Knowledge is power, but ignorance is bliss!" Yes, I know what needs to be done and what to do and where to go to get it done. On the other hand, through experience, I know about all the little things that can go wrong that are totally out of my control (notaries with inaccurate stamps, the wrong form on the Chicago Consulate web site, etc.). So yes, it's a lot easier knowing the routine, but I spend a lot of time fretting about the "unknown" problems that could crop up!