I just got fantastic news from my agency -- our dossier has been released from the consulate in DC and is on its way to Kazakhstan! Now it still has to be approved by two more ministries before we get our "LOI" (Letter of Invitation) to travel, but at least we finally have some progress.
This time around, it took way longer to assemble our dossier, then it took four months from the time we submitted our dossier till the time it was released from the consulate. When we did this in 2003, we were travelling four months after submitting our dossier. I'm still holding out hope that we can do the first leg of our travel this summer. Everyone keep fingers and toes crossed, rub that rabbit's foot, send up prayers, send out positive energy, whatever you think will work!