Hi, i hope this bit of info helps.
1) It doesn't take very long to see your curl pattern once damaged hair is removed. What my concern is for you is that even though u got rid of your relaxed ends you used lots of heat, so u probably have heat damage which would hinder your curls. So im guessing what you see when your hair is wet is damages hair caused by heat and is not you curls. Damaged hair needs to be removed but in the mean time until u get to a compfy lenght do proteind treatments to help you hair cuticles and it will also leave your hair softer since it sounds like you lack protein.
2) A lack of moisture does affect poofyness. When your hair has adaquit moisture your curl pattern holds better.
3) As far as moisture is concerned you should try to applying a leave in then sealing with an oil of you choice, this way your hair will hold more moisture and won't dry out. Oil doesn't moisturize your hair so once the water that you spray on your hair evaporates it leaves you dry.
4) Don't lose hope dear. I think we all have those moments when we're in a transition that it seems like picking up scissors or a relaxer is our last ditch. But I really think staying away from heat is in your best interest. Since you already have problems retaining moisture heat just drys you out more. Try some textured styles like braid outs or twist out because it will show a defined curl pattern until you get one fully. As far as your hair laying down you may have to use a gel when u do flat twist.