You should have extensive documentation to show that you relationship is real and you are marrying to be together. There are many factors that may influence the USCIS officer who will be deciding your case, and your living apart may be problematic, if you are not planning to travel to see each other frequently. It would be best to consult with an attorney before you file your applications.
The child must be under the age of 16 when he/she is being adopted. There is also a requirement for the child to have lived in the household of adopted parents for 2 years prior to his/her adoption. I recommend you evaluate all your option with an experienced attorney.
There is no expungement procedure available in New York. However, you can apply for a certificate of relief from civil disabilities. In general, Section 701 provides that a certificate may relieve an eligible offender of any forfeiture or disability, or remove any bar to employment, automatically imposed by law by reason of conviction of the crime or the offense. A conviction for a crime specified in a certificate of relief from disabilities shall not cause automatic forfeiture of any license,...
If the USCIS locates the I-751 filing, they can adjudicate both applications at the same time. If they cannot locate the I-751, then you will need assistance of an attorney to file a duplicate I-751, provided you have retained copies of the filing and your receipt.
You have to think of references from other scientists in the field who would be able to attest to your status as an engineer of extraordinary ability,, someone who has risen to the top in his field of expertise. Generally speaking, if you have an employer it is safer to go through a labor certification process in the second employment-based category. They are moving very fast and we have had great success rate with engineers.
With proper legal representation, you may be able to work out a deal that would not require you to plead guilty, such as an ACD, an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. You may be required to pay a fine and/or attend a shoplift program. Please check out my web site.