If there is anything anybody can do to help, please respond.
One area I think you can improve upon for that deeper connection is filters.
Several times you tell us he's feeling or thinking stuff instead of actually showing/describing what he's thinking/feeling.
Example: "he felt a chill."
*A chill crawled down his spine*
That was pretty cliche but you get the idea I hope :P
A second thing is that you use the word 'began' a LOT.
If things only 'begin' to happen, does it actually happen? See how that can mislead and confuse readers?
Let's take an example:
"Noah began to smile"
So did he smile or not?
If he did smile, then saying: *Noah smiled* is more accurate and simple anyway.
I recommend eliminating the word 'began' from your narrative for at least a little while. (Good practice ;)